Arcosanti - An Urban Laboratory in the Arizona Desert.

What is Arcology?

Arcology is Paolo Soleri's concept of cities which embody the fusion of architecture with ecology. The arcology concept proposes a highly integrated and compact three-dimensional urban form that is the opposite of urban sprawl with its inherently wasteful consumption of land, energy resources and time, and tendency to isolate people from each other and the community. Miniaturization creates the Urban Effect, the complex interaction between diverse entities and individuals, which mark healthy systems both in the natural world and in every successful and culturally significant city in history.

Arcology reduces city's dependence on the automobile. Today’s typical city devotes more than sixty percent of its land to roads and automobile services. The multi-use nature of arcology design would put living, working, and public spaces within easy reach of each other and walking would be the main form of transportation within the city.

Pollution is a direct function of wastefulness, not efficiency. In a three dimensional city, energy and resources are used more efficiently than in a conventional modern city. Suburban sprawl mandates a hyper-production-consumption cycle and creates mountains of waste and pollutants.

An arcology’s direct proximity to uninhabited wilderness would provide the city dweller with constant immediate and low-impact access to rural space as well as allowing agriculture to be situated near the city, maximizing the efficiency of a local food distribution system. Arcology would use passive solar architectural techniques such as the apse effect, greenhouse architecture and garment architecture to reduce the energy usage of the city, especially in terms of heating, lighting and cooling.