The UN just unveiled a design for a new floating city that can withstand Category 5 hurricanes
- The United Nations just unveiled a concept for a floating city that can hold around 10,000 residents.
- The city is built to withstand natural disasters like floods, tsunamis, and hurricanes.
- The design comes from architect Bjarke Ingels and floating city builder Oceanix.
- At a roundtable on Wednesday, the UN said floating cities could help protect people from sea-level rise while addressing the lack of affordable housing in major cities.
What once seemed like the moonshot vision of tech billionaires and idealistic architects could soon become a concrete solution to several of the world's most pressing challenges.
At a United Nations roundtable on Wednesday, a group of builders, engineers, and architects debuted a concept for an affordable floating city.
Unlike instances in the past when these futuristic designs have been met with skepticism, the executive director of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat), Maimunah Mohd Sharif, said the UN would support and shepherd this project to fruition.
"Everybody on the team actually wants to get this built," said Marc Collins, the CEO of Oceanix, a company that builds floating structures. "We're not just theorizing."
The company believes a floating city project would address both dire housing shortages and threats from rising sea levels. The structures themselves would be designed to withstand all sorts of natural disasters, including floods, tsunamis, and Category 5 hurricanes.
Read more: Silicon Valley's largest city wants to house the homeless in floating apartments
The concept, known as Oceanix City, was designed by renowned architect Bjarke Ingels in collaboration with Oceanix. Though it still needs funding, it's essentially a toolkit for investors brave enough to take on the project.
Here's what the city might look like if it comes to life.
The city would essentially be a collection of hexagonal platforms that can each hold around 300 residents.
The designers consider a group of six platforms to be a "village." The entire city would contain six villages, for a total of around 10,000 residents.
The villages wouldn't allow any high-emitting cars or trucks.
The concept calls for "ocean farming," which would involve growing food beneath the surface of the water.
Though it's referred to as a "floating city," the community would actually be moored to the ocean floor.
The city could also contain an aquifer system that pulls clean water out of the air.
The city would not contain any high-rises. To keep a low center of gravity, buildings would be between four and seven stories.
The designers recognize, of course, that most people will continue to live on land in the future.
Pulling off a floating city concept is difficult, but within reach. It's somewhat akin to landing on the moon.
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