A Silicon Valley of the Seas
Panama Wave S.A. is one member of a consortium of organizations and individuals concerned with the health of Earth's oceans. Not only is there a concern for the impact of rising ocean levels on island and coastal nations, there are other negative impacts which we must confront - the massive amount of human garbage discarded in ocean waters and the destruction of coral reefs critical to the ocean ecology are two of many. As the oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface and contain 97% of its water, what negatively impacts the oceans eventually impacts us all.
Our planet needs a "Silicon Valley of the Seas" to bring human intelligence, ingenuity, and entrepreneurism together to confront these huge challenges effectively. French Polynesia is a nation of nearly 300,000 people living on islands as famous as Tahiti and Bora Bora, but every bit as endangered as islands whose names are known only to the people who live on them. This followed the signing of a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) in San Francisco in January of 2017 to begin the creation of the research center in this Pacific nation. The photo above shows consortium members and government officials of French Polynesia following the signing of the initial agreement.
The MOU obligates The Seasteading Institute to conduct an economic analysis to demonstrate the economic benefits for French Polynesia, as well as an environmental assessment to assure the health of the ocean and seabed. As soon as these studies are complete, French Polynesia will collaborate with The Seasteading Institute to develop a “special governing framework” to construct sustainable floating islands.
It will take years to create a "Silicon Valley of the Seas", but the initial work is underway right now. 2017 will be focused on the feasibility study of an environmentally-sound, self-sustaining "floating community" off the shore of one of the islands, including the construction of "floating islands" as proof of concept. That project is the work of the Seasteading Institute, the lead organization without whom this ambitious effort would have been impossible. The Institute has spent the last eight years in preparation for this project with the assistance of dozens of architectural firms, engineering firms, and leading specialists in a variety of disciplines that are critical for the project's success.
Panama Wave is a supporter of the Seasteading Institute and has initially played a small part in this effort, but we plan to make a major contribution in years to come by serving as a "bridge" between the research center and Panama, providing the results of the research to Panama and, in turn, providing the center with input, suggestions, and inquiries from Panamanians who share these concerns.
At their website, you can see the results of a global competition among architects to design a "floating city". One of the two sharing First Prize was turned into the video shown below. Obviously, there is more work to be done before something as large as this is created, but the concept is not science fiction. The goal is a community on the water that is as environmentally-sensitive and self-sustaining as possible. The first effort will be much smaller, but will use the new technologies that have been developed to desalinize ocean water for human use and hydroponics, as well as take advantage both of solar energy and power created through wave action. There is much more to it than that, but it is a simple visual introduction to one of the critical goals of the new research center.
We look forward to bringing you more news from French Polynesia as work gets underway. If you have a serious interest in this sort of activity, let us know!
The animation below is an example of one of the two architectural plans for a full-city seastead prepared for a competition held by the Seasteading Institute in Silicon Valley. The "ring" not only separates the city from the powerful ocean waves, it also uses the action of those waves to help power the city, in addition to using solar panels. As you will see, the city is built with "modules" that can be joined together in many configurations, and then separated as needed for maintenance or upgrading. What looks like a cruise ship is the ship that will provide regular transportation from the city to the mainland. This is only a simple example, but behind it lies nearly a decade of specialized technical and architectural research.