Les (tenacious_snail) wrote in green_homes,
Les
tenacious_snail
green_homes

Arcosanti

On Sunday, I went to visit Arcosanti on my drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix. There were a number of things about it that I found impressive, and a number that made me curious.

Arcosanti was designed by Paolo Soleri, who had been a student of Frank Lloyd Wright's. Soleri's motivation was "arcology"-- a combination of architecture and ecology, with the idea of creating a multiuse urban location that does not depend on cars, has a strong sense of community and connection, and is environmentally sustainable.

this blog entry by someone who lived there as an intern gives you a better sense of what it is like and has some excellent photographs.

Some things about the design could be used on a far smaller scale-- the use of passive solar, using an apse rather than the veranda/overhang/porch that I've seen in pre-electricity built houses in the southern US as a way to get shade in summer and sunlight in winter, placing a greenhouse going up a hill so as to be able to include temperate at one end and tropical at the other.

Arcosanti began being built about 40 years ago. When it is completed, it is intended to provide space for a community of 5000 people. Currently, about 100 people live there. I'm curious about why...is it that the design and concept isn't appealing? Is it that a geographically remote town just doesn't work? How does one do sustainable urban planning? Is the assertion that Arcosanti is not an intentional community accurate or inaccurate? What role does that have in how it operates? Does the ownership of all real estate by a nonprofit organization, with co-use fees paid by residents make this more of a...landlord? a town? what?

How can we develop/encourage the development of things like a greenhouse that provides both food and heating? Isn't that a total win-win?
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