The latest report from the Seasteading Institute claims that the “first floating city with significant political autonomy may be established by 2020” and that their offshore enclaves can be constructed for $500 per square foot. A square-sized floating city, like the one seen above, would cost $15 million, and be able to house 20-30 people.
The ‘finding’ was picked up by a number of news outlets, and credulously reflected in some headlines, like the one leading this Panam Post article. It makes a certain amount of sense; South American nations, with their lax business regulations, have long been targets for the sea-entrepreneurs as ideal homes for the floating free market utopias.
Of course, someone still has to pay for this libertarian techno-paradise, and that remains, and probably will forever remain, the rub. Barring a libertarian miracle, there won’t be any multimillion dollar, regulation-free floating cities inhabited by wealthy tech moguls anytime soon.
A summary of the report is below:
The Seasteading Institute is proud to announce the release of our long-awaited Floating City Project report. Our key findings are:
- a market for a residential seastead exists,
- a practical design can be built to match the market’s price point,
- and it is likely that the Seasteading Institute can reach a deal with a host nation willing to grant a floating city substantial political independence.
- The Floating City Project presents a practical path to establishing the first floating city with considerable political independence.
- We have concluded that it would be possible to station a floating city in the calm territorial waters of a host nation in order to reduce the costs of the structure compared to constructing for the open ocean.
- A coastal nation may be interested in offering to host a floating community in their territorial waters and allow substantial political independence in exchange for economic, social, and environmental benefits.
- At the time of publication of this report, we are engaged in high level talks with a potential host nation, and entry level talks with others. We will provide more information about these processes when we are able to make the information public.
- We commissioned the Dutch aquatic engineering firm DeltaSync to produce a design and preliminary feasibility study for the Floating City Project, wherein they project that 50-meter-sided square and pentagon platforms with three-story buildings could be constructed for approximately $500/square foot. A square platform could house 20-30 residents; and cost approximately $15 million. A village in a tropical location could feasibly power itself almost entirely with renewable energy.
- Potential residents from 67 countries and many income levels provided extensive feedback on what they desire from a floating city with political autonomy, and their requests are remarkably consistent.
- The market demand for the first floating city with some level of political independence is vigorous and growing.