|Type||Mixed use (casino, education, hotel, office and residential)|
|Location||Palm Harbor, Florida, United States|
|Roof||106.7 m (350 ft)|
|Size||1,371 meters long, 225m (750 ft) wide|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Freedom Ship International|
|Seating capacity||33,000 units (18,000 living units, 3,000 commercial units, 2,400 time-share units and 10,000 hotel units)|
Freedom Ship is a floating city project initially proposed in the late 1990s. It was so named because of the "free" international lifestyle facilitated by a mobile ocean colony, though the project would not be a conventional ship, but rather a series of linked barges.
The Freedom Ship project envisions a 1,317m (0.818 miles)-long integrated city with condominium housing for 50,000 people, an airstrip to accommodate turboprop aircraft, duty-free shopping and other facilities, large enough to require rapid transit. The complex would circumnavigate the globe continuously, stopping regularly at ports of call.
Despite early press coverage on NPR's Weekend Edition and Discovery Channel's Extreme Engineering, the project has seen few recent developments. Although the initially stated in-service date was to be 2001, no construction had begun as of November 2013.
Freedom Ship International initially estimated the net cost for construction to be USD 6 billion in 1999. However, by 2002, estimates had risen to USD 11 billion. A July 2008 press release explained the difficulty of obtaining reliable financial backing. In November 2013, the company announced that the project, now with an estimated price of USD$10 billion, was being resurrected, though that construction had not yet begun.
The basic idea was already published by Jules Verne in his novel Propeller Island, even so no technical details were given. It includes the idea of building a gigantic raft. The main aim of the project was saving taxes and the Island was moving around the earth on a yearly basis.
Other projects, such as the ResidenSea, have similarly attempted to create mobile communities, though they have conservatively limited themselves to the constraints of conventional shipbuilding. In regards to the economic flexibility and "freedom" created by such mobile settlements, these projects could be considered a realization of the avant-garde Walking City concept from 1964, by British architect Ron Herron of the group Archigram. The Freedom Ship also served as the inspiration for (and is closely resembled by) the Libertania, a mobile ship depicted in Grant Morrison's comic book The Filth. Buckminster Fuller also proposed, in the 1950s, "floating cities" approximately a mile wide that could accommodate up to 50,000 permanent inhabitants. Mike Wallace interviewed Buckminster Fuller on TV regarding this "floating cities" concept which Fuller explained would free up land needed for agriculture and industrial uses.
- Seasteading, a concept applying homestead principles to the ocean, is a related process.
- Azimuth thruster, the proposed drive method
- Robert Trigaux, "Water World", sfgate.com, from St. Petersburg Times, 5 July 1999.
- Floating Cities at How Stuff Works; a discussion of floating cities using Freedom Ship as its example
- "Floating City". NPR Weekend Edition. 13 April 2002.
- Strange, Hannah (29 November 2013). "There's A $10 Billion Plan To House 40,000 People On A Huge Boat".
- Official website
- Collected Critical Comments on the Freedom Ship project by Patri Friedman of the Seasteading Institute
- "Floating Utopias", a critical look at the project and associated utopian schemes by China Miéville for In These Times
- Floating Cities, Islands and States A paper written by Alexander Bolonkin from a physics perspective using Freedom Ship as an example and providing technical information