Castles built on sand never stand the test of time, but cities which float on water could change the world.
A nonprofit group called the Seasteading Institute believes floating cities will free humanity from politicians and enrich the poor. They also believe they will be good for the environment.
It sounds like something out of a science fiction film, but this isn’t just a crazy pipe dream.
PayPal founder Peter Thiel is bankrolling Seasteading’s radical plans to introduce the first floating city by 2020.
The floating city will include its own homes, hotels, offices, and restaurants. There are plans to build it close to the island of Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean.
Seasteading President Joe Quirk believes the city could become an independent nation ruled by its own laws. He thinks such a place would encourage new levels of peace and understanding.
Mr Quirk said, “Governments don’t get better. They’re stuck in previous centuries. That’s because land incentivizes a violent monopoly to control it. If you could have a floating city, it would essentially be a start-up country.”
The Seasteading Institute hopes to create thousands of floating cities by 2050. Each one “offering different ways of governance.”
The organization has reached a deal with the French Polynesian government. The tiny nation of 118 islands has given them 100 acres of beachfront to manage their project from.
French Polynesia is interested in the project because of the threat of rising sea levels in the area. But the floating city plan must prove itself economically and environmentally before it receives the final green light.
It’s estimated the first floating city will house up to 300 people and cost $167 million. Local bamboo, coconut fiber, and recycled materials will be used during its construction. It will also feature roofs covered in vegetation.
In the beginning, the cities will float offshore of their host nation. They will have a considerable amount of political independence. Yet they will rely on their host nation for legal and military protection.
Seasteading’s co-founder Peter Thiel believes the idea of floating cities is groundbreaking. The current reality is the geography of our birth determines our government. The Seasteading Institute claims floating cities will give people the freedom to choose the government they want. If inhabitants disagree with their government, they are free to move to another city. As a result, governments will be forced to improve to attract citizens.