Imagine a city like Venice in Italy, with canals and open water spaces playing the role of streets separating buildings and neighbourhoods. Now imagine a more modern interpretation of this - an entire modern and vibrant city floating on the surface of water. Does this sound fantastic? Yes, but soon enough this idea will start to come to life, and it will be around Busan, South Korea.
The need for such floating cities is primarily due to global climate change and the possible rise in global ocean levels. For Busan, which is the sixth busiest seaport in the world, rising ocean levels could have catastrophic consequences. Therefore, the local government has engaged the expertise of UN-Habitat, Bjarke Ingels Group, SAMOO (Samsung Group) and Oceanix to design the first prototype of a floating city, the construction of which will soon begin.
Currently, work on the project is in progress and we can already get an idea of what this floating city will look like. Oceanix representatives have published images which look very futuristic, but the project uses only technologies which are currently available and will not be difficult to realise.
The plan is to initially build a city of three interconnected floating "island blocks" that could house up to 12,000 residents. In the future additional quarters will be docked to this city, and with the number of these quarters in 40 units the city will be able to accommodate 100 thousand residents.
Each block of the floating city will have a specific functional role. There will be residential quarters, quarters with entertainment areas, office and research facilities. The buildings of the floating city will be low and have a modern design, between buildings there will be plenty of free space with vegetation, street stalls, shops and entertainment centres.
The first three islands of the floating city will cover a total area of about 7 hectares, the buildings will have a combined area of 30 to 40 thousand square meters, and they will be able to be used for a variety of purposes. The floating city will be powered by solar arrays on the roofs of the buildings and on floating pontoons around the city. Cars will only be allowed to drive on the perimeter of the floating island blocks and only electric cars will be allowed to circulate within the floating city, in order to keep the air clean.
It is estimated that the first stage of the floating city will cost 200 million US dollars. Construction of the floating city, which has not yet been named, will begin in 2023, by 2025 the city will begin to take its final shape, and in 2027 it will be possible to begin to inhabit its first residents.