French Polynesia could host world's first floating city after signing agreement with Seasteading Institute

Plans to build the world’s first fully-floating city have taken a step forward, with the French Polynesian government reaching an agreement with nonprofit The Seasteading Institute to cooperate on a legal framework for the scheme, which would be located in the country’s waters.

Seasteading is a concept for new libertarian aquine communities granted “unprecedented political autonomy” by their host nations in exchange for economic and social benefits. Billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel is a supporter of the idea, and was an early financial backer of the Seasteading Institute.

Critics of the model argue it will merely create a haven away from traditional laws, taxes and regulations. However, the French Polynesian government has indicated its intention to allow the first seasteading settlement in its waters in the belief it will bring jobs, economic growth and environmental resiliency to the region, without the requirement of paying subsidies.

It has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the institute, stating that the new water-based community, currently called the Floating Island Project, would be granted it’s own “special governing framework” and could create an “innovative special economic zone.”

The Seasteading Institute has formed a new company, Blue Frontiers, to construct the island, which will use sustainable modular platforms designed by Dutch engineering firm Blue21 that can adapt to rising water levels and rough sea conditions. A delegation has been exploring potential sites near the islands of Tahiti, Tupai, and Raiatea.

Before it reaches the building stage, it must 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.

Seasteading investors will self-fund the initial studies and the construction of the floating islands. The pilot project is expected to cost between US$10m (€9.3m, £8m) and US$50m (€46.5m, £40.1m).

“Our seasteading collaboration with French Polynesia was initiated by the Tahitians themselves and will bring jobs, economic growth, and environmental resiliency to the region,” said Randolph Hencken, executive director of the Seasteading Institute. “Signing the MOU with French Polynesia is an important first step, and a huge milestone for seasteading.

“We will draw from the best practices of more than 4,000 existing Special Economic Zones around the world to create a ‘Special Economic SeaZone, which will combine the advantages of French Polynesia’s geopolitical location with unique regulatory opportunities specifically designed to attract investors.”

French Polynesia was touted as a potential destination for floating cities by the country’s former tourism minister, Marc Collins. Explaining his reasons, he said: “More than most nations, our islands are impacted by rising sea levels, and resilient floating islands could be one tangible solution for us to maintain our populations anchored to their islands. For many Polynesians, leaving our islands is not an option.”

Architects and engineers have long been fascinated by life on water. Dutch designer Koen Olthuis recently told CLAD how floating structures can relieve pressure on overpopulated urban areas and offers flexible solutions for problems thrown up by rising sea levels and climate change.

Seasteading  Seasteading Institute  architecture  design  French Polynesia  floating cities 
Related stories

Floating Seahorse villas: CLAD gets exclusive first glimpse of underwater residence

Fancy owning a floating private island? Dutch developers create a luxury secluded getaway

Snowflake shaped designs revealed for European floating hotel

Plans to build the world’s first fully-floating city have taken a step forward, with the French Polynesian government reaching an agreement with nonprofit The Seasteading Institute to cooperate on a legal framework for the scheme, which would be located in the country’s waters. Seasteading is a concept for new libertarian aquine communities granted “unprecedented political autonomy” by their host nations in exchange for economic and social benefits. Billionaire PayPal founder
CLD,ARC,DES,ECO,TEC
One proposed design for a seasteading settlement / The Seasteading Institute
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6644     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6644     
 
 
 
latest jobs
£24000-27000
Job location: North East, UK
company profile
Company profile: GOCO Hospitality
The specialists in designing, developing and operating spa and wellness spaces.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The family spend a good amount of time outdoors enjoying the wild natural environment and fresh air
"It’s important for people to be rooted in place. This is a very special house, with powerful connections to nature"

Jennifier Beningfield has built her dream home in South Africa, using ancient building methods

The building, with its urban farm, is nestled into a popular residential area of Shanghai
"The key to a happy and successful society is a philosophy that places wellness at the heart of everything"

Calvin Tsao and brother Frederick are reviving the Chinese culture of physical and mental wellbeing with their Octave Living development company, as Christopher DeWolf discovers

Mia Kyricos is senior vice president and global head of wellbeing for Hyatt Hotels Corporation
"We’re now smart enough to know that it’s the environments we choose to surround ourselves with that impact our health and wellness"

Home wellness is the future, says Hyatt’s global head of wellbeing

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The rooms feature ‘wellbeing walls’
The retractable staircase lifts into the belly of the house when not in use
"Even brushing your teeth in the right space can elevate a daily routine into a ritual"

With a lap pool at the heart of the home, this property is a sanctuary for Rene Gonzalez

Elmsbrook Healthy New Town in Bicester, Oxfordshire has extensive wellness 
offerings and is also a UK government Eco Town, promoting sustainability
"The Healthy New Towns initiative aims to design out ‘obesogenic environments’ and design in health and wellbeing"

The UK government is building 10 new towns based on health, with wellbeing incorporated from the ground up. Stu Robarts investigates

Euphoria Retreat
"Come to Euphoria Retreat if you’re looking for a full health-boost, you’ll leave feeling completely rejuvenated"

Wellbeing Escapes and Well Home have partnered to bring you this special offer for the Euphoria Retreat in Greece

cladkit product news
John Pawson reimagines oil lantern for Wästberg
The Holocene No. 4 reflects Pawson's pared-back style and neutral palette
Lauren Heath-Jones
Swedish lighting company Wästberg has expanded its Holocene collection, with a new addition, Holocene No. 4, designed by acclaimed architect ...
Designworks launches new glow-in-the-dark tile collection
The tiles contain light-absorbing luminous pigments so they glow-in-the-dark
Lauren Heath-Jones
High-end tile supplier Designworks has created a range of illuminous mosaic tiles for commercial use. Designed to bring light into ...
Bartok Design installs 'transformative' soaking tubs in SpaFusion at Pallazzo Varignana
Bartok Design creates traditional Japanese soaking tubs
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bartok Design, a Japan-based supplier of Ofuro (Japanese bathtubs), has completed a major installation at the newly opened SpaFusion at ...
cladkit product news
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
Dornbracht launches 'next generation' experience shower
Rainmoon is an innovative sensory shower experience designed for use in the home
Dornbracht is taking experience showers to the next level with its multi-sensory Rainmoon concept. “Rainmoon is a culmination of bliss ...
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...
cladkit product news
Artemide excites with latest lighting collection
Designer Alejandro Aravena created O to 'reconcile the needs of the natural and the urban environment'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Herzog and de Meuron, Neri & Hu, MAD Architects and Elemental, the firm of Pritzker winner ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates