As part of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda, renowned architecture firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), has proposed a vision for the world’s first resilient and sustainable floating community for 10,000 residents.
Research by C40 indicates that by 2050, over 570 low-lying coastal cities will face projected sea level rise by at least 0.5 metres. This puts over 800 million people at risk from the impacts of rising seas and storm surges.
BIG’s modular maritime metropolis, Oceanix City, was designed to provide a habitable, offshore environment in the event of coastal cities being impacted by events such as erosion or flooding.
Modular neighbourhoods of two hectares would create thriving self-sustaining communities of up to 300 residents with mixed space for living, working and gathering.
All built structures in the neighbourhood would be below seven storeys to create a low centre of gravity and resist wind.
Every building would also fan outwards to self-shade internal spaces and the public realm – providing comfort and lower cooling costs while maximising roof area for solar energy.
The proposal envisions communal farming to be at the heart of every platform, allowing residents to embrace a culture of sharing and zero waste systems.
Beneath the platforms, bio-rock floating reefs, seaweed, oysters, mussel, scallop and clam farming would clean the water and accelerate ecosystem regeneration.
By clustering six neighbourhoods around a protected central harbour, larger villages of 12 hectares would accommodate up to 1650 residents.
Social, recreational, and commercial functions are placed around the sheltered inner ring to encourage citizens to gather and move around the village.
Combining the six villages would create a 75-hectare city of 10,000 people. A larger and more protected harbour would form the heart of the city.
Residents would maneuver around the city by foot, boat or by using electric vehicles.
All communities regardless of size would prioritise locally sourced materials for construction such as fast-growing bamboo (that has six times the tensile strength of steel, a negative carbon footprint and can be grown on the neighbourhoods themselves).
Floating cities would be fabricated onshore and towed to their final site, reducing construction costs.
BIG believes this, combined with the low cost of lasing space on the ocean, creates an affordable model of living which could be rapidly deployed to coastal megacities in dire need.