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BIG unveils vision for a sustainable, floating city

The project is dubbed Oceanix City.

April 05, 2019 |

All renderings courtesy BIG

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) recently unveiled its vision for Oceanix City, a man-made ecosystem designed to grow, transform, and adapt organically over time, evolving from neighborhoods to cities with the possibility of scaling indefinitely. The idea was shown as part of the first UN high-level roundtable on Sustainable Floating Cities.

Oceanix City would be made up of modular neighborhoods of 2 hectares each that create self-sustaining communities of up to 300 residents. The neighborhoods would provide mixed-use space for living, working, and gathering. The built structures in the neighborhoods wouldn’t rise higher than seven stories to create a low center of gravity and resist wind. The buildings fan out to self-shade internal spaces and the public realm to lower cooling costs and maximize roof area for solar capture. Communal farming makes up the heart of each platform. Underneath the platforms, biorock floating reefs, seaweed, oysters, mussels, scallops, and clam farming clean the water and accelerate ecosystem regeneration.



Six neighborhoods can be clustered around a protected central harbor to create larger villages of 12 hectares that can accommodate up to 1,650 residents. A sheltered inner ring is surrounded by social, recreational, and commercial functions to encourage citizens to gather and move around the village. Residents can use electric vehicles to easily walk or boat through the city.



Six villages can then connect to reach a critical density and form a city of 10,000 residents. A large, protected harbor is formed at the center of the city and each city will include six landmark neighborhoods with a public square, market place, and centers for spirituality, learning, health, sport, and culture. These landmark neighborhoods will draw residents from across the city and anchor each neighborhood in a unique identity.


See Also: AIA awards six projects with the 2019 AIA/ALA Library Building Award


The floating cities can be prefabricated on shore and towed to their final destination, and when this is paired with the low cost of leasing space on the ocean, it creates an affordable model of living that can be rapidly deployed to coastal megacities in dire need.



In addition to BIG, Oceanix City collaborators include: MIT Center for Ocean Engineering, Mobility in Chain, Sherwood Design Engineers, Center for Zero Waste Design, Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Global Coral Reef Alliance, Studio Other Spaces (Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann), Dickson Despommier.



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