With icebergs melting at an alarming pace, it may only be a matter of time before doomsday prepping becomes less of a crazy idea and more of a necessary one. That said, not everyone can just pack their belongings and move into outer space like Elon Musk. They could, however, move to a floating city in the ocean.
This isn’t exactly the goal The Seasteading Institute had in mind when conceptualizing their autonomous floating city, Atlantis. Rather than save everyone from an impending world flood, the city is meant to test the waters (quite literally) on new government structures, ways of living, and ideas for self-sufficient communities. Think of it as a creative utopia free from century-old traditions and outdated societal constructs—isolated in the middle of the ocean.
The team behind the project includes a diverse group of nautical engineers, aquaculture farmers, investors, environmentalists, marine biologists, maritime attorneys, medical researchers, artists, and security personnel – just about every specialty and skill set needed to keep an isolated water society afloat. Many more professionals have volunteered their expertise to the cause as well as donated to the institute.
The city itself will be constructed by Dutch aquatic urban design firm DeltaSync and consists of a series of concrete squares or pentagons with 50m sides connected via struts (like an oversized oil rig). The squares are completely self-sufficient, can be adjusted depending on the society’s needs, and house three-story buildings. For the initial village, DeltaSync proposes 250 residents on 11 platforms.
The Seasteading Institute now even has a host nation by way of nearby French Polynesia. While it could take some time for them to set up autonomously, being close to a neighboring country instead of the middle of nowhere has its advantages. This allows the institute to set up shop in relatively calmer waters nearer to land, makes it easier for potential residents to travel to the floating city, and gives them the associated protection within the country’s legal framework.
As of now, the project is surveying potential residents and business owners to find out what they would like from a floating city (I personally would like my own raft and a good pair of sea legs). You can help by answering the survey here.