UN-Habitat, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Explorers Club, and private U.S. firm Oceanix announced Wednesday that the idea would be advanced via a collaborative effort. UN-Habitat, for reference, is a UN agency tasked with advocating for better living conditions and sustainable urban development.
Within months, according to Reuters, a prototype is planned to be made available to the public on the East River near UN headquarters.
In their mission statement, Oceanix touts its "next frontier" efforts at building floating cities for the purpose of sustainable living. "We believe humanity can live in harmony with life below water," the mission statement says. "It is not a question of one versus the other. The technology exists for us to live on water, while nature continues to thrive under."
The vision is that of Marc Collins Chen, Oceanix boss and former tourism minister for French Polynesia. Speaking at a UN discussion on floating cities Wednesday, Chen said the ultimate goal is to provide "resilience at the platform level" by building the cities to be self-sufficient. To counteract the potential problem of these possible floating cities being priced out of reality for the average person, Oceanix is also said to be looking into the idea of floating city homes for the underprivileged.
The Biorock-supported platforms themselves are projected to be built as hexagons, with a group of six constituting a village. With a total of six villages, the proposed floating city set-up could hold roughly 10,000 people while also being able to withstand inclement weather such as Category 5 hurricanes. Vehicular transportation, per Business Insider, would be limited, although autonomous vehicle compatibility could be worked into the plans at a later date.