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Oceanix, the Floating Utopian City That Would Save Coastal Communities
Humanity won’t be moving move to a fictional Waterworld anytime soon, but for 90 percent of the big cities and coastal communities, floating homes might just be that future.

Oceanix, the Floating Utopian City That Would Save Coastal Communities

Oceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communitiesOceanix City, the self-sufficient, floating, gorgeous habitat for coastal communities
For these communities, a solution like Oceanix City would be a lifesaver. Oceanix is a floating utopian city designed by Bjarke Ingels’ BIG for Oceanix and presented at last year’s UN High-level Roundtable on Sustainable Floating Cities, co-convened by Oceanix and MIT, the Explorers Club and UN-Habitat. It proposes a solution to rising sea levels, in which cities become halfway floating platforms and are entirely self-sufficient.

We’ve talked about floating cities before: the idea is popular with projects and concepts developed for coastal communities, which remain at increased risk from rising sea levels. Their problems will only get worse in the years to come, so concentrated efforts are being made in this direction.

On the other hand, BIG, and CEO Bjarke Ingels in particular, believes that floating habitats can save the people in these communities, for a very simple (and obvious reason): if the habitat rises with the sea levels, there can be no damage to speak of. Granted, moving an entire city to one such buoyant surface is an entirely different thing from moving to a decommissioned boat turned floating home, like Ingels did in his hometown Copehagen.

The biggest challenge is the amount of people and pretty much everything else you find in a city. Oceanix solves this problem by proposing a conglomeration of floating platforms / islands, grouped around in a hexagonal shape. One single platform can provide housing and sustenance for a community of 300 people. Six such platforms form a village, and several villages can group together in 10,000-strong cities.

These cities, in turn, are protected by wave-breaking outposts, moored to the sea floor, and fitted in such a way as to be self-sufficient and ideal for long-term habitation. They’re not luxury slash vacation locales, but actual habitable spaces for entire communities – with everything that entails. They would also be able withstand a category-five hurricane and be made of locally-sourced, “replenishable” materials.

We told you this is quite a utopian project.

Oceanix City would use only renewable, clean energy from the sun, wind, waves and the currents. Buildings would be low-rise and distributed evenly across the buoyant platform, to allow for a low center of gravity and stability, and would taper out at the top to create shade and offer as much space as possible for solar panels.

Zero-waste systems would be used. Fresh water autonomy would be achieved through rain water collection and recycling / reuse of graywater. The low edges of the platform offer direct access to water to residents. Underneath each island, there would be arrays of seaweed, oyster, mussel, scallop and clams to clean the water and accelerate ecosystem regeneration, BIG says.

Given the comparatively small surface, people living in these communities would have to take up a plant-based diet. Crops would be placed in the sheltered production spaces in the center of each floating island. That said, each city would be customizable depending on location, cultural considerations, and architectural preference and style.

Transport on and around these floating islands would be possible by foot, bicycle and rented / shared electric cars of small dimensions. Drones and all manners of boats would serve for transport in and out of the city, as well as for a variety of activities from leisure to subsistence.

If all this sounds too good to be true, wait until you hear this: despite how futuristic this city might look, it’s meant for common folk and is described as affordable – at least in theory. “It is our goal to make sure sustainable floating cities are affordable and available to all coastal areas in need,” Oceanix co-founder Marc Collins Chen said at the presentation. “They should not become a privilege of the rich.”

What a beautiful dream.

 
 
 
 
 

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