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Educating others on the Arcology concept

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  • Eric Blyth
    It seems we have a very diverse and well-educated group of people forming, I m glad to see the interest! I think one of our primary tasks should be to educate
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 13, 2002
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      It seems we have a very diverse and well-educated group of people
      forming, I'm glad to see the interest!

      I think one of our primary tasks should be to educate the general
      public, young and old, and our politicians and city planners as
      well. Many people still get the impression that an arcology is a
      huge dome, or space station, or giant flying Arco from SimCity2000,
      or something sci-fi like that. We need to destroy this idea of
      arcology and demonstrate its true value.

      We need to get the concept of Arcology out there to our city
      planners, as opposed to their current thoughts of "smart growth",
      which to me means nothing. Smart Growth is just a fancy way of
      saying "let's take longer to make decisions, and let's ask the public
      what they want". Well, the public wants houses, cuz that's the
      American Dream, but let's change their train-of-thought to something
      more ecological, such as Arcology.

      I was wondering if someone in this group would be willing to write
      something that explains the arcological concept? Something not too
      long, but still very concise and informative, demonstrating the value
      of an arcology to an existing city. I noticed a few people that had
      excellent writing skills, perhaps you would be willing to write
      something, and post it here in the forums so that us lobbyers could
      use it??? Please try and avoid reference to a large building or
      giant structure, I think this is what frightens city planners and
      politicians. Try and focus on the concept and its positive effects
      on urban sprawl.

      Thank you, hope to see some posts too. Cheers Arcologists!
    • David
      ... value ... I m up for it. I can do, say, a 500-word write-up based on my own understanding of the Arcology concept. I should be able to have that done
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 13, 2002
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        > I was wondering if someone in this group would be willing to write
        > something that explains the arcological concept? Something not too
        > long, but still very concise and informative, demonstrating the
        value
        > of an arcology to an existing city.
        > ...perhaps you would be willing to write
        > something, and post it here in the forums so that us lobbyers could
        > use it??? Please try and avoid reference to a large building or
        > giant structure, I think this is what frightens city planners and
        > politicians. Try and focus on the concept and its positive effects
        > on urban sprawl.

        I'm up for it. I can do, say, a 500-word write-up based on my own
        understanding of the Arcology concept. I should be able to have that
        done within a couple of days.

        Before I start, though, I have two overlapping questions:

        1.) What's the intended use for this document? and

        2.) Who is the intended audience?

        For instance, are we aiming at informing city politicians /
        planners? Trying to change their minds? Are we trying to
        communicate with blue-collar taxpayers? Business / manufacturing
        leaders? Environmentalist types who happen to be unfamiliar with
        Arcology? As diverse an audience as possible? None of the above?

        How we answer these questions will significantly affect how I shape
        the article, and I want to do the best I can with it.

        Also, after I've written it, I would like to have what I write
        critiqued here, before it goes beyond this group, especially by those
        on this board who have long been involved with Arcology, and most
        especially by those who have:

        -really developed their own thoughts on the matter, and/or have

        -gotten "real-life" perspective:
        -through experience (positive and negative) at Arcosanti,
        -through interaction with Paolo Soleri or other "significant
        figures", or
        -through experience in other experimental communities or in
        industries relevant to Arcology (real estate, architecture, land
        management, alternative power resources, etc)

        ...and who might suggest important points or nuances of expression
        that didn't occur to me.

        So, what I write up will be like an early beta version of an open-
        source document, ready for fine-tuning. It won't pretend to be the
        final word, but it will aspire to become that, with your input. My
        aim is to draft a document that will represent as concisely as
        possible the discussion group's sense of the benefits of Arcology.
        That won't happen with the first draft, and I take criticism well, so
        I encourage your involvement.

        Eric suggested "demonstrating the value of an arcology to an existing
        city," and "avoid reference to a large building or giant structure, I
        think this is what frightens city planners and politicians. Try and
        focus on the concept and its positive effects on urban sprawl."

        Does anyone have other guidelines or suggestions before I begin
        writing? Any existing documentation that I should review prior to
        starting, or concepts that I should make sure to integrate? Anything
        I absolutely should NOT say?

        I'll begin organizing my material tomorrow morning, but I'll check
        the board throughout the day for anyone's suggestions. Or e-mail me
        through the link at the top of this post, if you'd rather.

        -David
      • gkosmides@noospherics.com
        Great idea. After 25 years of involvement with arcology, Paolo, and Arcosanti I am more convinced than ever that the best way to get arcology off the ground
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 14, 2002
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          Great idea. After 25 years of involvement with arcology, Paolo, and Arcosanti I am more convinced than ever that the best way to get arcology "off the ground" (get it?) is to a) educate people in as many ways as possible and b) build a prototype (or get the one that has started moving faster).

