A visit to Arcosanti

Paolo Soleri, architect and urban planning visionary, created Arcosanti as an “urban laboratory.” His vision included many factors society has had to rediscover over the past few decades, such as local food production, increased walkability in the built environment, and passive heating and cooling systems.

Soleri’s concept of arcology is a blend of architecture and ecology, an “urban system that can function as a hyper-organism.” The seven design principles behind the practice are meant to guide planners and designers in creating cities that are small, dense, complex, and self-sustaining, thus minimizing human effects on our environment.

While building Arcosanti with the help of thousands of volunteers, Soleri financed the project by making and selling wind bells and ceramic tiles.

More info at Paolo Soleri’s Vision of Sustainable Cities and Arcosanti.

A visit to Arcosanti

Arcosanti employs huge quantities of concrete, but also lots of hand work.

A visit to Arcosanti.

A model of Arcosanti. So far, only the dark gray structures are complete.

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The bell “factory” is located in one apse. The bells are silt formed here, then cast in the foundry.

A visit to Arcosanti

The apse is a common form in Soleri’s work.

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Arcosanti includes structures for all daily uses, including apartment-style housing.

Looking to the Village for Tomorrow’s City Design

Looking to the Village for Tomorrow’s City Design; photo of dense urban city

Some dense urban cities grew from multiple villages, today’s neighborhoods.

 Looking to the Village for Tomorrow’s City Design

This article for Sourceable examines Kent Larson’s ideas about city design. He says, “Paris was a series of these little villages that came together, and you still see that structure today.” “The 20 arrondissements of Paris are these little neighborhoods. When you have that kind of structure, you get a very even distribution of shops, physicians, pharmacies, cafes, in Paris.”Larson, an architect and researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, advises a similar type of urban planning for today’s growing cities. He calls a neighborhood a “compact urban cell.” They’re about 1.5 kilometres across, and may house 20,000 to 50,000 residents, as well as most businesses and services the residents need on a daily basis.

“Most of what people need in life can be within a 5- or 10-minute walk,” Larson said in his TED Talk.

With 300–400 million Chinese moving to the cities in the next dozen years, accommodating more residents is crucial. His team at M.I.T. has been working on a city car and an “open loft chassis” that, he says, enable more people to live comfortably in a neighborhood.

The article continues here.

And here’s more interesting info about cities:

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

 

What Does Urban Planning Offer the Developing World?

urban planning, developing world

What Does Urban Planning Offer the Developing World?

This is an article I wrote for Sourceable.net. I was curious if, in the world’s fastest-growing cities, urban planning plays a constructive role, or do planners struggle to keep up. What does urban planning offer the developing world?

 

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Sites Worth A Look: Sourceable, City Farmer News, The Automatic Earth

It’s tough to keep up with all the excellent sites out there, but these are sites worth a look: Sourceable, City Farmer News, The Automatic Earth. Loads of interesting info in each. And the first video features a German town that has pursued energy independence.

sourceable.net covers architecture, building, construction, engineering

sourceable.net is an australian web site that covers architecture, urban planning, construction, design, and engineering.

 

City Farmer News

City Farmer News has been around since the late 1970s, and online since the early 1990s.

 

If you're interested in environmental issues as they relate to global finance and predictions of collapse, check it out.

The Automatic Earth covers finance, environment, and economic collapse.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture