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Are Floating Cities in Our Future?

National

Oceanix City comprises hexagonal modules. | Image by Oceanix

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Some developers are eying adaption to potential changes in sea level rather than preventing it and are investigating the use of amphibious cities and buoyant homes to offset the concerns posed by rising sea levels.

Oceanix CEO Philip Hoffman is developing a prototype for a floating city, which he hopes will help mitigate the effects of climate change, CNBC reported.

“The floating city will consist of multiple islands, so to say,” Hoffman told CNBC. “But one island is 1.6 hectares, which is about four acres, and it fits around 3,000 people.”

The plan proposed by Oceanix consists of three “islands,” which are self-contained neighborhoods equivalent to city blocks. The islands are divided into three categories: hospitality, research, and living. Each of them will cost between $150 million and $200 million.

The prototype is slated for construction in the harbor near Busan, South Korea. The United Nations Human Settlements Program is monitoring the project to determine whether it can be used as a model for the rest of the world.

“We really hope that it will be a successful project, and we would like to replicate it in other parts of the world,” Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program, explained to CNBC. “I’m not scared of failure. But I think we learn from that. So let’s do it.”

In addition to the idea of floating city blocks, some have proposed refitting homes to be amphibious, which could preserve accessibility to homesteads.

Elizabeth English, director and founder of The Buoyant Foundation Project, developed a method to place elements in the steel frame of a house’s foundation to allow it to float.

The idea may help communities adapt to higher sea levels, English told CNBC, but she also warned that the cost could be very expensive.

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