          That's why I am trying to get this slideshow out to as many groups and universities as possible.

          The write-up on arcology on arcosanti.org is pretty good, succinct and interesting. But that doesn't mean that we can't have another! Also I think a really good website that conveys the concepts, ideas, possibilities, etc would be great. Lou and I have a number of ideas.

          -George
          >
          > From: "David" <david_arcologistics@...>
          > Date: 2002/11/14 Thu AM 02:30:43 EST
          > To: arcology@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [arcology] Re: Educating others on the Arcology concept
          >
          > > I was wondering if someone in this group would be willing to write
          > > something that explains the arcological concept? Something not too
          > > long, but still very concise and informative, demonstrating the
          > value
          > > of an arcology to an existing city.
          > > ...perhaps you would be willing to write
          > > something, and post it here in the forums so that us lobbyers could
          > > use it??? Please try and avoid reference to a large building or
          > > giant structure, I think this is what frightens city planners and
          > > politicians. Try and focus on the concept and its positive effects
          > > on urban sprawl.
          >
          > I'm up for it. I can do, say, a 500-word write-up based on my own
          > understanding of the Arcology concept. I should be able to have that
          > done within a couple of days.
          >
          > Before I start, though, I have two overlapping questions:
          >
          > 1.) What's the intended use for this document? and
          >
          > 2.) Who is the intended audience?
          >
          > For instance, are we aiming at informing city politicians /
          > planners? Trying to change their minds? Are we trying to
          > communicate with blue-collar taxpayers? Business / manufacturing
          > leaders? Environmentalist types who happen to be unfamiliar with
          > Arcology? As diverse an audience as possible? None of the above?
          >
          > How we answer these questions will significantly affect how I shape
          > the article, and I want to do the best I can with it.
          >
          > Also, after I've written it, I would like to have what I write
          > critiqued here, before it goes beyond this group, especially by those
          > on this board who have long been involved with Arcology, and most
          > especially by those who have:
          >
          > -really developed their own thoughts on the matter, and/or have
          >
          > -gotten "real-life" perspective:
          > -through experience (positive and negative) at Arcosanti,
          > -through interaction with Paolo Soleri or other "significant
          > figures", or
          > -through experience in other experimental communities or in
          > industries relevant to Arcology (real estate, architecture, land
          > management, alternative power resources, etc)
          >
          > ...and who might suggest important points or nuances of expression
          > that didn't occur to me.
          >
          > So, what I write up will be like an early beta version of an open-
          > source document, ready for fine-tuning. It won't pretend to be the
          > final word, but it will aspire to become that, with your input. My
          > aim is to draft a document that will represent as concisely as
          > possible the discussion group's sense of the benefits of Arcology.
          > That won't happen with the first draft, and I take criticism well, so
          > I encourage your involvement.
          >
          > Eric suggested "demonstrating the value of an arcology to an existing
          > city," and "avoid reference to a large building or giant structure, I
          > think this is what frightens city planners and politicians. Try and
          > focus on the concept and its positive effects on urban sprawl."
          >
          > Does anyone have other guidelines or suggestions before I begin
          > writing? Any existing documentation that I should review prior to
          > starting, or concepts that I should make sure to integrate? Anything
          > I absolutely should NOT say?
          >
          > I'll begin organizing my material tomorrow morning, but I'll check
          > the board throughout the day for anyone's suggestions. Or e-mail me
          > through the link at the top of this post, if you'd rather.
          >
          > -David
          >
          >
          >
          > Site of the month. The 500 year Town. L. Gene Zellmer 1998
          > http://www.www60829.w1.com/
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > *
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
        • Eric Blyth
          WOW, I MUST SAY I M THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED WITH THE LEVEL OF INTEREST AND INVOLVEMENT IN THIS GROUP! THANK YOU DAVID FOR VOLUNTEERING FOR THE TASK, GREATLY
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 14, 2002
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            WOW, I MUST SAY I'M THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED WITH THE LEVEL OF INTEREST
            AND INVOLVEMENT IN THIS GROUP! THANK YOU DAVID FOR VOLUNTEERING FOR
            THE TASK, GREATLY APPRECIATED!!


