Designing the World's First Floating City
For five years, our nonprofit The Seasteading Institute has been conducting research into the potential for seasteads – permanent, innovative communities floating at sea. We are now using the knowledge base within our network to develop an actual floating city, the first of its kind.
Thousands of potential residents have joined our community. Hundreds have filled out our initial survey at floating-city.org. We are developing their input into a plan to fulfill the specific needs and desires of residents and business owners. After the preliminary report is released in 2014, we will facilitate collaboration between potential residents, developers, and investors, to actualize the plan.
Our geopolitical and oceanographic experts are investigating practical locations for a free city at sea. Inhabitants of the city will be seeking to pioneer a new way of life, and experiment with innovative forms of governance. Therefore, we will be making the case to select nations that hosting an autonomous seastead city in their waters would produce significant economic, social, and environmental benefits for their citizens.
The engineering study for which we are raising money will be conducted by our colleagues at DeltaSync, a Dutch multidisciplinary research and water architecture firm. Their famed approach - displayed in projects like the Rotterdam Floating Pavillion – employs extreme energy-conserving materials, urban architecture capable of dynamic evolution, as well as food and water solutions that clean the ocean as they nourish aquaponic farms.
What We Need & What You Get
This campaign is a part of our broader Floating City Project, which is investigating 1) market demand, 2) optimal locations, and 3) ideal designs for the world's first seastead. Within one year we will produce a white paper with our findings. After the preliminary report is released in 2014, we will facilitate collaboration between potential residents, developers, and investors, to actualize the plan.
The Seasteading Institute is sponsoring DeltaSync with an approximately $40,000 grant so they can apply their innovative design approach to our vision of experimentation in governance. The DeltaSync team brings years of experience in innovative architecture and aquatic urban design to the table, along with a portfolio of world class buildings. When DeltaSync's founders Rutger de Graaf and Katrina Czapiewska put their pens to paper, things get built. This will be an in-depth project by their professional team to design a feasible floating community, which could be constructed within just a few years.
All contributions to this project are tax-deductible for U.S. citizens. We are offering some perks for those who contribute, listed on the right side of this page. As an added incentive, each dollar you give will be matched by the Thiel Foundation, doubling your impact on this important project.
If we meet our campaign goal and raise $20,000, we will be able to completely fund this engineering study with the match. If we exceed our goal, the surplus funds will be used for other key design elements of the Floating City Project.
Most importantly, your contribution brings you into the seasteading community. Becoming a "seasteader" means that you not only yearn for a better future for humanity, but are also willing to put skin in the game to demonstrate what a better future could look like. Giving to this campaign shows that you are above partisan bickering about how government "should be," and are ready to lead by example.
The Floating City Project
The strategy behind this project is to accelerate the creation of an actual floating city while making seasteading – pioneering the oceans and creating new societies – accessible to the average person. Our years of engineering and legal research, combined with the input of our community, has culminated in our latest strategy to produce pragmatic plans for the first floating city. We realize that it will be more economically feasible to locate a seastead as close to an active port as possible, instead of international waters. Locating near shore will greatly reduce costs compared to mooring a platform in deeper waters. It will also reduce the cost of transporting people and goods to and from the seastead, making it easier for residents to take the plunge into ocean living.
However, a seastead located within territorial seas is technically under the jurisdiction of the nearby nation. Even beyond territorial waters - beginning 12 nautical miles from shore, there is the 200-nautical-mile-wide Exclusive Economic Zone in which permanently moored structures (aka "artificial islands") fall under the coastal nation's laws.
As pragmatists seeking incremental steps toward new nations at sea, we plan to seek de facto autonomy for the first floating city, without locating too far out to sea. The advice of our geopolitical team has narrowed our choices to a few coastal countries we think are likely to trade autonomy for the direct benefits of a seastead located in their territorial waters. In other words, we are seeking a contract with a host nation which will grant the floating city substantial autonomy within its territorial waters in exchange for the economic, social, and environmental benefits the seastead will bring to the country. DeltaSync’s design will demonstrate the benefits and aesthetic appeal of what we are bringing to the table – a seed for a dynamic city and model of future governance. We are currently in the diplomatic process of securing a deal with one of the nations we have identified.
Your support for this engineering project will go towards unprecedented personal freedom and new economic opportunities, and will ultimately demonstrate a better way of living.
Personal Freedom - People will soon be able to live in floating cities, and enjoy the freedom of the high seas. As the last unclaimed territory on the earth, the ocean provides the ability to live peacefully without the encyclopedia of laws and tangle of bureaucracies present on land. Seasteaders will be able to start fresh, live with minimal regulation, and explore a bold experiment with personal freedom.
Economic Opportunities - As Earth’s final frontier, the ocean offers radical possibilities for some of our boldest economic dreams. From harnessing the immense stores of energy and nutrients, to serving the global demand for financial, medical, and human services, seasteading will give rise to many 21st century fortunes. International waters offer a more friendly regulatory environment, and allow for worldwide recruitment of entrepreneurs, investment capital, and top talent. The oceans are already the superhighway of trade – seastead real estate will be optimally located to tap into the bloodlines of a globalized planet.
Demonstrate a Better Way of Living - We see experimentation as the source of all progress. Many innovations - on numerous seasteads - will allow humanity to rapidly improve the way we live with one another. Residents of the first floating city will set the course for others to follow. In the coming decades hundreds of thousands of people will head to the sea to be a part of a global change based on personal choice, environmental responsibility, and economic opportunity.
With your support, the first floating city could be just a few years away. Together we can change the world.
Other Ways You Can Help
There are other ways you can help our project.
1) Spread the word – tell your friends about our campaign and encourage them to contribute. You can use Indiegogo's built in sharing tools or share this page yourself on social media.
2) Sign up to live on the first floating city – visit us at www.floating-city.org and fill out our survey indicating your desire to live full or part time on the seastead, while providing us information to help us develop the city.
3) Become a sustaining member of The Seasteading Institute – visit our donation page at www.seasteading.org/donate and become a monthly donor to support our mission.
Team on This Campaign:
Executive Director, The Seasteading Institute
Research & Communications Coordinator, The Seasteading Institute
Managing Director, Deltasync
Co-Author "Seasteading: How Ocean Cities will Change the World"
Operations Manager, The Seasteading Institute
Founder and Chairman of the Board, The Seasteading Institute
Barbara Dal Bo Zanon
Architect and Researcher, Deltasync