A combination of the sea and homesteading, which is a self-sufficient lifestyle; seasteading is the idea of creating permanent accommodation at sea. The idea originated with modifying cruise ships in order to create a home on the water. The first one that was adapted to facilitate living in this way cost in excess of USD$10 million to transform. One of the things that is the most appealing about these cities is the fact that they would be outside of any government’s control, and the residents would choose to be under the rules of the country that the ship displays its flag.
The Seasteading Institute
Founded on April 15, 2008 by Wayne Gramlich and Patri Friedman, after a USD$500,000 contribution by Paypal founder, Peter Thiel, the institute has undertaken the task of facilitating the creation of affordable living conditions at sea.
In 2013, the floating city project was launched with the idea of setting up the cities within shallow waters controlled by a nation. The calm waters and the close proximity of the shore would make it easy to get necessary deliveries. The goal of the institute is to have the first floating city established by 2020.
The founders have approached three (currently unknown) nations to offer to develop the construction near their shores and, therefore, under their jurisdiction. The value that this would have to these nations is undeniable, in terms of setting up a separate economy where new political structures and laws can be tried out.
Each city would be made up of 10-15 platforms each housing 20 people. This would mean a total of 200-300 people per city. The cost to set up these structures has been estimated at USD$15 million per platform and $150-165 million per city. Fortunately, the project will be privately funded and there are already many people interested in the prospect.
The concept has been supported by several architects and different designs have been entertained. One example of a unique concept was developed by Belgian architect, Vincent Callebaut, who designed a floating aquatic home, made of algae and garbage. One can only imagine the advantages of building cities out of the waste of the rest of the world. This is not the only concept that has been presented, however, and most of us will have to wait until closer to the year 2020 to see which one will prevail.
Humanity is always searching for new horizons and ways to expand our territory. Seasteading, and the idea of living outside of the jurisdiction of a specific country will continue to have its appeal, and more than likely there will soon be other projects similar to The Seasteading Institute’s that will follow the same intention.
In my science based fiction, Endless Fire Future Furies, I employ the seasteading concept with the Society Preserving Endangered Agriculture or SPEA establishing itself as an independent state through seasteading. SPEA constructs its city-state on a forty acre platform above the Pacific island of Kiritimati, or as we pronounce it – Christmas Island. As a totally independent state SPEA engages the most advanced technologies to ensure that is completely self-sufficient as regards to energy and food. I see it as a very possible and probable future.
For more information about seasteading: http://www.seasteading.org