- I've received a couple requests for a preview of the book I recently
published, titled, "Considering Arcology". I've put up a page that includes
the Introduction and a sampling of graphics. It's available at
I appreciate the response I've gotten.
- From a case study of land use and transit:
Land-use and public transport in integrated development.
The use of the structural axes reflect a deep understanding of the
dynamic relationship of public
transport and land-use activities. In Curitiba, commercial and
residential areas with their
associated municipal services were integrated in high density zones
along the structural axes, and
were therefore fully accessible through public transportation. This is
an excellent example of
coherent urban development where public transport is one part of an
Public transport as a catalyst for an organized urban growth.
The Master Plan called for the implementation of the structural axes
while the city was still
organically growing in circles around the a city center. This bold
stroke "grew" the city in
accordance with an integrated development plan. The success of this
strategy has resulted in a
high percentage of public transport ridership even among car owners;
elimination of the road way
"gridlock" that has plagued other cities around the world; and the
preservation of the historic city center.
The point here is, transit, land use and density are an inseparable
integrated whole, and one cannot be designed without the other. Paolo's
descriptions of Arcology included "rivers of transport" flowing through
the structure of the organism. There are many ways of organizing space
so that transportation moves from one form to another, culminating in
rapid transit for large numbers of folks, of which the planners and
transportation engineers are intimately familiar.
What this group needs, as does Randall, is some kind of an "out of the
box" charette with leading professionals in the field, because you all
are just beginning to address the stuff that professionals have been
dealing with for years. It's just that they're locked into the old
The only thing that's different is imposing the criteria of density on a
pre-designed conceptual framework, as opposed to the normal flat sprawl,
which is due to the expense of creating 3-D structures of this scale.
What this changes in the transit equation is the "walkable radius" which
is now in 3 dimensions instead of two, so that many more folks could
walk to a mass-transit station instead of driving cars there.
Think of a plant with a bunch of "pods" on stems. The pods are the
walkable 3-D radius, the stems are the collector systems, whether bus,
light rail, whatever, to a main terminal, like good ol' NY Central, that
uses the train out to the next metropolis.
After that, the problem is the same as the New York subway.
Hopefully, the agriculture and the production of goods and the power
generation and the energy useage will be done internally, so that
there's not so much transport of goods between the arcology and the rest
of the world.
Which means no ordering stuff on e-Bay for shipping in! Truck traffic
and all that...
I think the problem is actually population and levels of consumption in
the US and Europe. If there were fewer people and simpler lifestyles we
wouldn't be having this discussion.
Arcology amounts to an "Iron lung solution" to a smallpox
problem...where's Sabin when you need him?
What I felt was important about Arcosanti is the sustainability
practices employed there, not the building designs, except for the fact
that they made minimal energy consumption possible. The Corbusian
solution of packing all the bodies into a megastructure with huge green
lawns all about (the Paris solution) is not feasible when you analyze
the infrastructure needs associated with the structures, particularly if
you figure the car parking needed for the number of bodies it contains.
Do the math.
Laurie Barlow, AIA http://pw1.netcom.com/~barlowco/BarlowCo.html