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Busan presents itself as suitable UN partner to build prototype of sustainable floating city

By Lim Chang-won Posted : August 6, 2021, 10:49 Updated : August 6, 2021, 10:49

[Courtesy of Busan City]

SEOUL -- Busan, a main maritime gateway in South Korea, hopes to participate in a United Nations project to build sustainable floating cities which have been presented as a solution to ensure climate resilience. The port city was enthusiastic, saying it would seek to conclude a partnership agreement early with UN-Habitat, a UN agency responsible for sustainable urban development.

In a video conference with Victor Kisob, the deputy executive director of UN-Habitat, on August 5, Mayor Park Heong-joon recommended the city as a suitable place to participate in research and construction of a prototype. "If the working-level consultation is completed smoothly, we will actively cooperate as a partner city."

As the world’s coastal cities are increasingly threatened by rising populations and sea levels, the United Nations is exploring a new approach to building offshore hubs of habitation. UN-Habitat is looking for a partner city to carry out its floating city project.

Busan has not unveiled a specific model for a floating city. However, Park was upbeat, saying his proposal reflects "the world's best technology in shipbuilding plants" near Busan. "UN's goal of preparing for rising sea levels due to greenhouse gas emissions is in line with the direction of our policy to achieve carbon neutrality."

With major industrial complexes and shipyards located within an hour's drive, Busan is undergoing a structural change to become a smart port using artificial intelligence, big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain. Through the construction of a floating city, Park said Busan will be able to acquire related technologies, enhance its global status, and attract more foreign tourists.

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