Talk:Arcology

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Major rewrite[edit]

I did a major rewrite into a more impersonal style, and converted some in-line book references into end-notes. I also moved the fictional references into their own section at the end. These seemed worth noting, but of course are less important than actual proposals and projects. Please feel free to add back any facts or references I may have inadvertently removed or obscured. My intention was to improve the grammar, style and spelling, not change the content. I'm unfamiliar with the major references and subject matter, and I hope that a subject matter expert can supply the references. Ray Van De Walker 06:07, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


Rockefellow Tower from the game Vision[edit]

Vision is an old ad-game from Ad Games produced for German LBS and Sparkasse. In this game you live inside a huge conic tower floating in some ocean, its self contained. Someone with some better English than me should add this. 87.123.7.6 (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 11:19, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Old discussion[edit]

I first heard of arcologies when I read Oath of Fealty. Many years later, when it was another horrible snowy Boston winter and I didn't have the time or money to go to the Caribbean, I thought, gee, somebody should build a big structure with a big indoor lake, a lot of south-facing glass, and hotels and restaurants and shops along the north wall.

Recently I saw a TV show about something called the Mall of America outside Minneapolis, an enormous shopping mall with 5000 retail stores, a bowling alley, a grove of trees, an amusement park with a roller coaster and other rides, and a university. Except for a little heating at the entrances, the whole thing is heated by body heat of the crowds and sunlight coming in the ceiling glass. Even in the ridiculously cold Minnesota winters, the only active temperature control they need is for cooling.

It occurred to me that these guys have solved 90 percent of the technical problems of building an arcology. One thing I wasn't able to figure out from the TV show was why they don't have residential space in the building. That would be the only thing preventing it from being a real arcology.

- Will Ware

Ask at Mall of America --Error 01:54, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I am from Minnesota, and have visited the Mall of America (MoA)from time to time. I like the 3 levels of rings around the amusement park, Knott's Camp Snoopy. Recently an Ikia furniture superstore has opened near the mall, giving mall shoppers a chance to visit another large arco-like complex. I do not know about the building techniques that went into the Ikia store, but a tentative plan has existed for some years to develop the area with large facilities such as MoA or the Ikia store, and to connect this area to the developing light rail (LRT) transport. Iflipti 05:22, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Would this count as an Arcology?

http://www.victorycities.com/

-Yes. It seems to use similar principles. Posting it on the topic page. -Iflipti 06:44, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

-It seems to me the Mall to Arcology comparison is quite overblown. The principle of an Arcology is to support human life on an ecological scale. While the heating system is admirable, the rest of the goal of the mall is not in line with arcological principles. The goal of maximizing the inflow and outflow of material and people, thereby accumulating money for the Mall's owners, is against the sustainable concept in Soleri's original idea. The point of a true arcology is to minimize the impact of urbanization on the earth. The profit maximization and associated large ecological footprint of a mall does not correspond with these values.

-I agree somewhat with anonymous's point regarding the un-ecological nature of the business of the mall, but I'll counter with a criticism of Soleri to make a point. Soleri's vision of Arcosanti stands at a fraction of one percent completed after 30-some years. A project like an arco is going to go nowhere without a massive investment from an interested party, and that means businesses, who will of course want a return on their investment. Anonymous's complaint goes towards the wasteful nature of the business/consumer model, because consumer activity creates a lot of garbage. I don't see a problem with maximizing the inflow of people, because ideally you want people to use the space. For arcological principles to be increasingly applied within the business model, the ecological incentives must also be a cost-cutting incentives, including but not limited to solar & wind power, natural airflow systems, green corridors for passive cooling & natural beauty, or internal recycling centers. So granted, it's a weak comparision as the MoA is at best, a kind of proto-arcology without a progressive ecological policy. It's not ideal, but we must use the existing resources & infrastructure in place now to build towards the future. Iflipti 09:52, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Quote from the article: Some experts speculate that arcologies will become common in the information age

According to the definition in the information age article, "Information Age is a term applied to the period where movement of information became faster than physical movement, more narrowly applying to the 1980s or 1990s onward." ... I think the sentence should be deleted/rephrased because we clearly are already in the information age.

