I first became acquainted with the idea of the arcology playing one of the earlier versions of Sim City. At some point, your cities become so advanced that building clusters can be build which are self sufficient food/energy/population pods. It was a fascinating new toy for me as a game player.
Sim City 2000 Arcologies
I don’t think I realized at the time, how much that idea resonated with the rest of my life and ideas about how we should live and interact with the world around us. That the built city doesn’t need to mean a loss of green space or local community (on a simple level).
I also certainly never realized (at the time) that it was a concept created by visionary architect Paolo Soleri, and not an adaptation of a science fiction concept, or genius game developer.
Arcosanti master plan
He spent a lifetime theorizing, testing and building to show the world that we could live better. Better for us as people, better for us as stewards of this planet. Arcosanti and Cosanti in Arizona have provided testing grounds and training grounds for thousands of young architects and builders (and dreamers) and will be a small part of the legacy left in the wake of a Paolo’s death. I hope the foundation and its custodians treat them kindly and continue the work. They are ideas worth keeping.
Sand cast vaults and domes at Arcosanti
Rest in peace Paolo.
Thank you for giving us a vision of the future that we can look forward to.
Images copyright Cosanti Foundation (and EA)