SkyriseCities headquarters is closed for the holidays. We'll be back with our regularly scheduled editorial on January 2nd, but we've collected fantastical projects that leave solid earth to give you something to read while we're away.

While to some, the notion of a floating city might conjure up images of a web-toed Kevin Costner on a Sea-Doo as seen in the 1995 cult-classic Waterworld, a real world proposal by the Seasteading Institute includes extensive plans for just that. The Floating City Project is touted by its creators as a viable option for those electing to live life on the open seas, completely off grid, and as part of a close-knit community with shared values and vision for the future. 

Floating City, surrounded by protective sea wall, image via the Seasteading Institute

To be built just offshore of a willing host nation, the Floating City would seek to exist with a symbiotic relationship with its host, receiving protection and political autonomy in exchange for bringing the gift of a futuristic, profile-boosting, floating city to their shores. Safer due to shallow waters and access to dry land in case of an emergency, the first Floating City would necessitate a friendly relationship with the host. 

Floating City, modular construction, panel by panel, image via the Seasteading Institute

Constructed via a modular system whereby each panel or unit is completed and then attached to the larger grid, the Floating City model has the potential to grow as large as desired. Each panel could be arranged and rearranged as the residents and local planners see fit. Pre-fab architecture taken to the extreme, the modular nature of the Floating City opens up limitless possibilities for the future of city-building. 

Floating City, units spreading outward from a central hub, image via the Seasteading Institute

Proposed for completion by 2020, the first Floating City could be up and running in just a few short years, provided that a viable marketplace, not to mention an amenable host nation, could be secured in a timely fashion. Below, a video produced by the Seasteading Institute, featuring impressive animations and renderings of what the first Floating City could look like, places the massive scope of the project in perspective, allowing one to visualize what the finished product could look like in the near future. 

For now little more than a pipe dream, the Floating City could very well one day become a reality, a life on the open seas no longer the realm of dystopian science fiction, but the next step in 21st-century urban living. 

Tell us what you think of this project in the comments section below!