Working with the United Nations (UN), Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has proposed a vision for a sustainable, modular, floating city capable of housing 10,000 people.

Part of UN-Habitat’s New urban Agenda, the design of ‘Oceanix City’ is a response to predictions of rising sea levels that will lead to mass displacement and the destruction of homes and infrastructure.

According to BIG, the city is designed to grow, transform and adapt over time. It will include modular neighbourhoods of around 2 hectares, which will have mixed-use space for living, working and socialising.

oceanix city living

Key principles of the design include:

  • Economical modular construction
  • Net-zero energy
  • Fresh water autonomy
  • Zero waste systems
  • Plant-based diet
  • Habitat regeneration
  • Locally-sourced recyclable materials
  • Diverse program
  • Shared mobility
  • Sharing culture

Buildings will fan out to self-shade internal spaces and public realm, lowering cooling costs and miximising the roof area for solar capture. Communal farming will be at the heart of each neighbourhood, encouraging residents to share and adopt zero waste systems.

The cities are intended to be prefabricated on land and towed to their final site. BIG argues that these low construction costs paired with the low cost of leasing space on the ocean will foster an affordable model of living. This means that low-cost housing can be rapidly deployed to coastal megacities in need.

The first Oceanix Cities will be calibrated for coastal areas deemed the most vulnerable. Some of these areas include countries in Southern Asia, the top of Australia and the north and north-east countries of South America. Other possibilities include the eastern and south-eastern United States, north and north-east Asia and eastern Australia.