June 2011

Arcology: Superstructures as Sustainable Urban Development

Forward-thinking architect design cities in the sky.


Arcology is an urban planning philosophy that was developed by architect Paolo Soleri in the 1950s. Soleri is a native of Italy, but moved to Pheonix, AZ where he founded the Arcosanti Project; an ongoing sustainable urban development using ecocentric engineering and architecture. Soleri believed that urban sprawl and the exponentially increasing population would eventually negate green spaces and force urban centers to begin building vertically. Arcology is part-architecture, part-ecology; using principles of both fields in developing urban spaces that use land efficiently with an eye toward the catastrophic population numbers that seem to be an inevitability.