In April, the world's "third smallest sovereign state" was established: Liberland. Established on a small patch of unclaimed land created by the border dispute between Croatia and Serbia, the new country founded on the principles of libertarianism is currently battling for international recognition - although as reported by The New York Times Magazine in August, this remains a steep uphill struggle. In spite of these challenges, the European micronation is seeking ideas through a global design competition on how to masterplan its seven-square-kilometer territory. Zaha Hadid Architects' Patrik Schumacher is one of the many experts that have been summoned to judge the proposals, of which aim to establish a "multi-stage" plan that will reflect Liberland's Libertarian and Anarcho-Capitalist values.
"Rather than purely fantastical or artistic schemes, Liberland seeks radically creative, yet mature proposals for a fertile, high-density city-nation of the 21st century, responsive to its advanced contemporary network society," says the competition brief.
"Liberland is real. This is not solely a speculative ideas competition. Liberland needs architecture. Entries must include – but be developed beyond – speculative concepts, into fully visualized, ambitious, flexible design systems demonstrating agility for adaptation and maximum potential for developing a multi-authored fluid built environment on the basis of evolving ‘light touch’ rules.
"The goal is to achieve an artificial ecosystem of high permeability, fluidity, flexibility, and entrepreneurial potential in a complex variegated urban order that functions as a coherent, unified system yet retains highly adaptive to local conditions, groups, individuals, institutions and organizations by activating light-touch rule-based design networks and symbioses."
As the Architects' Journal reports, around 340,000 people have already applied for Liberland citizenship.
Learn more about the competition, here.
TitleDesign Liberland: Competition Seeks to Masterplan New European Micronation
Registration Deadline05/12/2015 01:01
Correction update: This article has been amended to clarify the origins and current legal status of Liberland.