In a few decades, the hundreds of millions of people living on the shores of the oceans will begin to lose their homes as the sea level rises. Climate change will remove ports and coastal cities’ trillions of dollars. A giant floating island can be the salvation, and the construction of the first one will start soon.
In South Korea, they presented the design of the prototype of a sustainable floating city in the world. It is designed to withstand rising ocean levels. According to the UN, by 2050, they will threaten 90 percent of the world’s metropolises.
And in the next 50 years, black scenarios in the coastal agglomerations even account for damage above $ 14 trillion, or one-sixth of world GDP. Up to 40 percent of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. Coasts can thus be a source of significant climate migration.
Giant Floating Island from South Korea went from the first design to the prototype in two years
And according to architects from South Korea, the USA, and Denmark, these are the reasons for building sustainable floating cities. The first proposal was presented by the New York startup Oceanix two years ago. In collaboration with Copenhagen architects from the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) support.
However, the South Korean construction company Samoo and the local metropolitan port city of Busan also joined the project. And now, they have all introduced the first specific prototype. He has been growing up in Busan for three years.
The original structure of the floating agglomeration has changed slightly since the original plans for 2020. The basic building block will not be a 4.5-acre hexagonal platform for 300 people. But a small platform of 2.1 hectares. And it should fit precisely 6,000 inhabitants.
The floating platform can withstand a hurricane while creating jobs for people who can feed on their own
The so-called Oceanix Busan will consist of three platforms which would together create a giant floating island to live on. However, two are supposed to be for housing for permanent residents and to offer visitors the opportunity to stay overnight. The third platform will be built for research. Therefore, the total living capacity of the three artificial islands connected by bridges will be 12,000 people. They should have a maximum height of 25 meters or five floors – compared to the previously planned seven. This is due to the lower centers of gravity that can withstand hurricanes up to the fifth category.
In addition to plenty of relaxation areas, terraces, and dining bars, residential platforms will offer 30 to 40 thousand square meters of apartments. And the research platform will have a regeneration center, workshops, student dormitories, and a marine study center in roughly the same space. It aims to provide the population with several jobs in the new green economy.
The floating city on the platform will be 100% self-sufficient thanks to six integrated systems: zero waste of trash, closed water and food circulation, coastal habitat restoration, innovative transport, and clean zero energy consumption (i.e., it consumes precisely as much energy as it generates with clean resources).
Home for 12,000 people
Food should be offered in greenhouses, water to clean the green system under the platforms, and energy to obtain roof and floating solar panels. The cost of building Oceanix City was previously estimated at $200 million, and a suite would cost you two hundred thousand dollars. In Busan, the city should start developing next year. And potentially, it could expand from three to more than twenty platforms.
The South Korean port city has a population of 3.5 million. It is one of the most critical cargo transportation and trade hubs. Like other docks, it is constantly growing, but it faces spatial and social, economic, or environmental constraints. And that is why the local authorities decided to try a floating agglomeration that is supposedly affordable even for ordinary people.
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