The term arcology comes from architecture + ecology.  The concept was developed by the Italian architect Paolo Soleri. In an arcology, architectural structures and inhabitants interact as parts of a living organism.  This means many systems work together, efficient circulation of people and  resources, multi-use buildings, and solar orientation for lighting, heating and cooling

Hexahedron from Arcology Theory: "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, time and human resources

In nature, as an organism evolves it increases in complexity, and it also becomes a more compact or miniaturized system. The city too is an organism, one that shouldfollow the same process of complexification and miniaturization to become a more lively container for the social, cultural, and spiritual evolution of [humankind]."
Paolo Soleri - Earth's Answer, Lindsifarne Books, ©1977


Designed by Paolo Soleri, Arcosanti is located in the high desert of northern Arizona. Begun in 1970 as an "urban laboratory," it can house 7000 people while occupying only 25 acres of a 4,060 acre preserve. The site promotes this alternative use of space and seeks to educate people on arcology and Soleri via a virtual tour, various essays and e-mail links to some of the residents. The Arcosanti web site is the next best thing to being there.

(from a synopsis in The Scout Report - October 25, 1996)

Web Site Arcosanti Home Page


Selected Materials Published by Paolo Soleri
(note - selections from some of these are available on-line at the Arcosanti Home Page

The Bridge Between Matter and Spirit is Matter Becoming Spirit

Paolo Soleri - We The People Radio Interview By Jerry Brown, Part 1, December 8, 1995
Paolo Soleri - We The People Radio Interview By Jerry Brown, Part 2 December 11, 1995

on-line essays about Pablo Soleri and Arcology

on-line document Arcology of Love, The Work of Paolo Soleri by Doctress Neutopia

Arcology Evolution

Hexagon 1st Generation Arcology - the theoretical definition of a radical urban system

Air Dam Arcology 2nd Generation Arcology - the splitting of the arcology in half, exposing the core to the sun (solar energy).  Arcosanti, originally a 1GA, was subsequently redisigned as 2GA

Valleta Spring 3rd Generation Arcology - packaging the 2GA - modular and standardised structures

Crystals 4th Generation Arcology - colonisation of outer space

Arcologies in Art

art work Detail of City by Jim Purdon

related topics:

the singularity transhumanism new paradigms  nanotechnology

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updated 5 December 1999