The race to combat climate change is an ongoing journey, ramping up during the late 20th century when researchers gained hard evidence to back their hypotheses.
Today, scientists continue to amass proof backing up the concept of human-induced emissions and their adverse effects on the planet. Potential outcomes include sea-level rise, ocean bleaching, unpredictable weather, an increase in natural disasters like tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and many other effects.
The alarming evidence now has consumers, companies, and governments pushing for technology development focusing on reducing atmospheric emissions, resulting in a slew of alternative energies and carbon capture designs.
Though the approach is most certainly appropriate, some engineers are focusing on adaptive measures rather than preventative ones. Such is the case with OCEANIX.
A New Way of Living
Described as "humanity's next frontier," OCEANIX is "a company that designs and builds floating cities for people to live sustainably on the ocean."
Plans for the "world's first prototype of a resilient and sustainable floating community" in Busan, South Korea, were recently unveiled at the United Nations headquarters, causing a frenzy of media attention.
The design incorporates three main platforms connected by walkways, all neatly integrated with eco-friendly materials to emphasize living in harmony with nature.
There will be a lodging platform for visitors, a research platform, and a living platform. As it stands, OCEANIX's Busan prototype will expand over just around 15 acres, enough to support a 12,000-person capacity. Though three platforms may not seem like much, the company states that the scalable design has the potential to expand and house up to 100,000 individuals.
The city will boast freshwater autonomy, zero-waste systems, shared mobility, plant-based food, habitat regeneration, and net-zero energy thanks to impressive solar, wind, and wave energy integration.
"We cannot solve today's problems with yesterday's tools. We need to innovate solutions to global challenges. But in this drive for innovation, let's be inclusive and equitable and ensure we leave no one and no place behind," said Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the Executive Director of the UN-Habitat.
"In designing a solution
for the most vulnerable coastal locations on the frontlines of climate change, OCEANIX's new modular maritime neighborhoods will be a prototype for sustainable communities informed by Busan's unique juxtaposition of old and new. Creating a connection between the city and the seaside, OCEANIX Busan will expand this spirit onto the waterfront."
Currently, the specifics on how OCEANIX will integrate alternative energy into the build remain private. An examination of prototype photos and current technology suggests the potential for solar PV panel installation on rooftops and wind energy installation on small, artificial islands surrounding the main platforms. Since wave energy installation will depend on local tides, OCEANIX will likely choose a form that best caters to the location's strengths.
The city's proposed aquatic location allows for renewable energies to function at maximum efficiency, making their incorporation much more impactful on the city's sustainability goals.
A Preventative Solution
An amalgamation of events can cause a rise in sea level. The main instigator is increased global emissions, warming the planet and melting ice in the Arctic and Antarctica, resulting in excess water runoff into the ocean.
According to the UN, 90 percent of megacities worldwide face the threat of rising sea levels. "Flooding is destroying billions of dollars worth of infrastructure and forcing millions of climate refugees to leave their homes."
In a nutshell, rising sea levels could significantly affect millions to billions of people.
OCEANIX claims its design can adapt to ocean changes that render it immune to sea-level rise. The potential to adapt to various locations could make the floating city a vital player in the future of civilization.
Construction has not officially started, but the project is expected to be completed sometime after 2025.
"As Mayor of the Metropolitan City of Busan, I take seriously our commitment to the credo 'The First to the Future.' We joined forces with UN-Habitat and OCEANIX to be the first to prototype and scale this audacious idea because our common future is at stake in the face of sea-level rise and its devastating impact on coastal cities," said Park Heong-Joon.