[arcology] Elements of Arcology: Population Size?
- The Russians thought that 30,000 was a good number because that is the
maximum number of people one can have sight recognition of. That's not a
"big city," but if countering anonymity is a goal, then trying to limit
population is logical. The advantage of such a limit, I daresay, is that
sight recognition probably cuts down on the opportunity to commit crimes.
That may even have been one of the appealing factors about suburban life,
originally, in addition to the desire for more green space and private
housing, neither of which is available in great measure in most cities, at
least not for Joe/Jill Average.
But if you like (or prefer not to be) recognized / identified as a familiar
face then obviously you want to live in a much more populated community.
Even in the suburbs, neighborhoods are important. In the cities, they are
(see Jane Jacobs' masterpiece) how people identify where they live:
Chelsea, SoHo, The Village, et al.
Arcosanti is not a city. It is an "urban laboratory" ie the campus of
Cosanti's educational project. It needs a paved access road if more of it
is to be built.
>It's good to be back in touch...
>I must favor Rafael's response. The ideal arcology would house millions. Of
>course, this must be qualified: It seems to be generally considered that an
>arcology must be a monolithic structure, quite possibly because of the
>staying power of Soleri's original drawings of megastructures in CITIOM. A
>hybridized system, composed of several linked, yet discreet buildings
>(providing more surface area while maintaining overall density) could house
>millions. I am in favor of looking even beyond the realm of strict arcology
>(whatever that is). Perhaps there is some merit to the initial fusion of New
>Urbanist principles to arcology, a step on the road to arcology that shrinks
>the city's boundries, increases proximity, lessens transit infrastructure
>needs and preserves nature, even if it looks more like a compressed suburb
>than Babel IID...
>Back to Rafael's point. Consider that people still call Arcosanti 'the city
>of the future' when in fact it couldn't even contend in the town category.
>(Village? Maybe.) The urban effect, a civilizational phenomenon, requires a
>certain amount of people. It's that simple. Well, not actually, since the
>urban effect, and indeed 'the city' is an incredibly complex phenomenon. But
>my point is that, from personal experience, BIG cities offer the most
>opportunity for URBANISM to be realized most profoundly. Any takers? How do
>you feel about the requisite population size for a 'city'?
>Again, going with Rafael, I think ideal size should be an effect more than
>cause, save to say that a few straightforward limits should be exercised:
>1. Pedestrian reach: the distance a person is able to traverse comfortably
>in a reasonable amount of time.
>2. Transit reach: the distance a transitor (mechanically conveyed person or
>cargo) can traverse in both energy and time efficiency.
>3. Visual reach: the amount of open land around an arcology required to
>create the symbiosis of man and nature I hold to be a fundamental tenet of
>Because arcology is a largely prescriptive theory (currently), it seems as
>though there will be much interplay about what should constitute a cause and
>effect... This will be very interesting.
>All the best,
>(On a personal note... it's been much to long. I've missed you!)
>>From: "Rafael Pizarro" <rpizarro@...>
>>Subject: [arcology] Re: Elements: Population Size
>>Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 18:27:54 -0800
>> >How big do you personally envision?
>> >Both in terms of population and in terms of physical size (length,
>>Interesting poll! Good idea, Randall!
>>People: For me, it is an arcology of more than two million. My concern is
>>"cultural richness." From my own experience having lived in about 10-12
>>cities in three differnt continents and having visited another 20 (also in
>>differnt countries) of sizes varying from 600 to 12 million I feel the
>>possibilities of having a rich cultural diversity of poeples from difernt
>>cultural backgrounds/practices, ethnicitoes, religions, worldviews and
>>own partucluar artistic expressions, less than two million is very
>>to achieve the above. BUt then again, I may be biased toward the big
>>metropolis. I must admit that my models are the traditional big cities
>>as NY, S. Fco, London, Paris, Rio, etc. If we could get rid cmopeltely of
>>their cars and sorround them with, aty least, 300 sq. miles of greenery
>>(agr., and nat. preserves) I would be happy as a clam (how could they be
>>happy being clams? go figure!).
>>Height: rather unimportant to me. I'm confident that techniology will
>>the limit to arcology hiehgt.
>>Footprint: The 1/2 mile diameter. Maybe another 1/4 mile extra if provided
>>with appropriate moving sidewalks and bike paths running outward toward the
>>"edges" of the city.
