Global cities have already started competing to be the host city for the 2030 World Expo, and South Korea’s largest coastal city Busan is one of them. The World Expo is a world fair that takes place every five years and is a place where representatives from over 170 countries meet to share ideas, technology, and culture. Every World Expo has a different objective to tackle a global issue.
The city of Busan wants to highlight the problem of rising sea levels and hopes to be a global leader in the fight. Seventy percent of the Earth is covered by water and 40 percent of the world population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. Millions of people will lose their homes and become “climate refugees” with major cities such as Shanghai, New York, Jakarta, New Orleans and Mumbai being the hardest hit.
A landmark project that Busan City has planned is the construction of Oceanix Busan in 2023, with the help of Oceanix New York and UN-Habitat. Oceanix Busan will be the world’s first sustainable floating city that produces its own energy and food while encouraging coastal habitat regeneration. This hopes to solve the problem of land shortages in coastal cities caused by rising sea levels. South Korea and Busan city have remarkable technology and experience in marine construction projects such as the ability to build undersea tunnels like the Gadeok Tunnel. At the time it was built, it was the deepest road tunnel in the world at a depth of 48 meters under sea level.This means that the city of Busan is well prepared to tackle such a challenging project like Oceanix Busan.
Showcasing and sharing our experience with floating islands at the 2030 Busan Expo with other countries and millions of visitors will give hope and encourage the world to find new solutions to rising sea levels globally. It is vital that everybody around the world gets the help they need to build floating cities, not just rich and developed countries. This beautiful blue planet that we all call home is the only planet that can support life. So we, as global citizens, have a great responsibility to help those less fortunate. Just as global citizens helped South Korea in the Korean War, Korea wants to give back to the world to show their gratitude and appreciation. The Busan 2030 World Expo is the best place to do it. Let’s all work to encourage the world to give Busan City the chance to host the 2030 World Expo.
By Kim Joanne, Branksome Hall Asia