Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Visit To Arcosanti

On our way to Camp Verde we noticed a sign for Arcosanti and wondered what it was all about.  I got on the internet and found this statement of purpose of Arcosanti:

 Arcology is Paolo Soleri's concept of cities which embody the fusion of architecture with ecology. The arcology concept proposes a highly integrated and compact three-dimensional urban form that is the opposite of urban sprawl with its inherently wasteful consumption of land, energy resources and time, and tendency to isolate people from each other and the community. Miniaturization creates the Urban Effect, the complex interaction between diverse entities and individuals, which mark healthy systems both in the natural world and in every successful and culturally significant city in history.
Arcology reduces city's dependence on the automobile. Today’s typical city devotes more than sixty percent of its land to roads and automobile services. The multi-use nature of arcology design would put living, working, and public spaces within easy reach of each other and walking would be the main form of transportation within the city.

Pollution is a direct function of wastefulness, not efficiency. In a three dimensional city, energy and resources are used more efficiently than in a conventional modern city. Suburban sprawl mandates a hyper-production-consumption cycle and creates mountains of waste and pollutants.
An arcology’s direct proximity to uninhabited wilderness would provide the city dweller with constant immediate and low-impact access to rural space as well as allowing agriculture to be situated near the city, maximizing the efficiency of a local food distribution system. Arcology would use passive solar architectural techniques such as the apse effect, greenhouse architecture and garment architecture to reduce the energy usage of the city, especially in terms of heating, lighting and cooling. 

In 1970 a group purchased a large parcel of land north of Phoenix and started work on the concept.  The work has processed slowly and there are about 100 people living there.  It was originally intended to provide space for 5,000 people away from urban sprawl.  

They have some very interesting buildings out there and give tours to explain what they are doing and hope to accomplish.  We didn't take the tour due to limited time, but it was an eye opener.  

Visitor center, cafe and living quarters all in same building

Workshop & living quarters

View toward a private living area.

Ceiling in the restaurant at Arcosanti

Cosanti Bells

Ceramics  work space

Side view of visitors center, cafe, living quarters
 It was interesting seeing the area and how much they have accomplished.  The buildings needed some TLC, but they were neat buildings.  All vehicles had to park on the outside of the main buildings and there were walkways between the different areas.

If you are in the area it would be worthwhile to stop and visit Arcosanti and take the tour.  It isn't a place where I would like to live, but to each his own.

We also found a number of geocaches while we were out on our ride.  Some were a little difficult to find and there were 3 that we did not find.  DNFs.  You don't get a smiley face for those.  It was a nice day for geocaching since the temperature wasn't that high.  We did have some brisk winds and we had to hold onto our hats.

Gerry remembered there is a Dairy Queen in Camp Verde and we stopped for two medium blizzards.  The medium size up here is the same as the small size blizzards at the Vail, AZ DQ.  It seems to me that a medium should be the same at all DQs, but I guess that isn't the case.

That was our day, how was yours?



  1. Gorgeous header photo!
    Arcosanti ... very interesting indeed. We will be out that way next winter. On our list. Thanks for the tour.

  2. Very, very interesting. Hopefully someday we'll get a chance to check it out. Windy here today. We're rocking and rolling pretty good.