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- Ruth-Claire Weintraub wrote:
> The Russians thought that 30,000 was a good number because that is the....how many cells in the human body?......
> maximum number of people one can have sight recognition of. That's not a
> "big city," but if countering anonymity is a goal, then trying to limit
> population is logical.
- Sorry, I don't get the point of this question with respect to population
size. Would you please elaborate? Claire
>....how many cells in the human body?......
>>....how many cells in the human body?......Well, I don't see the point either, but I can give you a quick guesstimate:
>Sorry, I don't get the point of this question with respect to population
>size. Would you please elaborate? Claire
If a human cell is a cylinder of 1 micrometer diameter and 3 micrometer
length, then a human body of 70 liters contains about 7,000,000,000,000,000
- Thanks, Erik. More cells in one human body than human individuals on the
whole planet? Quite the organizational challenge.for whatever keeps the
whole thing all in motion. RC
>>>....how many cells in the human body?......
>>Sorry, I don't get the point of this question with respect to population
>>size. Would you please elaborate? Claire
>Well, I don't see the point either, but I can give you a quick guesstimate:
>If a human cell is a cylinder of 1 micrometer diameter and 3 micrometer
>length, then a human body of 70 liters contains about 7,000,000,000,000,000
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- I wondered why we have to start somewhere????Does an ant think about how big a colony he will build???What's so magic about 5K or 25K.. so are we thinkingeconomies of scale???Louout
Rafael wondered: >Are you kidding? a 25-30 thousand "arcology" >is a bit larger than what many countries would >call a "village." Not that I am criticizing >the concept but it strikes me as VERY different >to what Soleri has in mind. But even outside >Soleri's notion of "city," I >doubt a 25-30,000 "town" can develop a healthy >economy. It would become too dependent on >surrounding larger urban systems to be robust. >Not to mention the culture issue (that for me >is so crucial). 25-30K is what?...something >like Prescott, perhaps? Lovely town to visit >but I would die of boredom there in 6 months! Here's my reasoning: You have to start somewhere. I want to have something that is big enough to be meaningful yet small enough to be achievable. We are talking billions of dollars here but not so many billions that cannot be mustered with the right proposal. The project can only be financed by capital interest that has an eye on ROI (I wouldn't count on anything but lip service from government). I believe that resources can be found to build a full, working city: a premier "support structure" (arcology). I believe that it would be famous and would draw visitors--and their tourist cash--from around the world for at least 50 years. I believe that such a city can have an intrinsic system of economics (intrinsically economical) which would make it not only autonomous but prosperous. I believe that such a premier structure would see cultural diversity and opportunity beyond that which you are extrapolating. I do not believe you would die of boredom. More reasoning: Urban historians have asked the question, What is the ideal size for a city? My research informs that most historical opinion places the figure between 10-50 thousand, with observations that above 100,000 there are increasing social problems which begin to dramatically offset the cultural advantages enjoyed up to that number. My target figure of 25-30 thousand (permanent population; up to 40 thousand at full visitor capacity) places the proposal well within the nod of considered opinion and historic example. >...I doubt a 25-30,000 "town" can develop a healthy economy... You might want to reconsider in view of historical precedent. >... it strikes me as VERY different to what Soleri has in mind... Hey, when you get down to it, Soleri has in mind an Urban Laboratory for 6,000 or so. Randall Hunt randhunt@... DREAM LARGE DREAMS BECAUSE SMALL DREAMS HAVE NO POWER TO INSPIRE
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- One way to answer that is this:
Okay you want 3 of each business to ensure continuous competition to ensure
Lets say supermarkets.
How many customers does a single supermarket require to stay afloat?
(ask the manager at your local supermarket). =)
Now lets say we want the market to be tight to ensure strong competition and
use a magic number of 2.95 as a factor...
NUM FOR ONE SMARKET * 2.95 = Number for competative market for three
Then you can do that and figure out about how many people is needed to keep
the arco afloat. =)
Ofcourse this can be scaled up and down... for a small-town arco you can
assume that people get their foods at a general store and then adjust down
accordingly. Or up and simply add more supermarkets at various locations
around the arco. =) Anyway. I don't think this was taken into account during
the planning of arcosanti. =\