It sounds like story straight from a Star Trek episode but the Venus Project and others like it aims to alleviate the pressure on our land- based population with cities on the sea.
The first phase of The Venus Project’s long-term plans is already underway. Jacque Fresco, futurist, inventor, industrial designer and founder of The Venus Project and associate Roxanne Meadows have completed the construction of a 25-acre research centre in Venus, Florida to help present the proposals of the project.
This is not the only venutre working on floating cities or floating structures. Shell is preparing to anchor the world’s largest floating offshore structure – the Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas facility – off Australia’s north-west coast in 2014. The structure is huge - the length of four football fields and one field wide - bigger than the Empire State Building. It will be built to withstand Category Five typhoons, and will produce the natural gas equivalent of 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
In Amsterdam, developers have created an ambitious housing project. Waterbuurt is a collection of 75 buildings designed to prove that regular people - there are roughly 1,000 residents of various ages and income levels - can live comfortably on the water. US organisation The Seasteading Institute plans to create cities which float on the ocean. The proejct is headed by software engineer Patri Friedman, the grandson of Nobel prize-winning economist, Milton Friedman. He has a dream of building a seastead, a floating city where the population produces its own food and energy, and establishes its own laws. The prototype city to be built by 2020, will be made up of modular square or pentagon shaped platforms and house about 225 people.
Experts predict climate change will cause sea levels to rise 3 ft. (0.9 m) or more by 2100, putting hundreds of low-lying cities - including Bangkok, London and Miami - at risk of massive and permanent flooding. Perhaps it’s time to embrace a different way of living on what’ll become valuable ‘property’ - the ocean.