French Polynesia, a cluster of more than 100 islands in the South Pacific, has signed an agreement with a San Francisco-based design firm, the Seasteading Institute, to develop the world’s first semi-autonomous floating city-state. The French Polynesian government said that the futuristic habitat is aimed at addressing the rising sea levels in addition to promoting technological and economic growth in the island nation.
The long-term vision of the project is to create offshore sites, SeaZones, free from government meddling (regulations, taxes), thus attracting investment for the so-called “blue economy,” writes Seeker.
The SeaZones will not merely be the offshore equivalents of Special Economic Zones, with low corporate taxes and light regulation, but also a place with certain degree of political autonomy.
Seasteading executive director, Randolph Hencken, says that the firm is spinning off a new industry of floating islands, which offers not only an environmental resiliency to the locals but also an economic boost with its tourism potential, notes Science Alert.