Are Floating Cities The Next Frontier?


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Categories: Homes / Dwellings, Tech

Oakland nonprofit the Seasteading Institute, a group devoted to the development of floating colonies adrift from the oppressive moorings of society, has announced its dreams are closer than ever to reality. As soon as 2017, the institute hopes to break ground — er, ocean? — on its first seastead off the coast of French Polynesia in the South Pacific, Business Insider writes.

“We look forward to working with French Polynesia to develop floating islands that will benefit our host country and our international community of seasteaders,” Randolph Hencken, the Seasteading Institute's executive director, said according to a press release. “With numerous protected waters where we could station the first pilot platforms, French Polynesia offers many optimal locations for seasteading from an engineering point of view.”

One motto from theSeasteading Institute, "Stop Arguing. StartSeasteading," hints at its goals, which extend far beyond the technological — what if we built floating cities? — to the ideological — people can't get along on land, so what about building those floating cities, huh? What about that? No,seasteading isn't just an endeavor to get away from society,Hencken explains. It's an endeavor to build it anew. "I somebody wants isolation, they can go buy a sailboat right now and be out at sea for months at a time,"Hencken tells Business Insider. To be separate from society, "Go be a hermit," he says. Instead, "Seasteading is for people who want to engage in the marketplace of ideas, the marketplace of commerce, and the marketplace of government."

Randolph Hencken spends most of his day on Skype and Slack, talking with business partners around the globe who share his vision of an isolated, "floating city" — a literal island unto itself.

When that idea becomes reality, Hencken, executive director of the Seasteading Institute, says not much will change. He will still be stuck behind a desk.

"The difference would be, I would probably start my day going kitesurfing," Hencken said over the phone, adding that he would eat a lot more fish and breadfruit.

Thosekitesurfing dreams could one day come true. TheSeasteading Institute tells Business Insider it has found a partner, French Polynesia, to help build a floating city in the South Pacific. A formal agreement, which is likely to be passed, according toHencken, now awaits the signature of PresidentÉdouardFritch.

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