BY: JESSICA BEUKER
The idea of ocean colonization has so far only lived in the dreamt-up world of science fiction writers, and those who hold the bold notion that anything is possible. Today, it is on its way to becoming a reality – giving the dreamers the ultimate satisfaction. The Floating City Project is on track to be completed by 2020. The self-sufficient floating community will be the first of its kind and have considerable political autonomy.
The concept involves an integrated relationship with a “host nation,” in order to reduce costs. The community is planned to have residences, tourism, aquafarming, a business park, a research institute and a power plant, which can be used to sell energy and clean water back to the host nation.
The Seasteading Institute is pioneering the project, which has recently entered phase two. According to Inhabitat, the first phase involved a feasibility report, crowd-funding $27,000 for the project, identifying potential customers and exploring different designs.
The most viable option was designed by DeltaSync, a Dutch aquatic design firm, and is comprised of modular platforms – either square or pentagon shaped. The platforms are connected and arranged in branch-like structures. One square platform could house 20-30 residents and would cost around $15 million, however a sea village in a tropical location could power itself almost entirely on renewable energy, which would cut costs in the long run.
Currently, the team is considering possible locations and recently took a group of architects and engineers to an “undisclosed” location for research at the end of 2014. The actual design has not yet been released to the public, and no statements have been made about who will become the “host nation.”
So far the project has indicated a strong public backing. The team has conducted extensive research including identifying potential residents from 67 different countries and income levels, who provided feedback on the project.
While The Floating City Project would be the first of its kind to become a reality, it’s definitely not the first time an idea like this has been proposed. A floating city, designed by British and Asian architects, AT Design Office, was suggested to be built off Hong Kong. Due to rising water levels, the floating city would be an option to keep the city alive.
The floating city would span four miles, and have its own dock, roadways and farms, making it completely self-sufficient – much like the most recent proposal. It would also have vertical gardens, a hotel, an entertainment complex, and a floating arena that could be used for shows and sports matches.
The design of this floating city features hexagonal and triangular shapes, connected with walkways and tunnels – both above and below ground. According to the Daily Mail, eco-friendly boats and submarines would provide most transportation; while above ground electric cars would be used, which will prevent underwater areas from becoming polluted. Both designs come complete with beneficial solutions for the state of our environment, but so far only one has moved into phase II of planning.
The Floating City Project is a proposed solution to the effects of climate change and land scarcity, but also as a way to create political change. There are a large number of ideas and designs for floating cities, but none have been carried out this far. This project will serve as a test and if it succeeds, open the door for all of the other ideas to have a chance of becoming a reality.