Arcology /

What is the optimum, minimum, maximum size of arcologies?

RandallHunt points at HistoricalExamples
FranzNahrada argues size is depending on social relations:

I would argue that the main mistake of Arcology Theory so far was the idea that you could build a city of any magnitude without considering the dense network of social relations that constitute its life.

When we look at our main competitor, the suburbia cluster, the first thing you have to admit that they have been very successfully been able to outsource the social relations problem to their main tool, the automobile. Levittown was not only possible because it was cheap, but mainly because it was a social relations parasite. It left all questions of work, education, health and one thousand other fields of social relations outside the core concept of construction. That is the reason we see incredible scales of development in this completely irrational mode happening.

If Arcology theory points at this scale of development and simply wants to convert it to 3D, there is an enormous locical mistake involved. Arcology cannot and does not want to outsource the social relations pattern; there is no automobile to rely on and thanks god the telecommunication technology did not work so far for "cocooning" as was predicted by some futurists. So the meshwork of social relations must and should grow primartily within the built structure.

Size is only one factor of this meshwork, another one is time. We cannot point to sun city and the Levittowns around the country to prove our point here. Paolos separation between instrument and music partially roots in this unjustified comparison.


What is the current thinking on the smallest size arcology that a group might want to build and why that size is needed. Hank

Several of the arcologies Described in Soleri's book, The City in the Image of Man, have populations below 10,000. The last arcology in the book, Arcosanti, has a population of only 1,500. Arcosanti also had a low density projection of 531/hectare; 215/acre. Babelnoah has a large planned population of 6 million, and a density of 822/hectare; 333/acre, and Hexahedron a high density of 2,964/hectare; 1,200/acre with a pop. of 170,000. I'm not sure a structure with a pop. of 1,500 would produce much of an "Urban Effect," while one of 6 million would be quite metropolitan. Certainly, a population of 1,500 acology pioneers could be dynamic and "urban" enough for the first attempt. -R. L. Wade

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