Land reclamation from the sea has become a popular phenomenon in coastal development. It is the most preferred solution to the need for land in coastal areas and has been implemented for various use cases, including flood control and agriculture. Nowadays, it has become a famous urban response to the rapid increase in coastal urbanization, economic activity, and global population. Countries like China and the Netherlands lead the chart on the amount of land area reclaimed. However, most reclamation projects today take place within urban centers in the global south. Cities in West Africa, East Asia, and the Middle East produce these new lands as economic forerunners for their commercial industry and as platforms to house luxury residences.
But the relationship between the design and production of reclaimed lands and the response of water in ocean environments is complex. It requires a symbiotic relationship with water bodies for stability but can provoke natural forces when negligently imposed on the sea. Ocean water behaviors, including tidal accumulation, sea level rise, connection to wetlands, and aquatic biodiversity, can question the success or failure of land reclamation projects in different contexts.
The threat of climate change is looming before us. Sea level rise concerns over 410 million people at risk of losing their livelihoods. Coastal cities are choked with high-rise buildings and traffic-laden roads, consuming land insufficiently. Synthesizing these problems, architects across the world have proposed a potential answer - floating cities. A future of living on water seems like a radical shift from how people live, work, and play. Vernacular precedents prove otherwise, offering inspiration for what our cities could morph into. As world leaders discuss courses of action to tackle climate change at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, ArchDaily dives into the concept of radical water-based settlements.
UN-Habitat and blue tech firm OCEANIX unveiled the design of the world’s first prototype for a sustainable floating city, to be hosted by Busan. The project is intended to provide a scalable framework of development for coastal cities facing land shortages and rising sea levels. With a population of 3.4 million people, Busan is the second-largest city in the Republic of Korea and, at the same time, one of the most important maritime cities, making it a suitable environment for deploying the floating city prototype.
The collaboration of Seiyong Kim, Yongwon Kwon, Sungyeon Hwang and Wonyang Architecture has won second place in the International Ideas Competition for Establishing Busan Station as The Cub of Creative Economy in Busan, Korea. The competition sought out proposals to revitalize the original downtown area, Busan Station is the starting point for a larger Busan North Port redevelopment project.