The South Korean coastal city of Busan has agreed to build “the world’s first floating city,” a project supported by the United Nations.
According to plans, the city off Busan will consist of interconnected platforms and generate electricity and clean water.
Last Tuesday the designers released the first sketches of what the city should be like.
3.4 million people live in Busan, South Korea’s second largest metropolis. Like many coastal cities around the world, Busan’s infrastructure is threatened by rising sea levels. A project planned in collaboration with the United Nations foresees a “floating city” made up of several platforms to be built in front of the port of Busan.
Busan is one of the ten largest ports in the world
Like many other port cities, Busan, located in the southeast of the South Korean peninsula, is threatened by rising sea levels. The activity of the Port of Busan is also threatened in the future if the sea level rises. According to World Shipping, Busan is among the ten largest container hubs in the world.
In November 2021, the Busan city government gave the green light to the “Floating City” project in collaboration with the Oceanix design studio and the United Nations UN-Habitat program.
On Tuesday, the Oceanix design agency released models of what the prototype of the “floating city” north of the port might look like.
These images show how the city, designed from interconnected platforms, has to be built step by step …
… until it should finally grow to 6.3 hectares. According to Oceanix, 12,000 people should be able to live in the “floating city” in the future.
Accommodation, research and guest accommodation are provided
Deliberately no skyscrapers, instead lots of green spaces and urban agriculture
Buildings in large cities in South Korea are usually very tall. Because the space in the country covered by the mountains is scarce. On the “floating island” the focus is on low-rise buildings with terraces. There should be a lot of space outside, the floating city platforms should also have greenhouses and thus allow for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables in the city.
The individual platforms will offer between 30,000 and 40,000 square meters of space. They should be connected with bridges.
“Both the social, political, economic and environmental aspects of South Korea are taken into account,” explains the Oceanix design bureau at the drawings. The different aspects of the city of Busan – as a modern port city with a long history, rich in culture, art and commerce – have had an influence.
Self-sufficient energy production, zero waste cycle and pure electric vehicles
“The Floating City” off the coast of Busan is said to be able to generate its own electricity using solar panels attached to the roofs of buildings. The waste generated in the city will be 100% recycled and according to the plan only electric vehicles will be allowed. Wastewater and drinking water also need to be treated independently of the port city of Busan.
Cost of $ 200 million and finished first parts in 2025
An Oceanix co-founder previously told Business Insider that building the “floating city” would cost $ 200 million. The first parts could be ready in 2025. The projects shown here were published as part of the second UN roundtable on sustainable floating cities. The event took place on Tuesday in New York.
Busan isn’t the only port city with plans for a floating city. In November 2021, Saudi Arabia announced plans to float an octagonal city on the Red Sea. This city, called Oxagon, is said to be home to the “first fully automated port and transshipment center” in the future.
As prestigious as the concepts of floating cities in South Korea or Saudi Arabia may be, they share a serious background: sea level rise, which is threatening existing infrastructure near the coast. Sea level is rising at an accelerating rate, according to the United Nations at an average of 0.4 centimeters per year between 2013 and 2021. This is compared to just 0.2 centimeters in 1993 and 2002.
Speaking at the UN roundtable on Tuesday, the organization said floating cities are “an innovative route to land reclamation for coastal cities that are severely homeless and are looking for sustainable ways to overcome the ocean,” also addressing itself to adapt to rising sea levels and climate change.
United Nations: “Floating cities” not a universal weapon in climate change
However, UN representatives also warned against viewing floating cities as a multi-purpose weapon against climate change. “They are part of a whole arsenal of adaptation to climate change; because they are floating and consequently flood proof “.
Floating cities have helped to completely rethink climate-neutral cities. And they could also be transported to areas where there are humanitarian crises, the United Nations said.
This text has been translated from English. You can read the original here.