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Are Floating Cities a Reality?

by / August 23, 2011

Could floating cities like the depictions shown above become a reality? 

It's a possibility, as the Seasteading Institute is researching such architectural plans -- but currently there are no plans to build a floating city in the near future.

A recent story by Details Magazine reported that Peter Thiel, who launched PayPal and funded Facebook, is now looking to build independent countries in international waters, and he’s working closely with the Seasteading Institute to do it. The story reported that these start-up countries would be built on oil rig-like platforms, and they’d be moveable, diesel-powered 12,000 ton structures that may house up to 270 residents, and that the plan is to link them together into a massive web. 

These micro-countries, Thiel said in the Details story, could be instrumental in “experimenting with new ideas for government.” 

While the magazine article wrote that Thiel said he plans to launch a flotilla office park off the coast of San Francisco and predicts full settlement of the first island in 2019, that is not exactly accurate. Former Seasteading Institute staff members, however, are developing a similar concept: a business that will take place on a ship off the coast of Silicon Valley.

Photos courtesy of the Seastead Design Contest

*this story was updated on 09/01/2011 to reflect factual inaccuracies brought to
Government Technology's attention.