The world’s first “floating city” is set, just in Busan, South Korea

Currently, nearly 50% of the world's population lives in coastal areas. With the warming of the climate, by 2025, 90% of the world's large cities will be at risk from rising sea levels.

You may be tired of hearing this common sense, but the environmental threat is still fierce, and it is indeed approaching us day by day.

▲ Picture from Redshift

Some people say that before humans migrate to Mars, "floating cities" may be the most effective solution. Recently, the United Nations wants to bring you some new developments.

On November 18th, UN-Habitat, the Busan City Government of South Korea and the technology company OCEANIX signed an agreement to build the world's first sustainable floating city prototype in Busan, which is expected to be completed in 2025 .

▲ Picture from @MaimunahSharif

According to the press release, the floating city is conceived as a flood control infrastructure, built along the sea, through a fully integrated zero-emission closed-loop system, capable of self-sufficient production of food, energy and fresh water.

With a population of approximately 3.4 million, Busan has one of the busiest ports in the world and faces the threat of rising sea levels. UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif said this is an ideal deployment test site.

Sustainable floating cities are one of our available strategies to tackle climate change. Instead of wrestling with water, it is better to learn to live in harmony with water. We look forward to finding solutions that adapt to the climate without destroying nature through the concept of floating cities.

▲ Picture from OCEANIX

As early as 2019, the OCEANIX joint architectural firm BIG and the MIT Ocean Engineering Center proposed the floating city plan "OCEANIX CITY", which was supported by the United Nations in a roundtable meeting .

According to the assumptions at the time, OCEANIX CITY covers an area of ​​approximately 750,000 square meters and consists of 6 regular hexagonal floating islands. Each floating island is responsible for public purposes such as medical care, education, shopping, and cultural centers, and can accommodate approximately 10,000 in total. Residents.

It is said that the supporting base of the floating city will use a kind of ecological rock called Biorock. This material is three times harder than concrete. As long as there is electric current, it can grow indefinitely, can repair itself, and will become more and more over time. Strong enough to withstand floods, tsunamis and Category 5 hurricanes.

▲ Picture from OCEANIX

The floating city will also have a sustainable, zero-waste man-made ecosystem.

There are three sources of drinking water: rainwater harvesting on the building surface, seawater desalination devices at the bottom of the city, and water extracted from the air by solar panels.

New planting techniques will be adopted for crops, and water consumption will be 90% less than that of traditional agriculture; fish excrement can be used as fertilizer, and seaweed, oysters, mussels, scallops and other marine products will be cultivated at the bottom of the city. In addition, domestic garbage will be sorted and recycled through pipelines.

▲ Picture from OCEANIX

The OCEANIX team stated that the floating city built in Busan may be adjusted this time.

They will cooperate with local Korean architects to re-plan the city's size and other details according to local conditions. The specific construction plan will be announced at the United Nations Roundtable in April 2022, and the cost is expected to be around US$200 million.

▲ Picture from OCEANIX

It is not just the United Nations and OCEANIX who are currently embarking on the construction of floating cities.

Friends who have watched "McDull Story" must not forget the shadows of coconut trees, the clear waters and the young sands, the Maldives, which is located in the Indian Ocean. This tropical island country has always been regarded as a "vacation paradise", but many reports have pointed out that by 2050, nearly 80% of the Maldives' land will be submerged by sea and become uninhabitable.

In March this year, the Maldives government and Dutch design studio Dutch Docklands jointly released the "Maldives Floating City (MFC)" project , claiming to be "the world's first true floating city".

▲ Effect picture of floating city, pictured from maldivesfloatingcity.com

MFC is about 10 minutes by boat from the capital of Maldives. The area is estimated to be 2 million square meters, including residential areas, commercial areas, hospitals, schools, and government services.

The floating city is composed of a series of honeycomb-like hexagonal structures, inspired by the unique shapes of local corals. The periphery of the city will be connected to a circle of islands, and at the same time, new coral reefs will be cultivated at the bottom to serve as a barrier to help stabilize the structure and resist wind and waves.

▲ Coral lines look like a maze and also like a human brain

There is no need to reclaim land and do not harm nature. The official said that MFC will take into account sustainability and livability and plan thousands of suitable houses, hoping to make local ordinary fishing families affordable. .

According to current assumptions, each residential unit has an area of ​​more than 100 square meters and the price starts at US$250,000.

▲A rendering of a floating city, the picture is from maldivesfloatingcity.com

It is said that MFC will use the smart grid to achieve power supply, while using water cooling systems to help cool the city. The entire plan will begin construction in 2022 and will be completed in phases over the next 5 years.

▲A rendering of a floating city, the picture is from maldivesfloatingcity.com

Since being aware of the environmental threats brought about by climate change, people have been exploring solutions for "living at sea".

There have been many floating cities in the past, but almost none have been built and put into use. From this point of view, the above two plans can be supported and recognized by the local government, the site selection is clear, and construction is expected to begin next year, which is a big step forward.

As for who is the real "world's first floating city"? Is it Busan, South Korea or Maldives? Let the construction work run for a while, see you at sea.

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