In September 2008, I wrote an article about the Lilypad, a futuristic design for independent cities built at sea. The article provoked a great deal of reaction, with readers either excited or incredulous. Well, here's some interesting news on the same subject. The Seasteading Institute, an organization concerned with creating permanent dwellings on the ocean, believes it may have a prototype ready in about three years.
Their vision – a seastead, pictured above – is a structure meant for permanent occupation. As with Sealand, the pioneering micronation (or independent sovereign state) in the North Sea, the SI believes the world needs a new frontier, 'a place where those who are dissatisfied with our current civilization can go to build a different (and hopefully better) one.'
But is it really possible? Folks at the SI believe so. After all, we've had cruise ships and oil rigs for years – all we really have to do is combine the technology behind both, right? They imagine structures like oil rigs, but with a modular component. New resident? Add on a block. Nice idea.
They also have plans for these cities to be politically independent – trying out different philosophies on a small scale to see what happens to them. You could build one for Neocons and one for tree-hugging liberals and see which is still afloat (and occupied) ten years on. RM
© The Seasteading Institute: Wendy Sitler-Roddier, Paul Spooner