Acrology and Arcosanti : Towards a sustainable built environment

Grierson, David (2003) Acrology and Arcosanti : Towards a sustainable built environment. Electronic Green Journal, 1 (18). ISSN 1076-7975 (

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Around the world, as cities reach unprecedented sizes, their increasing social and environmental problems need to be addressed if we are to avoid catastrophe. Paolo Soleri's arcology model aims at a more balanced relationship between urban form and efficiency of performance within a unique conception of the modern city. Since 1970 a prototype has been constructed at Arcosanti in the central Arizona desert to test the validity of the arcology model (see Picture 2) exploring such issues as the intensification in the use of space, higher residential densities, centralization, compactness, the integration of land uses, and self-containment of habitat. This essay describes both the arcology theory and the Arcosanti project and how the related ongoing work has wider significance in responding to some of the overlapping challenges that are involved in a movement towards more sustainable built environments.