Arcosanti: "A Utopian Well in the Desert"


Paolo Soleri has started building Arcosanti in 1970 and is still at it. However, after 37 years the utopian vision of Soleri, so radical at the time, has proven truly prescient. According to Chris Colin of the New York Times, With its radical conservation techniques and a brilliantly scrunched-together layout, Arcosanti was intended to reinvent not just the city, but also man's relationship to the planet: picture a 60s vision of a Mars colony, but with a cutting-edge, eco-friendly design. Evaporative cooling pools release moisture into the air. In winter, heat from the foundry furnace is collected by a hood and sent through the apartments above.

Soleri has never had the money to keep the project moving, and Colin calls it "a stalled revolution in urban planning or a moldering relic of impractical idealism, depending on whom you ask." but perhaps this is a revolution whose time has come. Soleri's visions of sustainability and environmental sensitivity are mainstream now, perhaps Arcosanti's time has come. ::New York Times

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