            > I'm up for it. I can do, say, a 500-word write-up based on my own
            understanding of the Arcology concept. I should be able to have that
            done within a couple of days.
            >
            > Before I start, though, I have two overlapping questions:
            >
            > 1.) What's the intended use for this document? and

            WELL, IN MY OPINION, EVEN THOUGH WE'RE ALL REALLY INTERESTED IN
            GETTING AN ARCOLOGY OFF THE GROUND, THIS IS GOING TO PROVE DIFFICULT
            FOR SEVERAL REASONS. 1) Geographical situation -- we're all
            spreadout, and I don't expect people to want to move until we get
            something more definite going. 2) Funding. 3) Other obstacles that
            we can overcome as we proceed.

            SO, HAVING SAID THAT, I FEEL THE BEST WAY TO BEGIN THIS WHOLE THING
            IS AN "EDUCATE-AND-STRIKE" APPROACH. Basically, we educate our
            politicians and city planners, as well as the general public, and
            keep doing so until the public accepts the concept of Arcology, and
            sees its values. If we all do this in our respective neighbourhoods,
            and areas we feel would suit an arcology, one of us is bound to
            eventually get support from influencial politicians, citizens and
            corporations. Once we've achieved this, it's much easier to get
            things off the ground -- we have support, a foundation laid out --
            and we can then look at uniting geographically.

            COMMENTS, QUESTIONS or CONCERNS REGARDING THIS STATEMENT? FEEL FREE
            TO MENTION ANYTHING YOU DEEM IMPORTANT!


            >
            > 2.) Who is the intended audience?
            >
            > How we answer these questions will significantly affect how I shape
            > the article, and I want to do the best I can with it.

            I THINK WE SHOULD HAVE A DOCUMENT TO BE USED FOR OUR POLITICIANS, AND
            ANOTHER FOR THE BLUE-COLLAR CITIZENS. 1) Politicians: We should
            focus more on the effects arcology would have on urban sprawl. Also
            the economic values this would generate. And also the importance and
            attention it would bring to the city as leading centre for
            Arcological and City Planning research and development. 2) Blue
            Collars: Focus on the effects Arcology would have on urban sprawl,
            how it reduces taxes, saves greenspace, and promotes an interactive
            society. AVOID the idea of giant towers filled with cramped
            appartments if possible.


            >
            > Does anyone have other guidelines or suggestions before I begin
            > writing? Any existing documentation that I should review prior to
            > starting, or concepts that I should make sure to integrate?
            > Anything I absolutely should NOT say?


            - MAKE SURE THE LETTER TO POLITICIANS IS AS GENERIC AS POSSIBLE. ie.
            using examples of States would not apply in Canada or Britain where
            we have Provinces. Same goes with Presidents vs. Prime Ministers.
            (just examples of course..)
            - AVOID THE IDEA/VIEW OF AN ARCOLOGY BEING A GIANT BUILDING. The
            feeling I got was that people think of an Arcology as a giant
            building, filled to the brim with cramped living quarters and full of
            peace-loving hippies. We need to destroy this perception.
            - DEMONSTRATE THE "CHAIN" OF POSITIVE EFFECTS ARCOLOGY PROVIDES:
            example of "chain": an Arcology means centralized services, which
            means less need to travel, means less cars on roads, less traffic and
            less pollution, which leads to cleaner air, which means healthier
            people, which leads to longer life, which means lower gouvernment
            health funding, which means lower taxes or increased spending in
            other valuable areas such as education, etc... etc... etc...


            The rest, I leave to you! I will personally be using these documents
            to educate citizens of the City of Ottawa, politicians and city
            planners of the LeBreton Flats site here in Ottawa, as well as all
            Canadians via the www.canada.com website's forums. I encourage all
            others in this discussion group to do the same in your neighbourhoods
            and areas of interest, and keep posting your thoughts and ideas here!

            Passive promotion of the Arcology concept, such as is the situation
            with Arcosanti, leads to verrrrrry slooooooooooowww progress.
            Pro-activeness leads to results, and an ARCOLOGY!!!!

            :)
          • David
            I. The Proposed Arcology Write-Up George, I m definitely interested in all of the things you mentioned, and I d particularly love to learn all about the
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 14, 2002
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              I. The Proposed Arcology Write-Up

              George, I'm definitely interested in all of the things you mentioned,
              and I'd particularly love to learn all about the things that you and
              Lou have in mind.

              I sure don't want to reinvent the wheel by writing a duplicate of the
              arcosanti.org material.

              Perhaps the group members could review Arcosanti's material and other
              material in print or online (see below for the couple of links I
              remember without looking) and comment here regarding what they
              believe needs special emphasis or less emphasis in the write-up I'm
              offering to do. Once again if we select a particular audience that
              would also affect the way the content is presented. If we choose to
              aim it at a very general audience, that's perfectly fine as well; I'd
              like everyone's input regarding where best to aim this write-up.

