World's first artificial floating village could be home to hundreds of people by 2020
Here's everything you need to know and expect from the upcoming floating village in Tahiti.
A village floating on the sea - was once only conjured by writers, science-fiction enthusiasts, filmmakers and poets in their imagination. Now, Blue Frontiers, a Singapore-based start-up, is building a floating village and breathing life into imagination. The world's first artificial aqua village will soon be floating on the blue-hued waters of Tahitian lagoon.
The aptly-named company - Blue Frontiers - has signed a contract of understanding with the French Polynesian government to build a $60 million floating village on the south side of the main island of Tahiti.
An ocean floating community known as a 'Seastead' has excited generations having resulted in several plans and ideas to make the same possible. In the 1960s, the American inventor and dreamer - Buckminster Fuller - designed the Triton City - a town of 5,000 people floating on Japan's Tokyo Bay - serving as a water extension for one of the world's most populated cities. However, the consent between Blue Frontiers and French Polynesia - might be the first time a project of similar nature has moved beyond the speculative stages.
Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, which is the driving force and inspiration behind Blue Frontiers, is hoping to open the village for people by 2020 and is using that village as a challenging test for future cities that he plans to build on waters bordering nations.
He hopes that the floating village would thrive and create several eco-tourism and give way to new aquatic industries, like seaweed farming and wave power.
The floating village set to be built by the waters of Tahiti will be inside the island's protective coral reef - about 100 feet deep and 1,000 yards from the shore. The village should be able to accommodate 200 - 300 people living and working in the area comfortably.
Jean Christophe Bouissou - minister and spokesman for the French Polynesian government - on the advantages of floating cities in lagoons.
The plan is to create floating platforms about the size of a baseball diamond each - which would potentially be connected to one another by walkways - making the village a size of about 7,500 square feet. Quirk, who is most excited about this project, has wild ideas for it. He says, "We're going to have bungalows, we're going to have apartments, we're going to have research institutions, we're going to have underwater restaurants...It will be a tourist attraction in its own right, and a showcase for sustainable societies. We plan for these platforms to increase the density of sea life as animals and plants attach to it. You'll go down into the basement and look through the glass walls and see the sea life… to really introduce people to how floating societies can be environmentally restorative." While Quirk says that the project will be environment-friendly, it is a hard thing to believe for many people.
The Seasteading Institute founded in 2008, was initially funded by the Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel. Quirk explains the concept and initiative of the institute when he says, "The reason we're able to call it a seastead is that it will be something of a semi-autonomous governmental start-up, under the protection of French Polynesia..so they're allowing us to make this first step, to see if we can establish something spectacular."
Bart Roeffen, the project architect, specializes in floating structures with the Dutch firm Blue21 has always wanted to create something in the lagoon by Tahiti that blended well with it's surrounding. He hopes that the village looks like a natural island from a distance and hopes to achieve that look using green "living roofs" of gardens that he hopes will also help filter waste water.
In an extra attempt to make the project environmental friendly - he plans for the buildings to be constructed out of recycled and renewable materials such as coconut wood. He believes that the technologies needed for floating communities are increasing in importance and demand especially in areas that are threatened by rising sea levels.
"The fringes between the land and the water are where everything comes together," Roeffen says, "so what we would like to do is to create more fringes."
The company is banking on raising the initial capital of $60 million in an "initial coin offering" of virtual currency - in February of the next year.
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