In 1970, the Foundation began construction of Arcosanti, a prototype arcology, in order to physically test Soleri’s urban planning concept. Paolo Soleri and his wife Colly established the Cosanti Foundation in 1965 in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Arcosanti builders who came through the workshop program made the current Arcosanti possible. The term Cosanti comes from two Italian words “Cosa” and “Anti” and means literally, “before things.” Cosanti, a non-profit educational institution focuses on ideas about urban design.
“The problem I am confronting is the present design of cities only a few stories high, stretching outward in unwieldy sprawl for miles. As a result, they literally transform the earth, turn farms into parking lots, wasting enormous amounts of time and energy transporting people, goods, & services over their expanses. My solution is urban implosion rather than explosion.” –Paolo Soleri, 1977