As the realities of global climate change become more apparent and start to affect us, the most vulnerable populations are island nations that have to deal with rising sea levels. One company has come up with an idea that fits right into a world where sea levels are rising and livable land is being lost to the ocean and climate change.
French Polynesia makes up more than 100 islands in the South Pacific, and is considered to be a part of Oceania. Islands like Tahiti, do not have the luxury to stick their heads in the sand about global climate change like some countries, because of the very real effects of climate change they have to deal with.
The French Polynesian government has made plans with a U.S. firm to build a floating city that will be located out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Plans to begin construction on the floating city are set to begin in 2019. The company is called The Seasteading Institute.
The company has been working hard for half a decade to figure out to construct “permanent, innovative communities floating at sea.” Floating cities have been oft talked about in science-fiction and in reality, but this company could manage to make the first floating city a reality.
There are a lot of factors that go into creating a new city, especially so when it is located out in the middle of the ocean. Studies surrounding the economic and environmental impact of such a city have to be done to project the best way to go about this and try to mitigate any potential negative effects.
The executive director of The Seasteading Institute, Randolph Hencken said this about the project: “What we’re interested in is societal choice and having a location where we can try things that haven’t been tried before. I don’t think it will be that dramatically radical in the first renditions.” Initially, the floating city will be able to home 225 but the hope is that the number grows to tens of thousands of people.
The total cost of the project is still not evident, but it is safe to assume that it will be very expensive. Hencken also explained why French Polynesia is a great place for the first floating city to be, other than the ones prompted by rising sea levels. ‘They 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. They are a tourist-based economy and they’re excited to bring us in because we are a technology-based idea.”