The Seasteading Institute, which is looking to establish a floating city by 2020, has commenced diplomatic discussions with several counties to find a host nation for its proposed floating community, also known as a seastead.
Although the institute declined to say which counties it was talking to while discussions were ongoing, it did confirm that those contacted were from a list of 20 that includes Ghana, Columbia, Hong Kong, Panama and Singapore.
The organisation assessed all nations with coastlines to establish a shortlist of countries that could provide safe waters for the floating city to exist in.
It eliminated all countries in hurricane or cyclone zones, as well as those in polar regions where extreme weather or frozen seas pose a threat. It also cut any countries where piracy is a problem, as well as those with politically volatile or dangerous environments.
More unexpectedly, countries with United Nations Security Council or European Union membership were eliminated from the list due to the insitute’s desire to maintain high levels of autonomy.
The institute plans to establish a floating city that has political autonomy, but which exists under the umbrella of a sovereign nation.
This is vital to making the project successful as it provides both practical and political security for the city, but could present a problem for some countries as it would mean the city had its own rules and regulations that were distinct and separate from its host nation.
“Right now, there is no open space for experimenting with new societies,” explained the Seasteading Insitute’s chairman of the board Patri Friedman. “Currently, it is very difficult to experiment with alternative social systems on a small scale.
“Countries are so enormous that it is hard for an individual to make much difference. The world needs a place where those who wish to experiment with building new societies can go to test out their ideas. All land on Earth is already claimed, making the oceans humanity’s next frontier.”
The Seasteading Institute is a non-profit organisation looking to establish floating communities that provide a new approach to governance and community living.
While the idea may seem far-fetched, the engineering challenges of building such communities are being looked at carefully by Dutch aquatic design firm DeltaSync. Funding for the design of the first floating city was raised through Indiegogo last year in a campaign that generated $27,000.
The countries that the Seasteading Institute has shortlisted to host the floating city are Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Maldives, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Norfolk Islands, Palau, Panama, Senegal, Sierre Leone, Singapore, Suriname and Vanuatu.
Images courtesy of the Seasteading Institute.