Each island is modelled on the form of a lilypad and will be composed of mixed-use districts, 4.6 kilometres of public beaches, 242 hectares of parks and a 25-kilometre-long waterfront.
The goal of BiodiverCity is to create a "global destination" that facilitates sustainable economic and cultural growth of Penang Island, while protecting the biodiversity of its coastal zones and natural habitats.
According to BIG, buildings throughout BiodiverCity will largely be constructed using a combination of bamboo, Malaysian timber and "green concrete" that uses recycled materials as aggregate.
BIG is the architecture practice of Danish architect Ingels, which was founded in 2005. Today it has studios in Copenhagen, New York, London and Barcelona. Elsewhere, BIG is working a masterplan for the "city of the future" with Toyota, which will be built beside Mount Fuji in Japan.