Thanks to Intelligent Living for this:
Will it be like the 1995 movie Waterworld? Probably not.
The Penang State Government held an international masterplan design competition to create a workable model for Penang South Islands – a set of human-made islands located off the southern coast of Penang, Malaysia.
BIG (in collaboration with Hijjas and Ramboll) was selected as the winner. It’s masterplan proposal – BiodiverCity – best supported the Penang2030 vision. It focused clearly on livability, stimulating an economically and socially inclusive development, and ensuring environmental sustainability for generations to come.
BiodiverCity provides Penangites with about 25km more waterfront property, 4.6km more public beaches, and 600 acres of new parks. It will be a global destination where ecological, cultural, and economic growth flourishes. People and nature will coexist, and it will be known worldwide as one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Penang’s southern shores, with its lily pad-like floating islands, will be a sustainability beacon, and people from across the world will go to marvel in it.
BIG founder Bjarke Ingels said:
“If Penang is defined by its rich cultural diversity and its abundant biodiversity, we would like to envision the Penang South islands as an archipelago where the two can coexist in a human-made ecosystem, expanding and enhancing one another.”
The three main islands will bring together mixed-use districts for up to 18,000 people. There will be a 50-100-meter buffer around each section to form a harmonious relationship between the land, the people, and the wildlife. The firm likens the buffers to architectural glues for the new ecosystem. There will be waterways, canopies, and boardwalks for native animals to roam safely in the human-inhabited zones.
The three islands together will span 4,500 acres – all car-free with streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians. However, there will be air, water, and land-based autonomous public transportation available.
The islands are named The Channels, The Mangroves, and The Laguna. Each contains different functions. The Channels island will tie in George Town vibes with a 500-acre digital park to mix the old with the new. It will be built first. The Mangroves island will be made from low-carbon-footprint materials like locally-sourced timber, bamboo, and recycled material. The Laguna is a cluster of 8 smaller islands. It’s an oasis for ecological living made up of floating, stilted, and terraced residences connected by canopies and boardwalks.
All three islands will be connected through a smart grid that provides residents with waste and energy consumption data live. The communities can use the information to make sustainability-related decisions.
It’s going to take an estimated 15-20 years to complete the project.
BIG Bjarke Ingels Group