The term "seasteading" was coined by Ken Neumeye in his book "Sailing the Farm" in 1981. An early attempt was "The World", a condo ship operated by ResidenSea. "The World" is more Carnival Cruise than Cape Canaveral. Not so much a space aged way to live on the seas, but rather a novel cruise ship concept for citizens of existing countries who are for the most part land-based.
California's Seasteading Institute is well on its way to establishing sea-based city-states envisioning sophisticated, independent territories 200-plus miles offshore on the high seas. Pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas, the high seas are not subject to laws of any sovereign nation.
The first seastead community planned by the Seasteading Institute is off the California coast. The idea sounds far fetched but PayPal founder Peter Thiel gave the institute $500,000 already so it's not all pie in the sky. Take note, U.S. Green Building Council: LEED Blue for High Seas is in order. I, for one, think USGBC's neighborhood designation should include seasteads. As Fabien Cousteau (grandson of Jacques) told me about the earth recently: “After all, the earth IS blue.”
PHOTO: András Gyõrfi’s The Swimming City, winner of the Seasteading Institute’s 2009 3D design competition. Courtesy Seasteading Institute.