By 2030, approximately 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities that are exposed to grave economic, social, and environmental pressures. Further, approximately 90 percent of the largest global cities are vulnerable to rising sea levels. Out of the world’s 22 megacities with a population of more than 10 million, 15 are located along the ocean’s coasts.Serious stuff, all discussed at today’s high-level round table in New York hosted by UN-Habitat, the UN’s coalition on affordable and sustainable housing, along with the MIT Center for Ocean Engineering, the Explorers Club, and OCEANIX, a group investing in floating cities on this new marine frontier. Bjarke Ingels of BIG—architects of the "Dryline" around lower Manhattan—unveiled his design for a prototypical floating city today, which would be made out of mass timber and bamboo. This proposal would be “flood proof, earthquake-proof, and tsunami-proof,” according to Marc Collins Chen, co-Founder and CEO of OCEANIX. The renderings show a series of modular hexagonal islands with a productive landscape, where bamboo grown on the “islands” could be used to make glulam beams. BIG envisions the cities as zero-waste, energy-positive and self-sustaining. The necessary food to feed the population would be grown on the islands. BIG has put toether a kit of parts for each part of the man-made ecosystem: a food kit of parts, a waste kit of parts. Each island would be prefabricated onshore and towed to its location in the archipelago. What would living on one of these islands be like? "All of the aspects of human life would be accommodated," according to Ingels. They would dedicate seven islands to public life, including a spiritual center, a cultural center, and a recreation center. "It won't be like Waterworld. Its another form of human habitat that can grow with its success." Oceanix City, as it is called, features mid-rise housing around a shared, green public space where agriculture and recreation co-exist. Underground greenhouses are embedded in the “hull” of the floating city, while in the sky, drones would buzz by with abandon. The systems on each city would be connected, where waste, food, water, and mobility are connected. Because the cities are towable, they can be moved in the event of a weather event. Land reclamation (creating new land by pouring sand in the ocean) is no longer seen as sustainable, as it uses precious sand resources and causes coastal areas to lose protective wetlands and mangroves. Could floating cities be the way forward for expanding our cities as we deal with the consequences of climate change and sea-level rise? According to the coalition, “Sustainable Floating Cities offer a clean slate to rethink how we build, live, work, and play…They are about building a thriving community of people who care about the planet and every life form on it.” Doesn't this sound a lot like the Seasteading Institute, the infamous group of libertarian utopianists who want to break away from land and society altogether? For Collins, his floating infrastructure is less ideological, and more about infrastructure technology. These floating cities would be positioned near protected coastal areas, less ocean-faring pirate states and more extensions of areas threatened by rising sea levels. "These cities have to be accessible to everyone. We can't build broad support for this without populist thinking," said Richard Wiese, the president of the Explorers Club. The first prototypes will start small, even though they are thinking big. The 4.5-acre pods will house 300 people, while the goal is to scale the system by repeating the unit until the city can hold 10,000 people. Can floating cities be more sustainable and affordable than building on land? Would they only be for the rich? Would they be self-sufficient? Would they prevent climate gentrification and curb climate migration? Or, as has been the case in the past, will the idea prove too expensive to actually build?
Posts tagged with "BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group":
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf referred to the plan as “the right project, in the right neighborhood, and at the right price to our taxpayers” in a statement.
The A’s are currently attempting to work out a deal for use of the Coliseum, including purchasing the complex outright for $135 million. A project timeline has not been finalized, but Kaval has indicated a desire to have the park open for the 2021 season.
AN spotted the ball in Burning Man's official Youtube live stream of the event. The stream peers around the site of the event, known as the Playa to festival-goers, who are also known as Burners. Jakob Lange posted a construction image of The ORB last week to his Instagram account, but neither architect has released official imagery of the project. Burning Man is a temporary event in the Nevada desert where thousands of participants camp, build temporary structures, and engage in various activities of a psychedelic nature. In recent years Burning Man has become synonymous with Silicon Valley and the way in which counter-cultural experiences can be commodified as expensive entertainment. Basic tickets to the week-long festival cost upwards of $300. According to the architects, The ORB will be "a new planet to sci-fi fans, a wayfinder for travelers or just a huge disco ball to those who love a good party!" Although it appears to float above the ground, the 83-foot sphere is held up by a 105-foot steel mast. Renderings and prototype studies showed a mirrored metallic surface to the object, although in the live stream it appears to be either duller or covered in desert dust. The structure will be up during the festival this week, when it will be presumably be dismantled or destroyed along with the rest of the festival's structures.