Ambitious plans for amazing futuristic floating “water lilies” cities with driverless cars and unmanned helicopters have been unveiled.
The designs for a series of giant artificial islands off the island of Penang in Malaysia would be the largest such project ever built.
The plans were first published in 2020 by Danish architecture and design firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in collaboration with Denmark-based engineering firm Ramboll and famed Malay architect Hijjas bin Kasturi.
The massive project, when completed, would include three artificial floating islands covering a total area of 1,821 hectares, roughly the size of 2,550 soccer fields.
Each island would be modeled in the shape of a lily pad and would include mixed-use districts, up to 5km of public beaches, 242 hectares of parkland and a 25km waterfront.
The islands could each support between 15,000 and 18,000 residents, with most of the buildings made from a combination of bamboo, locally sourced wood and so-called “green concrete” that uses recycled materials.
Most futuristic would be that the islands would be connected by a completely anonymous transportation network using self-driving cars and unmanned helicopters.
This would make the floating city completely car-free, with a focus on pedestrians and cyclists.
Called BiodiverCity, the goal is to create a “global destination” to bring tourism and jobs to Penang without damaging the island’s unique coastline and natural landscapes.
It is part of the local government’s Penang2030 vision.
“Our master plan proposal, BiodiverCity, supports the Penang2030 vision with a clear focus on livability, promoting socially and economically inclusive development, and environmental sustainability for future generations,” said BIG.
“BiodiverCity will be a new sustainable global destination where cultural, environmental and economic growth is assured and where people and nature coexist in one of the most biodiverse places on earth on the south coast of Penang Island.”
A glossy video for the project features autonomous buggies cruising across waterways and between stunning futuristic buildings and soothing palm trees.
“If Penang is defined by its rich cultural diversity and rich biodiversity, we would like to envision the South Islands of Penang as an archipelago where the two can coexist in a man-made ecosystem, expanding and enhancing each other,” BIG founders Bjarke Ingels said.
“We proposed the creation of urban lily pads organized by a cellular structure of neighborhoods connected by natural patches and habitat corridors.”
The first island built would be called Channels, including a “Civic Heart” for government and research facilities.
Alongside this would be a Cultural Coast district intended to resemble Penang’s capital, George Town.
The island would have at its heart a 200-acre digital park, which the designers say, for locals and guests alike to “explore the world of technology, robotics and virtual reality.”
A second island, Mangroves, would be found in the center of BiodiverCity.
This would include business districts centered around the Bamboo Beacon, a massive venue for major events and conferences.
The districts would be organized around a series of urban wetlands and native mangrove forests.
The final island, The Laguna, is described by its designers as a “miniature archipelago” made up of eight smaller islands centered around a central marina.
Residents would live in a mix of floating homes, stilt houses and townhouses surrounded by marine life spawning grounds to protect native wildlife.
It’s not the only notable concept designed by BIG.
Elsewhere, the company is working on plans for a “city of the future” in Japan.
The ambitious project, created in partnership with Toyota, would be built next to Mount Fuji.
The first phase of the city, made up mostly of wooden buildings and built on the site of a former car factory, would have autonomous vehicles only.
It is one of several incredible futuristic “floating city” plans currently being developed around the world.
One such plan is an £8 billion, one-mile Freedom Ship that could carry 100,000 people on an endless cruise around the world.
While Italian design firm Lazzarini has unveiled plans for a giant turtle-shaped “terayacht” with room for 60,000 passengers.
When completed, it would be the largest marine structure ever built.
It also published blueprints for a floating city project off the coast of China, including underwater roads for submarines.
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9887153/inside-floating-lilypad-city-of-future-self-driving-cars/ Inside the incredible blueprint for a floating “lilypad” city of the future with self-driving cars and unmanned helicopters