Oceanix, an oceanic smart city
We’re not talking about a cinematic adaptation of the film Waterworld with Kevin Costner here, but about reality! Since Stephen Hawking himself shortened his prediction in announcing the apocalypse in 600 years, human intelligence hasn’t stopped trying to come up with new ways to escape climate change.
Scientists estimate the earth’s population will be 16.5 billion in 2100. Keep in mind the numerous consequences which, according to them, will create an over-consumption of resources and atmospheric pollution.
Confronted with this problem, several solutions have been envisioned, including the colonization of planets in the solar system. A utopian dream for some, but an actual way out for others. Scientists are currently searching for the perfect planet with the same characteristics as Earth. But none have been found yet.
Other initiatives have also not seen the light of day, such as Survivalism, the on-the-fringe practice of preparing for natural disasters through the use of natural resources, or the more experimental practice of Resilience, which centers around preparing the public for risks.
Oceanix City: three islands on a city-wide scale
Oceanix City is the name of a United Nations project which seeks to create inhabitable islands in the sea. The community would be built around:
Each of the islands in this category could accommodate up to 300 people on two hectares. They would be reserved exclusively for housing for temporary islanders with dedicated spaces for working.
A grouping of islands for 1,650 people on 12 hectares, i.e. six neighborhoods. The goal is to recreate a suburb with nearby shops and leisure activities designed for community living, thus encouraging exchanges on the outskirts, with direct access to the city by foot or boat.
The assembled islands could contain more than 10,000 people on 75 hectares, i.e. the population of a city for an area that’s a bit bigger than the island of Manhattan. The ratio could be a bit troubling, but the scale is designed to compensate for endemic overcrowding at refugee reception sites.
Floating cities: Atlantis revisited
Developed for sheltering climate refugees, these islands would be designed to withstand severe weather. The specifications are designed for resisting category 5 hurricanes through their use of durable materials.
The buildings are limited to seven stories in height. And below the surface, the focus is on locally-sourced food. There’s actually a planned inclusion of underwater farming for raising seafood.
Also ecological, these hexagonal platforms will have an integrated waste disposal system via pipes which transport all refuse to a recycling center. But recycling won’t stop there. A rainwater recovery and desalination system is already being studied.
The ocean covers 2/3 of the planet. Its surface area is much larger that of land, and with a higher level of consciousness on better living and taking the environment into consideration, the project is getting a lot of attention but, sadly, not much in terms of financing. The project is still under study. And some fear that what’s intended for refugee populations will end up serving a wealthy clientele looking to display their wealth.
To read: Resilience and climate change