Floating cities

BIG_SFC_Oceanix-City_Image-by-BIG-Bjarke-Ingels-Group_54
Source: OCEANIX/BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Earlier this year, I came across an interesting article about recent developments in that old Sci-Fi dream potentially turning real-life application, the floating city. The idea is to create a floating platform, anchored to the ocean floor, which would provide room to live and work for, in this specific scenario, up to 10,000 people.

Oceanix, the organization on the practical end of this concept, has a lot more information on their website. And my inner nerd finds some of their ideas quite fascinating.

Vision or reality?

Admittedly, Oceanix’ website currently reads a little like a utopian phantasy. Lots of buzz words and a few promises that may or may not prove difficult to keep. Their blanket assurance that this platform can withstand a tsunami might not be the brightest idea in light of what happened 15 years ago in the Indian Ocean, but let’s for the moment write that one off to excessive enthusiasm.

03_BIG_SFC_OceanixCity_Top_Image-by-BIG-Bjarke-Ingels-Group-1
Source: OCEANIX/BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Aside from that, the collection of concepts that are supposed to go into the floating city feels pretty solid. And using what technology we have to create something outside established paradigms is definitely right up my alley. In this case, the scenarios range from solar power to communal farming to zero waste and beyond.

New approaches

Some aspects of this concept I find genuinely fascinating. Like Oceanix’ plans of tackling the question of decay, and thereby addressing the time-tested tendency of any ocean to spoil the best-laid plans. Maybe not of mice, but definitely of men.

Oceanix’ answer is Biorock, and its properties sound pretty cool. If it works the way it’s intended to, the question of decay might indeed be answered, at least as much as it reasonably can be.

Beyond technology

Source: OCEANIX/BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

06_BIG_SFC_OceanixCity_Balcony-View-to-Sea_Image-by-BIG-Bjarke-Ingels-Group-1
Source: OCEANIX/BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

As interesting as the technological aspects are, the concepts presented by Oceanix go well beyond creating yet another way to live the way we already do. They place a strong, though currently perhaps a little vague, emphasis on community, on sustainability, on living differently. Which to my way of thinking makes this all the more interesting. And I suppose it will take a different type of person to live out on the ocean in a large community anyway.

Early days

With many aspects of Oceanix City, information is perhaps a little thin on the ground, especially how far the planning process has proceeded, let alone where and when this will become a reality.

Some of those questions will probably not be answered with any degree of reliability anyway until this city has been built and has been actually floating on the surface of the ocean for a few years, fully operational and well populated. This includes the overall footprint, which will probably in part depend on how well the plans for food, waste recycling and other things work, and even more on how the residents take to this different form of living. Not to mention the actual way this city will be constructed, and what resources that will require. I’ll definitely be checking back from time to time, to see how this develops.

I for one could imagine living in a place like that. And enjoying it, too.

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