              BTW George, is your slideshow something that I could access online?
              (Is the one at arcosanti.org the same one you're showing?) Also, I'd
              like to know what in your experience are the most important issues to
              touch on in an introductory presentation. What sorts of things do
              audiences really want to know about Arcology?

              II. The "Arcology Information Website" project:

              I'm very interested in there being an independent and up-to-date
              Arcology information site. We could either start a new one or build
              on one of the few existing ones.

              I'm aware of only a couple of other arcology websites besides
              Arcosanti.org. One or two have well-presented information but some
              have only a placeholder page.

              Of the links in this group's collection, I recall Seth Morris and
              Becky Herndon's PeaGreenBoat arco info site favorably, but it hasn't
              been updated since 1999. The Chicago arcology network
              (arcologize.org), on the other hand, seems to have pulled all its
              content and shows only an under construction placeholder. I recall
              there being some interesting personal-viewpoint articles, an agenda
              for developing an arcology in Chicago, as well as good photos of
              Arcosanti and Soleri on that site a few years ago, and I really
              regret the loss.

              Doctress Neutopia offers her considerably developed perspective on
              Arcology in her own web pages, and I've found a couple of
              other "personal experience at Arcosanti" pages from time to time. An
              online repository should make maximum use of these and other
              viewpoints, either by linking to them or by getting permission to
              archive them.

              Arcology.com and arcology.org are pretty much placeholders but they
              have a clean look and are excellent URLs for an information site.
              The last time I checked, the wonderfully-illustrated Japanese
              HyperBuilding Consortium site was down and out, but fortunately I had
              saved all the English-language pages when I first visited, and I
              intend to incorporate some of that "conceptual sales pitch" feel in
              the article I'm writing.

              Perhaps we can resurrect one of these static sites and then begin to
              compile a complete library of arcology-related information.

              That's a much bigger project than the introductory write-up being
              proposed, but a permanent online repository offering basic
              information as well as various developed viewpoints would really
              serve the interests of the arcology community and those interested in
              what we're all about.

              For obvious reasons Soleri's basic ideas have to take somewhat center
              stage. But since we'd be operating independently of Arcosanti.org,
              there would be freedom to include perspectives that differ markedly
              from Soleri's, whether in terms of government, economics, "theology",
              aesthetics, basic vision, whatever. I'm sure the thousands of people
              inspired by Soleri have myriad views on these things. It would be
              good to have a place where these views are recorded and the
              discussion continued in a more or less formal way.

              In addition, we need it just to keep this discussion group's current
              ideas from fading into oblivion. So many of the nearly 2000 posts on
              this board contain valuable and original information that isn't
              topically arranged. A well-organized library would help us to
              minimize redundant brainstorming and would give us all a common set
              of ideas to work from, as we do fresh work.

              -David
            • Daniel DeLorme
              ... Sell arcology. In order to do that, the basic concepts must be explained, but the primary goal is to convince people that arcology is good and desirable.
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 14, 2002
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                > I'm up for it. I can do, say, a 500-word write-up based on my own
                > understanding of the Arcology concept. I should be able to have that
                > done within a couple of days.
                >
                > Before I start, though, I have two overlapping questions:
                >
                > 1.) What's the intended use for this document?

                Sell arcology. In order to do that, the basic concepts must be explained,
                but the primary goal is to convince people that arcology is good and
                desirable.

                > 2.) Who is the intended audience?

                We're going to need several flavors of this document to appeal to
                different groups, so for the moment I suggest you just write for
                whoever you feel more comfortable.

                > Does anyone have other guidelines or suggestions before I begin
                > writing? Any existing documentation that I should review prior to
                > starting, or concepts that I should make sure to integrate? Anything
                > I absolutely should NOT say?

                Avoid bashing cars and suburbia. People are not going to be receptive
                if you are negative about their lifestyle. For example, this is the
                second sentence of the "Arcology Theory" on arcosanti.org:

                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, time and human resources.

                Right there, people will be less interested in a "compact" environment
                (regardless of what "compact" really means in this context) and they
                are being told their lifestyle is "inherently wasteful".

                The document should focus on the practical aspects of arcology (what it
                can do for YOU), not the theoretical aspects like complexification and
                miniaturization.


