Photo: BIG

These Planned Biodiverse Islands in Malaysia Look Like Pandora

Sustainability News Beaches and Islands
by Dayana Aleksandrova Aug 24, 2020

The plan for three new islands off the coast of Penang Island, Malaysia, was revealed last week, and they look like Pandora from Avatar. The BiodiverCity project, designed by the architectural firm BIG, comes as a response to Malaysia’s initiative Penang2030, which is a government project that aims to make the area greener and more family-friendly.


Photo: BIG

The islands will be connected by a transportation network of boats, helicopters, and roads. Each island will resemble a lily pad and will include 2.6 miles of public beaches, 600 acres of parks, and a 15.5-mile-long waterfront. The project’s aim is to help Penang grow economically and culturally in a sustainable way while preserving the natural habitat.


Photo: BIG

The islands’ buildings will be constructed from ecological materials, including bamboo, eco-friendly concrete that’s made from recycled materials, and Malaysian timber. Each of the living districts will house between 15,000 and 18,000 residents and will focus on utilizing renewable energy and smart waste management. In order to reduce pollution, bikers and pedestrians will be prioritized over motorized vehicles.


Photo: BIG

“Our masterplan proposal, BiodiverCity, supports the Penang2030 vision with a clear focus on livability, on stimulating a socially and economically inclusive development, and on environmental sustainability for future generations,” BIG told Dezeen. “BiodiverCity will be a new sustainable global destination where cultural, ecological and economic growth is secured and where people and nature coexist in one of the most biodiverse places on the planet at the southern shore of Penang Island.”

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