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Architecture firm BIG has designed a concept for a floating city of 10,000 people that could help populations threatened by extreme weather events and rising sea levels.

BIG founder Bjarke Ingels unveiled the scheme yesterday at a round-table discussion on floating cities at the United Nations’s New York headquarters.

Called Oceanix City, the concept consists of buoyant islands clustered together in groups of six to form villages. These clusters would then be repeated in multiples of six to form a 12-hectare village for 1,650 residents, and then again to form an archipelago home to 10,000 citizens.

“We’ve based it on this modular idea of a hexagonal island,” Ingels said in the presentation at the roundtable. “It has the omni-direction of a circle but it has the modularity and rationality of something manmade.”

Oceanix – a company that develops innovate ways to build on water – commissioned BIG to develop the concept, working with MIT‘s Center for Ocean Engineering and Oceanix.

The scheme was unveiled at the First UN High-level Roundtable on Sustainable Floating Cities, which Oceanix co-convened with MIT, the Explorers Club and UN-Habitat, a UN offshoot mandated to work with city development.

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