                Daniel DeLorme
              • Leonardi, Doug
                Hear, hear, Daniel. There has been more than enough bashing of one another s camps in the literature, either for or against arcology. People have no idea what
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 14, 2002
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                  RE: [arcology] Re: Educating others on the Arcology concept

                  Hear, hear, Daniel.

                  There has been more than enough bashing of one another's camps in the literature, either for or against arcology. People have no idea what it is, only that it's threatening because it is "the opposite of what we know", not just an alternative.

                  I suggest illustrating, in some simple way, what ordinary life in an Arc/SubArc would be like. The people I talk to aren't concerned with big issues, they just have a bad preconception about what their home, their family, their Life would be like in such a community.

                  Also, people tend to assume it would either be A) dirty, industrial city blocks as far as the eye can see (anyone remember William Gibson's BAMA, the Boston-Atlanta Metro Area?) or B) cubicles in a giant complex. The first is the nightmare of our own capitalistic industrial machine run amok, the other the nightmare of communism/technocracy/big-brother gotten out of control.

                  Whether justified or not, these images exist because they looked cool in movies and books, so people know them. There is nothing about the greenness of a REAL arcology.

                  I suggest bringing that home.

                  Describe walking home through an open air park, canopies along the sides for inclement weather. Kids playing in the forest outside your backdoor, friends walking by on Main Street out the front. Maybe getting to your leased, electric car in under five minutes at the garage for a spin outside the city.

                  Let people know this is a voluntary and appealing thing, not an ultimatum or a judgement on their current lifestyle. We've seen enough of that.

                  Doug

                  Btw, I don't want to keep bringing it up, since there hasn't been much interest in it so far, but for the record I have several fully designed, balanced and totally cost effective (in fact profitable) SubArcological designs which house between 700 and 2,500 people with commerce, light industry and municipal space. The smallest fits on 8 acres and can be built for about $220M in less than a year. I also have models and graphics which could be used in presentations if the group chooses to use any of the designs.

                  I'd also like to put forward the following financial thought :

                  For a small SubArc, the total construction costs (around $250M, including commercial and municipal) could be distributed to the homeowners and be somewhere in the order of $360,000 per unit purchase price, after which there is no rent or condo fee. This is within the price range of a nice home virtually anywhere in the country.

                  Of course, as a home owner you also own a part of the growing community. You are literally a stockholder in the venture to build the city, and as such you would PERSONALLY profit from commercial revenues as a member of the cooperative/corporation, making the people directly invested in the commercial tax base, and at the same time holds the businesses accountable to the will of the people, who are all members of the board of directors that rents to them, manages their facilities, and supplies their services.

                  In short, if done right even a modest SubArc could be both profitable and a model of a responsible public/private sector partnership where the people held the better hand.

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Daniel DeLorme [mailto:daniel@...]
                  Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2002 3:51 PM
                  To: arcology@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [arcology] Re: Educating others on the Arcology concept

                  > I'm up for it.  I can do, say, a 500-word write-up based on my own
                  > understanding of the Arcology concept.  I should be able to have that
                  > done within a couple of days.
                  >
                  > Before I start, though, I have two overlapping questions:
                  >
                  > 1.) What's the intended use for this document?

                  Sell arcology. In order to do that, the basic concepts must be explained,
                  but the primary goal is to convince people that arcology is good and
                  desirable.

                  > 2.) Who is the intended audience?

                  We're going to need several flavors of this document to appeal to
                  different groups, so for the moment I suggest you just write for
                  whoever you feel more comfortable.

                  > Does anyone have other guidelines or suggestions before I begin
                  > writing?  Any existing documentation that I should review prior to
                  > starting, or concepts that I should make sure to integrate?  Anything
                  > I absolutely should NOT say?

                  Avoid bashing cars and suburbia. People are not going to be receptive
                  if you are negative about their lifestyle. For example, this is the
                  second sentence of the "Arcology Theory" on arcosanti.org:

                      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, time and human resources.

                  Right there, people will be less interested in a "compact" environment
                  (regardless of what "compact" really means in this context) and they
                  are being told their lifestyle is "inherently wasteful".

                  The document should focus on the practical aspects of arcology (what it
                  can do for YOU), not the theoretical aspects like complexification and
                  miniaturization.


                  Daniel DeLorme


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                • keramfamily@juno.com
                  Doug, could you post some of your designs online so we all could see them? How did you arrive at a figure of $220 million dollars for a smaller sub-Arco? Do
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 14, 2002
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                    Doug,
                    could you post some of your designs online so we all could see them?
                    How did you arrive at a figure of $220 million dollars for a smaller sub-Arco? Do you have a standard cost per square foot for each structure?

                    Dan Keram
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