Keep BLUE HOPE Afloat
2023, Senior, Art
We are living on the blue planet. We are also living on an increasingly urban planet. Ever growing numbers of human-made structures are occupying our oceans. As an aspiring architect myself, I was inspired by the philosophy of Timothy Beatley, who is an author and professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. In this profoundly interconnected world, cities impact oceans in significant ways, and vice versa. In his book “Blue Urbanism,” Professor Beatley argues that architects should recognize the psychological value of human connections to blue spaces such as the marine environment, and value ocean ecosystems in urban planning. My work reflects on Professor Beatley's concept of Blue Urbanism, but finds its real world application in a floating city on the shores of the South Korean coastal city of Busan. In my work, the city “BLUE HOPE” is inspired from the real world version, which is currently being developed by the UN-Habitat, the Busan Metropolitan City of Korea, and design company Oceanix. BLUE HOPE is fully sustainable and self-sufficient. The silver structures are shaped in an energy-efficient circular structure and are made of steel, which is both durable and fully recyclable. The city is fully equipped with fisheries, farmland, a self-recyclable water system, solar panel domes, and an underwater hydropower plant. At the heart of BLUE HOPE is a circular central food forest that makes the city a “biophilic city,” both beneficial to the environment as well as city dwellers. I imagined a young Professor Beatley sitting on a mountain of trash towering above a massive oil-spilled ocean. Although the current picture is bleak, with the active stewardship of young heroes who can be born through unexpected inspirational moments, I believe everyone can become climate heroes like Professor Beatley.