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The world's first floating city could be completed as early as 2025.
For many years, architects and engineers have discussed building such a pioneering conurbation, but turning these visions into reality has proven difficult, with local governments unwilling to sign off on such ambitious proposals.
A breakthrough came on Thursday (18 November) though, when the South Korean city of Busan gave such a city the go-ahead, in collaboration with the project's designer, OCEANIX, and the UN Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat).
Reports claim it's been proposed that the city will cover 75 hectares and will accommodate 10,000 residents. It will be comprised of many hexagonal islands, with each two-hectare neighbourhood home to communities of 300.
Neighbourhoods will be grouped in clusters of six around a protected central harbour, forming a village of up to 1,650 residents.
The city 'is designed to grow, transform and adapt organically over time, evolving from neighbourhoods, to village, to cities with the possibility of scaling', but the design and future expansion plans aren't set in stone just yet.
Itai Madamombe, co-founder of OCEANIX, told Insider: "It just happened that Busan is the best place for us to deploy this prototype.
"But this is something that we hope will be useful to all coastal cities around the world, and all coastal communities who are facing the challenge of sea-level rise."
The idea is that the city will rise with the sea and therefore be flood-proof, while also producing its own energy, fresh water and food, with cages under the islands used to house seafood.
OCEANIX will now work with local designers to tailor the city to the local area, with the results to be presented to a UN roundtable in April.
The cost is estimated at $200 million (£149 million).
Madamombe said: "All together, it will take a total of three years. So we anticipate that by 2025, we'll see this prototype in water."
And this is just the start, with OCEANIX currently in talks with 10 other governments about creating floating cities, which the company believes could offer an ideal living solution in coastal areas threatened by rising sea levels.
The OCEANIX website explains: "Floating cities can be prefabricated on shore and towed to their final site, reducing construction costs.
"This paired with the low cost of leasing space on the ocean creates an affordable model of living.
"These factors mean that affordable housing can be rapidly deployed to coastal megacities in dire need."
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