Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Opinions - World's first floating city on the horizon?

Opinions - World's first floating city on the horizon?




Experiment At Sea In French Polynesia To Allow People To Try Things That Haven't Been Tried Before

A non-profit thinktank is spearheading a project to build the world's first floating city in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

According to ABC, the government of French Polynesia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the US-based The Seasteading Institute, and they hope construction work will begin in 2019. 

According to a news release issued by the institute, the legislation to be worked out under the MoU would allow its Floating Island Project its own “special governing framework, creating an innovative special economic zone“.

Seasteading is a concept that involves building permanent dwellings at sea.

The institute hopes to build autonomous floating cities around the world where, ac cording to its website, “residents and entrepreneurs (are) free to operate their own lives and businesses“. Randolph Hencken, executive director of the institute, said: “What we're interested in is societal choice and having a location where we can try things that haven't been tried before.“

The Seasteading Institute has spent the past five years trying to work out how to build “permanent, innovative communities floating at sea“.While it had initially envisaged the floating cities in international waters, to begin with, the institute has settled for territorial waters.

 “I don't think it will be that dramatically radical in the first renditions... We were looking for sheltered waters, we don't want to be out in the open ocean -it's technologically possible but economically outrageous to afford,“ Hencken added.

 Among the institute's motives, it says, is to build societies that respect nature and are based on sustainable energy sources as well as infrastructure that seeks to tackle climate change.

French Polynesia, a collection of 118 islands in the southern Pacific, is at risk from rising sea levels.

“They (French Polynesia) also have very stable institutions so we're able to work with a government that wants us there, that we have respect for and they have respect for us,“ Hencken said. 

The MoU, the BBC reported, “outlines objectives the institute must meet to get possible go-ahead for its first seastead community, off the island of Tahiti“.

The MoU will lead to further studies about the economic and environmental impact of the scheme, plus investigations into the legal implications of a floating city .Hencken is hopeful the government of French Polynesia will support his firm's efforts: “We are confident there will be both a direct and an indirect benefit for them economically ,“ he added. 

The pilot project, according to the institute, is expected to cost between $10 million and $50 million.

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