Last Thursday, the South Korean city of Busan signed a landmark agreement with UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Program focused on environmental sustainability, and private company Oceanix to build the world’s first prototype of a self-contained floating city.
The idea of building a city of this type, which can accommodate 10,000 people, is not new and was unveiled at a United Nations round table in April 2019 with the aforementioned entities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, for its English acronym) and the Explorers Club.
The main objective of the project is to tackle climate change and create a safe environment that is not affected by rising sea levels, which is a real threat that many coastal cities are currently facing.
What will the new city be like?
The new city will consist of two hectares of floating platforms with a capacity of 300 people It would be of mixed use and serve both live and work. According to the project, not all structures built will be able to rise above seven floors to maintain a low center of gravity and be able to withstand wind, while the roofs will have solar panels to meet energy needs.
The city will also develop its own products, allowing it to adhere to zero waste regulations and speeding up the renewal of its ecosystem thanks to the marine life below the platforms.
The platforms will be connected to each other to form groups around a sheltered central pier. Thus, villages of 12 hectares in the shape of a hexagon will be able to house up to 1,650 inhabitants, while six villages of this type will already be able to form a whole city with a population of 10,000. All communities will prioritize locally sourced materials for building construction, such as fast-growing, highly resistant bamboo.
Oceanix also states that they will be more affordable homes due to lower construction costs.
Living in harmony with water
Faced with a situation where two out of five people in the world live within 100 kilometers of a coast, and 90% of megacities are vulnerable to rising sea levels, the Executive Director of UN Habitat, Maimouna Mohamed Sharif, stressed. That cities have no choice but to lose or win the battle to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and that floating cities are one possible strategy for adapting to climate change.
Instead of fighting water, let’s learn to live in harmony with it. “We are looking to develop nature-based climate adaptation solutions through the floating city concept, and Busan is the perfect choice for prototype deployment,” said the head of the UN programme.
In turn, Busan Mayor Park Hyung-joon highlighted the need to facilitate the creation of an urban space “where the coexistence of people, nature and technology is possible,” stressing that the city he governs is ideal for this.
Courtesy of RT
It might interest you
“Unapologetic tv specialist. Hardcore zombie trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble problem solver.”