Along the Caspian Sea near Baku, Azerbaijan, crews have begun work on a $100 billion city of artificial islands dubbed the Khazar Islands.
The massive, 2,000 hectare project is the first of its kind in the region, and will consist of over 40 man-made islands connected with suspension bridges (66 of them), pedestrian walkways, and innovative infrastructure. The floating metropolis will be home to more than one million people upon its projected completion in 2022, though many residents will be able to move in as soon as next year.
The completed city will boast more than 150 schools, numerous hospitals, and clusters of parks, shops, and cultural centers – not to mention the impressive, kilometer-high Azerbaijan Tower. A yet-to-be-constructed airport will provide international access to the area.
The islands will be dominated by high-rise buildings and resort-like accommodations, with miles of unspoiled beaches and warm, shallow waters. Special considerations were taken in design of the island’s structures to withstand up to a 9.0 magnitude quake in the region.
Funding for the project is currently provided by Avesta, but the firm is hoping to attract foreign investors to cover nearly $30 billion of the construction work. The firm hopes to reach annual profitability margins of 10-15 percent on investments.