Living Green

Eco Evolution

Michael Gosney

Eco Evolution – Paolo Soleri, Arcosanti and the Sustainable Cities With Jeff Stein President of Cosanti Foundation and Arcosanti

In 1971 Italian Architect Paolo Soleri, after having studied with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in Arizona, purchased a large plot of land in the high desert 60 miles north of Phoenix and began Arcosanti, a model ecocity project. A nexus of Soleri’s extensive output over 70+ years, an event venue, and an educational center that has hosted over 7000 students at its annual construction workshops, this “urban laboratory” has been an inspiring cultural touchstone since its inception. Soleri’s vision of a new human evolution through an integration of architecture and ecology that he call “arcology” has influenced not only architects and city planners, but technologists, artists, environmentalists, social scientists and philosophers worldwide. This discussion with Jeff Stein, former Dean of the School of Architecture at Boston College and now President of the Cosanti Foundation, offers insights into Soleri’s formative influences, Arcosanti’s history and current activities and innovations relevant to current urban redevelopment and ecovillages, as well as long term city design.