Since 1880, the average global sea level has risen between 8 and 9 inches and one-third of that sea level rise has happened in the last 25 years, and the average sea level rise is projected at between 10 to 12 inches by 2050. However, building a floating city on the sea will mitigate the effects of sea level rise on small islands and low-lying coasts. Busan, a city in Korea is home to 3.4 million residents, located close to the sea. To adapt to the rising seawater, Busan signed a partnership with Oceanix and The United Nations Human Settlements Program in 2021 to develop a city that floats on the sea. The prototype is made of interconnected platforms that total 15.5 acres in surface area. Each platform of the city is designed for a specific use, like living spaces, research facilities. Platforms are connected by bridges. (Clifford, 2022)
The City’s construction is focusing on six principles, each harnessing existing rather than future technologies, allowing for implementation now that can be continuously iterated upon as new concepts develop: net-zero energy, fresh water autonomy, plant-based food, zero waste systems, shared mobility and habitat regeneration. (Oceanix， 2022)
The city will take advantage of its location to harness energy from waves, wind, solar and other innovative sources as possible. Physical structures throughout the city utilize solar roofs, which will be topped by wind turbines. Waves will be converted into power by current generators, and wave energy converters. Biofuels and other sustainable energy sources are produced via algae reactors connected to surface-level filtration systems.
The city eliminates the production of animal-based food products on its own land, massively reducing the strain on soil, energy and water needs. The diet will be predominantly plant-based, combined with locally produced seafood.
Zero Waste Systems:
The waste that is produced is utilized circularly via community compost gardens, anaerobic digesters, and compost-driven community gardens. Wherever possible, single-use products are not used in the first place and replaced with cost-competitive reusable alternatives.(Oceanix, 2022)
The city’s modular, hexagonal design makes transportation easier compared to others. No fossil fuel-based motorized transportation is found in the City; instead, existing methods of electric, autonomous and shared systems thrive, from electric delivery cars, boats and passenger submersibles to unnamed aerial vehicles for delivery.
Biorock is an ocean-based alternative to cement. Via a low-voltage electric current, the material trickles a charge throughout steel structures, preventing rusting or corrosion but allowing for the growth of beneficial solid limestone rock and regeneration of coral reefs, oysters, sea grasses, salt marshes, mangroves, fisheries, and coastal ecosystems where there is no natural recovery.
Compounded by explosive population growth, the UN estimates that climate change will displace roughly 200 million people each year by 2050, creating an unprecedented global housing and humanitarian crisis that will require first-principle, ground-up transformations of how we live and organize ourselves. (Oceanix, 2022)The big picture: While the idea of floating cities isn’t new, no one has actually built one like this before, so the concept’s future could be decided by the success of this prototype — OCEANIX is hopeful it’ll soon be constructing floating cities around the world.(Houser, 2022).
Clifford, C. (2022, April 26). Here’s what the world’s first floating city in Busan, South Korea, could look like. CNBC. Retrieved August 6, 2022, from https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/26/worlds-first-floating-city-prototype-busan-south-korea.html
Houser, K. (2022, May 11). See the world’s first Floating City: Oceanix busan. Freethink. Retrieved August 6, 2022, from https://www.freethink.com/environment/floating-city-36248
Oceanix. Helena. (2022). Retrieved August 6, 2022, from https://helena.org/projects/oceanix