On January 13, 2017 we signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with French Polynesia to cooperate on the creation of a seazone with a “unique governing framework”, where we can begin seasteading.
We are now working with French Polynesia to pass a seazone act by the end of 2017. We plan to be in Tahiti by the beginning of 2018 to begin the development of our floating island pilot project. We have documented our major milestones in our blog.
In order to justify the creation a “special economic seazone” that would give floating islands considerable autonomy, the institute tasked Blue Frontiers with 1) conducting a study of the economic impact our endeavor would have on French Polynesians, 2) preparing an environmental framework report and integration plan to require that our floating islands are a positive contribution to the environment, and 3) conducting legal research and prepare a legal framework for the innovative Seazone, a legal regime incorporating the best practices of over 4000 Special Economic Zones around the world. The studies were completed and sent to the government in late 2017.
An independent company – Blue Frontiers – was created to develop and construct floating islands and to operate the seazone.
Blue Frontiers is lead by Randolph Hencken and co-founded by Joe Quirk, Egor Ryjikov (seasteading ambassador, Moscow), Nicolas Germineau (seasteading ambassador England/France), and Marc Collins (former minister of tourism in Tahiti).
For five years, The Seasteading Institute has been conducting research into the potential for permanent, innovative communities – floating at sea. We are now able to apply this foundation of knowledge and our network towards an actual design, along with additional efforts to determine specific needs and desires of potential customers, and to select a practical location for what could become the world’s first city at sea.
On January 13, 2017, we entered Phase 3 of the Floating City Project, now called the Floating Island Project.
On that day, delegates from the government of French Polynesia travelled to San Francisco to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with us agreeing to cooperate on developing legislation for The Floating Island Project by the end of 2017. The MOU obligates The Seasteading Institute to conduct an economic analysis to demonstrate the economic benefits for French Polynesia, as well as an environmental assessment to assure the health of the ocean and seabed. When these studies are complete, French Polynesia will collaborate with The Seasteading Institute to develop a “special governing framework” for a land base and sea zone.
We closed 2014 by taking a delegation of architects and engineers to an undisclosed location where we hope to locate the first floating city in the sea nearby. We believe there could be a market on our floating city for residences, tourism, aquaculture, a business park, a research institute, and a powerplant to sell energy and clean water back to the host nation.
If we create jobs for local residents, government officials indicated a willingness to allow us substantial political autonomy. We are in the process of drafting a legal agreement to present to the host nation, which would be overseen by a third-party arbitrator. Assuming we close an agreement securing some autonomy, we will reveal the location and host a conference there to invite investors, potential residents and developers to survey the lucrative opportunities.
To learn more details about our progress on Phase II, please read a report the Fact-finding & Diplomatic Floating City Project Mission by our Executive Director Randolph Hencken.
In the mean time, we are advancing on all four aspects of Phase II in consultation with experts. These include:
The Floating City Project combines principles of both seasteading and startup cities, by seeking to locate a floating city within the territorial waters of an existing nation. Historically, The Seasteading Institute has looked to international waters for the freedom to establish new nations and spur competitive governance from the outside. However, there are several reasons we are now seeking a host nation: a) It is less expensive to engineer a seastead for relatively calm, shallow waters compared with the open ocean outside of territorial waters; b) it will be easier for residents to travel to and from the seastead, as well as to acquire goods and services from existing supply chains; and c) a host nation will provide a place for a floating city within the existing international legal framework, with the associated protections and responsibilities.
Our detailed report (see below) demonstrates the feasibility – from market demand to safety and to construction costs – of a floating city.
We have partnered with Dutch aquatic urban design firm, DeltaSync, to engineer a novel architectural seastead design, and successfully crowdfunded over $27,000 for this component. The report and calculation model are available for download below.
We are continuing to gather data from potential floating city residents and business owners using a survey that measures the preferences and demands of future pioneers – including full- and part-time residents as well as time-share holders. Please take a minute to participate in this stage and fill out the brief survey.
We investigated both the DeltaSync design and a semi-submersible alternative (view research here), and determined that DeltaSync’s concept is better adapted for the strategy of the Floating City Project, which encourages early seasteads to form within protected waters. In the future it will be important to do additional research on various components of DeltaSync’s design.
[Update 2/6/17: We are planning to launch the Floating Island Project in French Polynesia (see Phase 3).] Our geopolitical and oceanographic experts investigated practical locations for a free city at sea. Our in-house team has been actively engaged in diplomacy with host nations, making the case that hosting an autonomous seastead city in their territorial waters would produce significant economic, social, and environmental benefits for their citizens. Our work was partially based off of our existing location study published in November of 2011.