From Academic Kids

An arcology is a term invented by Paolo Soleri so far only existing conceptually (with experiments taking place at Arcosanti). It is an extremely large building, sufficient to maintain an internal ecology as well as an extremely high human population density. Popular in science fiction, arcologies are generally advocated as solutions to the problems of overpopulation and environmental degradation, as they reduce the footprint of cities. The word arcology is a portmanteau of architecture and ecology. Most cities spread across the Earth's surface horizontally-covering more and more land. Arcologies would be 'vertical cities'.


Development of the Arcology Idea

According to Soleri, the basic idea of an arcology stems from the idea that urbanization is claiming an excessive amount of space on Earth and that an elegant, but little practiced option, is simply to use what land we have more wisely. In "Arcology: The City in the Image of Man," Soleri describes ways of compacting our city structures in three dimensions to combat two-dimensional urban sprawl. While this led to many science fiction interpretations of domed cities, Soleri's ideas aren't just the "human beehive" model popular in sci-fi. They also encompass vast differences in societal thinking regarding some of the same things that Wright touched upon in transport, agriculture and commerce. Soleri deepened Wright's ideas of what might specifically need to be done by exploring resource consumption and duplication, land reclamation, elimination of most private transport in favor of public transport and greater use of social resources like public libraries. This concept also emphasizes, in a broader scale, more efficient use of resources and compacting of urban space to preserve the environment.

Some experts speculate that arcologies will become common in the information age. Construction methods for arcologies are being tested at Arcosanti. Otherwise, arcologies are restricted to paper proposals and fictional depictions, such as Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Oath of Fealty (novel) or as an element in the computer game SimCity 2000.

Real-life Visions

Many cities in the world have had proposed or desired arcologies that never went far. Tokyo has had many, which are listed here (

See also

External links

es:Arcologa fr:Arcologie he:ארקולוגיה it:Arcologia


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