Oceanix Busan to be world’s first floating city | Sustainable blueprint

A sustainable floating city prototype named Oceanix Busan is set to be built in South Korea next year, creating a liveable metropolis that adapts to rising sea levels. 

Visuals of the project, designed by BIG Architects, display a star-shaped community for 12,000 residents, constructed from self-healing biorock that supports ocean habitats. These renderings, supplied by UN-Habitat, the Busan Metropolitan City of the Republic of Korea and blue tech design company Oceanix, display the progressive vision of the flood-proof infrastructure that will produce its own energy, food, and fresh water. 

The buildings within the city will have distinct identities, each an experiment in passive design. The forms will be tuned to maximise solar capture and create comfortable indoor-outdoor spaces.

The interconnected neighbourhoods total 6.3 hectares, and each one is designed to serve a purpose – living, researching, and lodging

“Sustainable floating cities are a part of the arsenal of climate adaptation strategies available to us. Instead of fighting with water, let us learn to live in harmony with it,’ said the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, stressing that the battle to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals would be won or lost in cities. 

According to UN-Habitat, by the year 2050, 90% of the world’s largest cities will be exposed to rising seas. While the fact is that space on land is at a premium, we are now seeing some of the most innovative urban design for the future happening on water. It is clear that the call for these forward-thinking solutions is stronger than ever if we are to save our planet from detrimental damage. 

A visual showing platforms that are designed for energy efficiency. Abundant, clean, renewable energy from sun, wind, waves, and current are harnessed to power and cool the neighbourhood

“With the complex changes facing coastal cities, we need a new vision where it is possible for people, nature, and technology to co-exist. There is no better place than Busan to take the first step towards sustainable human settlements on the ocean, proudly built by Korea for the world,” said Mayor Park Heong-joon. 

Oceanix Busan is to be located in Busan on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula, where there’s a deep harbour and gentle tides.

A key goal of the prototype is “to cultivate a new generation of blue tech innovators, entrepreneurs, and researchers in Busan, by creating a vibrant ecosystem through collaboration between international and local partners,” according to Busan, UN-Habitat, and Oceanix. 

Low-rise buildings are distributed to balance weight evenly, and flexible, buoyant skirts accommodates docks and wind-breaks, and low edges allow residents direct access to the water

Learn about other research projects and forward-thinking architecture by BIG Architects.

Read more of the latest sustainability news on enki.

Looking for Something?