Busan, South Korea, has agreed to host the “world’s first floating city” in a UN-backed project.
The city, made up of interconnected platforms, will generate its own power and clean water.
On Tuesday its designer released mockups of how the city may look.
Busan is South Korea’s second-largest city with a population of around 3.4 million.
Source: Busan Metropolitan City
Busan is a major maritime hub and its port ranks among the ten busiest in the world. It’s also among the many coastal cities being threatened by rising sea levels.
Source: World Shipping Council
In November, Busan officials agreed to host the world’s first so-called ‘floating city’ in collaboration with designers Oceanix and the UN Human Settlement Program, also known as UN-Habitat.
On Tuesday, Oceanix released mockups of how the prototype floating city in Busan’s North Port may look.
The images show how the city, constructed on interconnected platforms, will slowly be built …
… until it covers an area of 15.5 acres. Oceanix says it will be able to accommodate around 12,000 people.
Neighborhoods will be split into areas for living, research, and lodging for visitors.
The buildings will be low-rise with terraces and lots of access to outdoor space. The platforms will also house greenhouses and urban agriculture.
Platforms will have between 30,000 to 40,000 square meters (around 7 to 10 acres) of space, and they’ll be connected to each other by bridge.
Oceanix says the project “takes into character the social, political, environmental, and economic aspects of South Korea. This will be informed by Busan’s unique juxtaposition of old and new, a port-city rich with culture, art, and trade.”
The city will generate all of its own power using solar panels located on rooftops and floating on the sea. It will have a zero-waste economy, only allow electric vehicles, and treat and replenish its own water.
An Oceanix cofounder previously told Insider that the city could cost around $200 million to build and that the first parts could be ready by as early as 2025. Oceanix revealed the new designs ahead of the Second UN Roundtable on Sustainable Floating Cities, which is being held in New York on Tuesday.
In November, Saudi Arabia announced plans to build an eight-sided city that would float on the Red Sea. It said the city, Oxagon, would be “home to the world’s first fully automated port and integrated logistics hub.”
The rate of sea level rise is accelerating. The UN says that global sea levels rose on average by 0.16 inches per year between 2013 and 2021, compared with 0.08 inches per year between 1993 and 2002.
Source: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
In a program for Tuesday’s conference, the UN said that floating cities are “an innovative way to create new land for coastal cities facing severe housing shortages and looking for sustainable ways to expand onto the ocean, adapting to sea level rise and climate change.” “
But the UN that floating cities “are not the single silver bullet. They are a part of the arsenal of climate adaptation strategies available to us; floating cities are buoyant and therefore flood proof.”
The UN added that floating cities “give us a clean slate to design climate-neutral cities from the start.” They can also be towed to bring resources to areas of need during humanitarian crises, the UN said.
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