Tahiti eyed for floating city

9:52 am on 11 January 2017

French Polynesia's president Edouard Fritch is expected in the US this weekend to sign a memorandum of understanding to build a floating city in the territory.

A floating city project design by The Seasteading Institute.

The Seasteading Institute wants to build a floating city in the Pacific. Photo: Supplied / The Seasteading Institute

Mr Fritch is to meet in California with the Seasteading Institute, which is backed by Paypal founder and billionaire Peter Thiel.

The Seasteading Institute’s Executive Director, Randolph Hencken.

Randolph Hencken Photo: Supplied / The Seasteading Institute

The institute's website said there was no open space for experimenting with new societies that was free from political influence, so it was working with a team of marine biologists, nautical engineers, aquaculture farmers, attorneys, researchers and artists to enable seastead communities - or floating cities.

The group visited French Polynesia in September 2016 and found that its links to France, its autonomy and calm waters, offered a suitable environment for the project.

Its executive director, Randolph Hencken, said he had worked for three years to find a host nation.

The agreement with French Polynesia would stipulate the territory would work with the group to create a legal structure for seazones with a special governing framework by the end of 2017.

Mr Hencken said the venture was poised to launch a seasteading industry that would provide environmental resiliency to the millions of people threatened by rising sea levels.