Then go ahead and do it! This is Wikipedia! —Keenan Pepper 15:14, 17 February 2006 (UTC)



Would the city of Diaspar in Arthur C. Clarke's "The City and the Stars" count as an arcology?

Vanamond

"Sustainable urban planning"[edit]

I've re-inserted this category link. Sustainable urban planning was one of the prime motivations behind Soleri's development of the arcology idea, and is the primary interest of manya majority of the people who go to Arcosanti to study arcology. It does need more emphasis in this article (which I shall attempt to give it, if I can ever get away from the perpetual warfare over at Personal rapid transit), but in the meantime, the category link is still appropriate. Skybum 15:41, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree entirely that it's relevant. I should have explained in the edit summary, I moved it to Category:Urban studies and planning and Category:Environmental design as part of rationalising the subcategories of Category:Urban studies and planning. Category:Environmental design includes articles like this one - mostly it's related to urban design so far. When the category gets bigger we can have a fresh look at splitting it. On that note, I'll remove Category:Sustainable urban planning again (but if you disagree or have questions, please shoot and/or revert - I'm not intending to enforce my view). --Singkong2005 (t - c - WPID) 16:36, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Hmm.. I took a look at the category, and my initial thoughts are: 1.) Sustainable Urban Planning is a vast and distinct concept, and thus deserving of a category unto itself, and 2.) Right now the category isn't actually very useful. New urbanism should be a major subset of sustainable urban plannning, while arcology theory is a relatively quite minor one, so it wouldn't make much sense to have those two subjects portrayed as being on par with one another. And there are many, many other branches of sustainable urban planning that aren't represented at all there. So, at first blush, it looks like you're correct that Arcology shouldn't be in this category, unless a great deal of other topics are, as well. I don't think I have enough background to understand or evaluate the category rationalization that you're currently undertaking; has there been any discussion of this anywhere, so that I can get a better understanding of it? In the meantime, I'll leave your edits alone. Skybum 17:32, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Bionic Tower[edit]

I am confused, the See Also link to Bionic tower reads Bionic Tower, Shanghai, but the link is to a location in Hong Kong. Does anyone know if there is a similar structure in Shanghai, or is there some confusion with the Dongtan proposal. Yendor1958 08:39, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Coruscant is NOT Arcology[edit]

Coruscant is most definitely not an Arcology, as can be seen in the wiki article on it, as well as any Star Wars sources. It is a city-planet (a sci-fi concept). It even contains arcologies, but it cannot be considered an "arcology" itself. Dises 2 February 12, 2007

All-capitals complaint by anonymous user[edit]

Someone identified only by an IP address wrote the following and put it right into the article:

PLEASE NOTE: IT APPEARS THAT THIS ENTIRE WAS BASED ON FICTIONAL MISUSES OF THE TERM AND NEEDED TO BE REVISED. ITS LACK OF SOURCES HAD ALREADY BEEN NOTED. I AM AT THIS MOMENT LOOKING AT THE TEXTBOOK "Contemporary Urban Planning" by John Levy (3rd Ed. page 156) AND IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT PAOLO SOLERI'S TERM ARCOLOGY REFERS TO THE *PRINCIPLES* OF DESIGN, *NOT TO A STRUCTURE ITSELF*. ARCOLOGY REFERS TO THE SET OF DESIGN PRINCIPLES HE ENVISIONED, AND *"HYPERSTRUCTURE"* IS THE WORD THAT REFERS TO AN ACTUAL STRUCTURE FOLLOWING THOSE PRINCIPLES. THE PROBLEM WITH THIS ARTICLE SEEMS TO BE THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE SIM CITY GAMES (WHICH MISUNDERSTOOD AND MISUSED THE TERM ARCOLOGY) HAVE DUPLICATED THIS ERROR OF THE GAME DESIGNERS. THINK ABOUT THE WORD ARCOLOGY; A WORD ENDING IN -OGY IS NOT A PHYSICAL OBJECT, BUT A FIELD OF STUDY OR RESEARCH - A GROUP OF MENTAL CONSTRUCTS. ARCOLOGY REFERS TO THE PRINCIPLES SOLERI ENVISIONED IN HIS BOOK, "The City in the Image of Man." *HYPERSTRUCTURE* IS THE WORD THAT DESCRIBES THE LARGE BUILDINGS/CITY SPACES.
THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE NEEDED TO BE REVISED TO CORRECT THIS PROBLEM!!!!** BEFORE ANYONE IS TEMPTED TO REVISE IT, PLEASE BE SURE OF YOUR (REAL RATHER THAN FICTIONAL) SOURCES...

