It’s hard to imagine living anywhere but land. The ideas of living up in the clouds or in the depths of the ocean are the imaginings of novels and movies. However, Seasteading Institute—a non-profit in San Francisco, is pushing the boundaries between fiction and reality by planning to open an actual floating metropolis by 2022. The founder Joe Quirk believes in the possibility of a floating city in the middle of the Pacific ocean. The floating city will be autonomous and rely on itself for governance.
The How and the Why of the Idea of the Floating City:
The idea for this floating metropolis came to Quirk after he went to the Burning Man festival in 2011. Quirk was intrigued by the way society can be unrestrained without limiting governing bodies. For Quirk, the floating city is a way for cities to govern themselves. Instead of having to rely on failing governments, the floating city is a new start. The project is going to offer homes to 300 people. Quirk’s floating island will also include hotels, restaurants, and even a power plant to sell energy and clean water to land dwellers. However, the project has been met with many struggles.
A Sea of Troubles:
Quirk has stated that the project will take around $167 million dollars to implement. This isn’t exactly feasible. It’s likely that The Seasteading Institute has also been met with skeptics and naysayers. The Institute first had backing from Paypal founder Peter Thiel, but, in a statement to The Independent, Thiel revealed that he finds the idea not feasible engineering-wise. He also believes that the project is too ahead of its time for it to be ready in time. In fact, it’s been 10 years since the company claimed it would create a prototype for the San Francisco Bay, but nothing has surfaced at all.
For the time being, the organization has reached an agreement with the French Polynesian government. They are now in the process of working on a presentation of how viable the floating city actually is. Quirk sees the floating island project as a stepping stone for what he calls a “startup country”. The future is yet unclear for The Steading Institute, but, hopefully, these projects will come into reality sooner than later.