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Re: [arcology] Dubai to build pyramid Arcology to house one million

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  • Jeff Buderer
    Franz, When I mean lack of leadership is because of my metaphysical view of life. To me an ambitious project like even a mini Arcology would require a notable
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 8, 2013
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      When I mean lack of leadership is because of my metaphysical view of life.

      To me an ambitious project like even a mini Arcology would require a notable amount of coming together of vision and innovative thought leaders to create an actual working prototype.

      The fact that this has not happened to me indicates a lack of leadership.


      On Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 11:18 AM, Franz Nahrada <f.nahrada@...> wrote:

      Jeff Buderer writes


      My thought is that its one thing to draw up plans for something like this its another to actually create it. 
      Masdar City I had heard has not lived up to expectations so far.
      So really we are talking about something that will take years to build and to create the economic engine.
      Once they get to 10000 people I will begin to see 50000 as attainable and then 150000 and so on and so on.
      Speaking of 1,000,000 person Arcology from a zero point seems absurd just looking at it.
      I think the real challenge is having the kind of leadership to create the social architecture to sustain a city like that which is so radically designed. Sure the Chinese have demonstrated we can rapidly build cities but without the kind of infrastructure and social institutions that we in the West too often take for granted. 

      The new city projects in China are the result of a big real estate bubble and truly mostly objects of speculation. There are estimations that New Ordos and other Chinese Ghost towns contain several millions of empty appartments. Government plans exist that 400.000.000 people should be brought to the cities.

      I think this is the single most stupid spatial planning decision in the entire history of mankind. Unlike Paolo Soleri, I dont believe it will bring us any evolutionary progress to house one milliion peoiple under one roof. Whilst Arcosanti was considered the minimum size and critical mass  arcology, I think its exactly the size that makes sense for most of mannind to lead a decent life.

      The industrial age that needed mass workers is over. Even China will understand what has been useful for some time will turn int a curse. As Marx was wrong with the working class being the makers of a revolution, Paolo was and is wrong with the necessity of large arcologies. Yet both are still among the greatest thinkers of mankind for me.

      There is one basic truth that is largely ignored here: or even a collection of basic truths.
      * If we want a planetary evolution to happen it will build of a more synergistic cohabitation of man and nature, not their separation. Paolo Soleri was entirely wrong in this point. The separation of man and nature leads to stagnation. Take the classic insights of Ethnobiology, then you will see that the evolution of plants and the evolution of high cultures was closely intertwined: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Vavilov
      * This means planetary evolution is the evolution of intermediate landscapes, cultured landscapes. We do not want to entirely artificialize nature, but find the optimum way humans can be gardeners and stewards of this planet in cocreation.
      * This means people have to return from cities to the countryside, the balance is already broken. I asked a Chinese manager what would be the ideal distribution of humankind between cities and country, and he said surprisingly something that grossly contradicts all what we think about Chinese monolithic mindset. He said 70 % should live in the country! We declared this consensually  to the goal of our networks. Still Mini - Arcologies are a valid part of this alternate future!

      Soleri had a great vision but was unable to make it real because he lacked a balanced leadership that is both socially engaged and financially astute. 

      I think the vision was never clear enough. I have seen realized "almost - arcologies" like Harry Glücks Alt Erlaa in Vienna that truly work very well after more than thirty years today, but despite Paolos truly revolutionary insights into the Complexity - Miniaturisation - Duration paradigm there was never a recognition that these forms do already exist and they thrive because they understand miniaturisation is of course necessary even for arcologies themselves. Arcology is a possible solution for what I call Global Villages, a new settlement type enabled by the radical sharing of information. All the advantages of arcology could be well realized with and within a population size of a small town.

      I also think that previous ideas about the implantation of mini - arcologies as natural densification cores of suburban sprawl are vivid and interesting. But has even one arcologist ever tried to conceptualize a hybrid building that starts with overarching a shopping mall and ends up by replacing the cars by a public transport system? Evolution happens in small steps!

      Indeed it is a special kind of holistic entrepreneurial mind that is needed to create a city on this scale. We can only explain its lacking despite many plans like this as relating to the lack of leadership from which to execute such a grand scale project and do so in a truly human scale way that does not dehumanize the people who would build, live, create, innovate and eventually die in such a compact and integrated urban space.

      So Jeff I think you end up with the same thought as far as I know you: but why explain it as a "lack of leadership"??? (the lack of something is a VERYS weak explanation logicwise!) Why not say it is simply not feasible by the universal requirements of holotopic self - organisation? When I compare this to Claude Lewenz "Village Towns" I see there much more understanding that there is a need for distinguishing identity and fractality, a "mosaic of subcultures" (coyright Christopher Alexander) and many other features of a quality living space that megalomanic arcologies cannot provide. These are timeless laws of building!

      By the way: the idea that you ******patent****** an urban form (like happening at the Zigguzrat Project)  is showing the degree of madness this world has achieved. Fortunately this is just a sign that capitalist economy can only survive a little bit longer by turning itself into dukedom - type raptor feudalism, and has lost its essential progressive and productive nature completely. And fortunately no one will really need this particular patent anyway.

      PS: Global Villages Network will meet in Vienna next month, the beginning of May. If anybody is interested, please drop me a line.


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