Itai Madamombe's Startup Is Building The World’s First Floating City In South Korea, Take A Look

The design of the world’s first prototype sustainable floating city called OCEANIX Busan was recently unveiled at the UN Headquarters. It’s the first project for Oceanix, a New York City-based startup that has partnered with the city on the development, along with multiple other partners, including UN-Habitat, a United Nations program focused on sustainable development. 

OCEANIX, a blue tech company based in New York, first unveiled its concept in April 2019. The plans have now undergone more detailed design work and architectural visualization, with South Korea's port city of Busan chosen as the first location to host one of these futuristic habitats.

Oceanix cofounders Itai Madamombe and Marc Collins Chen “were both concerned about sea-level rise and its impact on coastal cities,” says Madamombe. “And we were also concerned about the land shortages in coastal cities and how they drive the price of housing up.”

OCEANIX Busan is the world’s first prototype of a resilient and sustainable floating community. The interconnected neighbourhoods total 6.3 hectares to accommodate a community of 12,000 people. Each neighbourhood is designed to serve a specific purpose - living, research, and lodging. 

There are between 30,000 to 40,000 square meters of mixed-use programs per neighbourhood. The floating platforms connect to the land with link-span bridges framing the sheltered blue lagoon of floating recreation, art, and performance outposts. The low-rise buildings on each platform, defined by their soft lines, feature terraces for indoor-outdoor living, helping to activate the network of vibrant public spaces. 

OCEANIX Busan will organically transform and adapt over time. Starting from a community of 3 platforms with 12,000 residents and visitors, it has the potential to expand to more than 20 platforms. The floating platforms are accompanied by dozens of productive outposts with photovoltaic panels and greenhouses that can expand and contract over time based on the needs of Busan. 

OCEANIX Busan has six integrated systems: zero waste and circular systems, closed-loop water systems, food, net-zero energy, innovative mobility, and coastal habitat regeneration. These interconnected systems will generate 100% of the required operational energy on-site through floating and rooftop photovoltaic panels. Similarly, each neighbourhood will treat and replenish its own water, reduce and recycle resources, and provide innovative urban agriculture.

Itai Madamombe is a Co-founder at Oceanix. She was also the senior advisor to Ban Ki-moon, then Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 2007 - December 2016.

Madamombe spent the same decade cultivating multi-stakeholder partnerships focused on innovation and entrepreneurship on a global scale. She had a unique perspective, an extensive international network, and the skill set to rally diverse actors to solve intractable networked challenges. She holds a Masters's Degree in Public Health from Harvard University.

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Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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