The Future of Exclusive Communities: Seasteading

Posted By on September 28, 2015

OK, we may not necessarily be running out of land but we are seeing more of the world’s cities existing on the coast and they are getting bigger. There are many reasons for this – easily transit to other countries, shipping routes, recreation, or even the view and positivity experienced by being near the ocean.

The Future of Exclusive Communities: Seasteading looks at the idea of moving out to live on the water (not on boats) in sustainable communities. Let’s take a look at some of the early pioneers and thought leaders in this area and also at the Seasteading Institute.

The Principality of Sealand

The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognised micronation off of the coast of Engkland. Roughs Tower, an offshore platform located in the North Sea approximately 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) off the coast of Suffolk, England, has been claimed as its territory.

Roughs Tower is a disused Maunsell Sea Fort, originally called HM Fort Roughs, built as an anti-air defensive gun platform by the British during World War II.

Since 1967, this Sea Fort has been occupied by family and associates of Paddy Roy Bates, who claim that it is an independent sovereign state. Bates seized it from a group of pirate radio broadcasters in 1967 with the intention of setting up his own station at the site. He then attempted to establish Sealand as a nation-state in 1975 with the writing of a national constitution and establishment of other national symbols – crest of arms, flag, national anthem etc.

Sealand is not officially recognised by any established sovereign state in spite of Sealand’s government’s claim that it has been de facto recognised by the United Kingdom and Germany. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in force since 1994 states “Artificial islands, installations and structures do not possess the status of islands.

Building on Water

Rutger de Graaf is on a mission to make the world a more sustainable place by using creative, innovative, floating solutions to major problems such as flood risk, climate change and food scarcity. According to Rutger, one of the world’s biggest challenges is urbanisation. All over the world, people are moving from rural areas to cities.

Already a majority of people is living in cities, which are often vulnerable to flooding. The land shortage created by urbanisation, leads to shortage of resources such as food, fuel etc. One thing, Rutger says, the world has plenty of is water. Therefore his solution is to build cities on water.

Top 10 Trends Towards Floating Cities

Koen Olthuis studied Architecture and Industrial Design at the Delft University of Technology. In his vision today’s designers are an essential part of the climate change generation and should start to enhance their perspective on urban components to become dynamic instead of static. His solution called City Apps, are floating urban components that add a certain function to the existing static grid of a city.

The Seasteading Institute

At The Seasteading Institute, they work to enable seasteading communities, or floating cities, which will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government. The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world. Their current strategy centers around the Floating City Project, through which they are crafting practical plans for the world’s first seastead, designed around the needs of actual potential residents, and located within a “host” nation’s protected, territorial waters (source:

Artisanopolis was created by Gabriel Scheare, Luke & Lourdes Crowley, and Patrick White of Roark 3D and Fortgalt as a gift to The Seasteading Institute, in conjunction with the Institute’s Architectural Design Contest. It sho2s the potential of what could be achieved.


Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.

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