Re: Arcology size
- Daniel DeLorme wrote:
>I've been thinking about what size an arcology should be... instinctively,It's a perceptive question. I've wondered myself how consideration of size
>I tend to think an arcology is supposed to house MILLIONS (if not billions)
>of people. But Arcosanti is only for 5000 people, and Soleri seems to be an
>advocate of small arcologies in general. Doesn't that defeat the purpose?
>With this little population, there can't be much of a difference with a
>"normal" town. By having 100 stories, an arcology would reduce distances
>(and thus waste) up to a factor of 10. But with a small arcology, you can't
>have this many stories and so the economy of time and energy becomes trivial.
enters the equation. Without question a town of 500 population does not
need a megastructure in order to have a good life--conventional
architectural forms are adequate. Urban historians judge cities (before the
modern age) of 20,000 to 40,000 thereabouts as offering relatively clear
benefits without many of the drawbacks of a growing urb. This size can also
be successfully pedestrian by conventional means, without resorting to
megastructure. Arcology in such a case would undoubtedly yield operating
economies and enhance the urban effect (which is the explicit purpose). The
other thing is that arcology does absolutely is to contain sprawl. A flat
city of any size must rely on social agreement to resist sprawl, whereas
arcology limits it physically. Population growth issues within an arcology
are then stressed and must ultimately be resolved by creating another
arcology (with perhaps a different target population). This can be
problematic but is eminently resolvable. Arcologies for large target
populations (range approaching and exceeding 100,000 pop.) may or may not
be within a viable operating range depending on how well the structure is
able to assuage social pressures from increased urban density. Ultimately,
the entire question is theoretical and both an optimum operating range and
a practical operating range must be determined empirically.
I agree with your suggestion that arcologies have a practical lower size
limit (notwithstanding their increased benefits in harsh climates). I
suspect there are upper limits to effective population size for an
arcology. Hopefully that figure runs into hundreds of thousands. It does us
little good to create an expensive structure only to find that we solve one
problem but introduce others and offset gains.
In any case, it is a human-scaled urban environment we are after.
Consideration of arcology housing millions of people seems patently absurd
because in such cases human scale will be difficult to maintain no matter
how you cut it. If a person cannot emotionally and psychically embrace the
entire city, then that city is too big. That goes for arcologies, too.
- In a message dated 06/01/2000 4:12:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Da
niel DeLorme <deld2608@...> writes:
> I've been thinking about what size an arcology should be... instinctively,I
> tend to think an arcology is supposed to house MILLIONS (if not billions)of
> people. But Arcosanti is only for 5000 people, and Soleri seems to be an(and
> advocate of small arcologies in general. Doesn't that defeat the purpose?
> With this little population, there can't be much of a difference with a "
> normal" town. By having 100 stories, an arcology would reduce distances
> thus waste) up to a factor of 10. But with a small arcology, you can't haveI know there has been some discussion here about whether Arcosanti should be
> this many stories and so the economy of time and energy becomes trivial.
called an arcology at all, but I've always believed it to be a prototype
arcology - something that one man and a small organizaton could do as a demo
project without government and/or corporate control, but just large enough to
embody the basics of arcology. I don't know where you got the idea that
Paolo advocates "small" arcologies, unless you consider hundreds of thousands
of people a small town. I don't have it in front of me, but I'm pretty sure
all the designs in his big book were for at least a half-million people.
Incidentally, I think 100 stories would reduce distances by a factor far
greater than 10. I guesss is depends on where you start from. If the
average building in a large city is 10 stories, all else being equal, you
could say you can increase density by 10. But perhaps one-third of a city's
surface area is devoted to cars - think of all streets, highways, garages,
parking lots, gas and service stations. So an arcology should be even more
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