The management of global warming is one of the most important challenges that await our civilization at the turn. And to approach it calmly, a beautiful project will explore the viability of a floating autonomous city in South Korea.
In Europe, the South Korean city of Busan inevitably evokes the excellent horror film by Yeon Sang-ho which bears its name. Yet it is a major metropolis that hosts the largest port in the country, in addition to being an important center for industry and innovation. The city was thus chosen to host a pilot project with a unique floating city project.
This vast project was unveiled by the United Nations, SAMOO (Samsung group), the town hall of Busan and the American company OCEANIX. Together they want to build it all first prototype of a city not only entirely floating, but also sustainable. This is a direct response to the latest findings from organizations that monitor the impact, scope and evolution of global warming.
As everyone knows, this increase in global temperature goes hand in hand with a rise in the level of the oceans. This is a dynamic that will become a major problem for coastal countries, which must put in place drastic countermeasures; one thinks for example of the Netherlands, where the fight against the battering of the sea is already at the center of concerns.
An unsinkable and completely autonomous city
Many institutions, starting with the famous IPCC, therefore continue to sound the alarm in an ever more aggressive way (see our article). If this trend continues and the institution’s fears are confirmed, it therefore seems inevitable that a large part of the surface that is now emerged will end up under water.
Without giving in to catastrophism, however, many players are therefore beginning to develop solutions to respond to the consequences of this crisis. And that is precisely the goal of this city. It will be a “unsinkable infrastructure that rises with sea level“, while producing its own resources in complete autonomy.
Energy, for example, will be produced using photovoltaic panels. Some will be directly integrated into building structures; the rest will be produced by floating solar farms attached to the sides of this city-boat.
Water supply will be managed on an individual scale. Each resident will be responsible for extracting and treating their own stock of water. But it will be the opposite on the food side; all citizens should contribute to a single innovative system of urban agriculture. Obviously, the recycling will also play a prominent role.
According to OXEANIX, these dwellings will be brought together in a neighborhood that will function as a single independent and autonomous functional unit. Each of them will be able to accommodate approximately 12,000 residents on an area of 6.3 hectares. All that’s left then is to add more of these platforms to increase the size of the city while preserving the delicate balance that allows each neighborhood to thrive. The project will start with 3 units, but could quickly exceed 20 platforms if successful.
The future of urban planning in the era of global warming?
This consortium is not the only one working on the issue. We can for example cite the Maldive Floating City, another comparable project whose construction should begin this year. But the pedigree of actors engaged in the South Korean city suggests that this is the most mature project of its kind at present.
It will therefore be very interesting to follow its development. Obviously, this is not a turnkey solution that will allow us to ignore the consequences; but this fascinating engineering challenge at all levels could well represent a very promising avenue for limiting the consequences of global warming on humanity, if not being able to definitively solve the root of the problem.