The Prototype For The World's First Floating City Is Finally Here

Imagining a city with lots of water may produce an image similar to Venice, Italy, with land-based buildings and lanes upon lanes of water in between. However, the future may soon refine that image and turn it into something else entirely: a fully sustainable, buoyant, and lively city built entirely on water. Sound unrealistic? Such a concept might be closer than you think. The first prototype for a floating city, which is set to be built in Busan, South Korea, has just been revealed.

The need for the world's first floating city stems from ongoing climate changes and the rise in global sea levels that follows. For a bustling maritime hub such as Busan, which ranks 6th on the list of the world's busiest ports (via, the constant rise in water levels could prove disastrous one day. This is why the local government decided to team up with the United Nations and "floating city" design firm Oceanix in order to set up the first such city right there in Busan.

After working on the project for a while, the UN, the city of Busan, and Oceanix are now able to present very clear renders of what the city may look like. The images are breathtaking, and while futuristic, they offer insight into what is supposed to become reality in just a few years.

The city may be ready in just a few years

According to Oceanix, the city will be able to accommodate around 12,000 people, and it can be expanded in the future to house up to 100,000. The yet-unnamed floating city will be made up of several platforms connected by a series of bridges and will be divided into different sections, including lodgings, living areas, and research buildings. The structures will be modern in their design, low-rise, and offer plenty of outdoor space in between. The mockups show a lot of greenery, street stalls, shops, and leisure areas stretched across a total of 15.5 acres of surface area.

Every bit of water used within the floating city will be treated and recycled on site. It will also rely on solar panels to generate and cover all of its energy needs. These panels will be spread around the city, both on rooftops and floating on the sea itself. While it will allow driving on its perimeters, the city will only permit electric vehicles in order to keep the air as clean as possible.

Itai Madamombe, Oceanix's co-founder, spoke to Insider in 2021 about the upcoming city in Busan. She said that the estimated cost of the project is around $200 million, and we may see the first parts of the city as soon as 2025, although it's unclear when people will be given the chance to purchase apartments and eventually move in.