Whoever wrote that seems to think that the inventor of a term has total control over all subsequent uses of the term, that the meaning of a word never changes or evolves. Moreover, the technical sense used by experts is the only valid measure of meaning, even if a word has entered the non-technical human lexicon with a clear and widely understood meaning.

In other words, I completely reject this "note", and I propose that the article be reverted back to something more like it was before this was posted. (Though perhaps some discussion of the original or technical meaning of the word is warranted.) Kestenbaum 18:54, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm looking through this article for the sake of a paper on aquaculture, and I see multiple references to the idea that "arcology" means only a set of design principles and not "megastructures" like the ones I fondly remember from SimCity 2000. I grew up learning that "arcology" could refer to giant self-contained housing structures, and apparently a lot of other people did too, so that's what the word now means! Sure, let's mention the term's origin, but I second the switch to a wording that uses "arcology" the way it's actually used today. --Kris Schnee 10:41, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

No, that's not the way it's used today. Not to pull rank, but I am an architect, former Arcosanti resident, and longtime acquaintance of Paolo Soleri, so I know what I'm talking about here. When referring to a general set of design principles -- as you are talking about -- the term "arcological" is frequently used. However "arcology" itself is a noun, and always has been. It is used that way not only by Sim City (and virtually every cyberpunk book ever written), but by its creator and by the architects and urban planners who have studied the concept. I have seen the term abused occasionally (one "Doctress Neutopia" comes to mind), but this should not be enshrined in a Wikipedia entry.
I will grant you that "arcological" principles are much more relevant to the real world, since such can actually be found in the real world, whereas nothing calling itself an arcology actually exists, beyond the confines of Arcosanti, which is incomplete. But in both fiction and in theory, "arcology" is still used as a noun. Let's not confuse the issue. Skybum 18:59, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Arcolology has nothing to do with building mega-cities it is completely the opposite. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 123.3.4.70 (talk) 12:36, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


You architects may be authoritative on the meaning of the term "arcology" as it's used in architecture but its use has gone far beyond that now. It's not simply a branding term for Soleri's work or his domain as an architectural guru any longer, it has widely established use outside of architecture. Words change meaning, sorry, despite the best efforts of marketing departments and people who consider themselves trend-setters the world over, e.g. "xerox", "kleenex". There are probably many more people who are familiar with the term "arcology"'s use in science fiction to represent a technologically-advanced, self-contained megastructure or collective domicile than are familiar with it as an architectural term.

The anonymous author of the comment is trying to imply that "fictional" in this case means "erroneous" instead of "used in fiction". But use in fiction is just as legitimate as and is more widespread than the historical uses in architecture. --Struthious Bandersnatch 16:23, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Simcity2000 Arcology.jpg[edit]

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Image:Simcity2000 Arcology.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 11:26, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

An interesting article in the news that never mentions the term[edit]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6752795.stm --WhiteDragon 02:08, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

You guys use ridiculous words in this article that don't mean anything to the average user. In the first paragraph alone you say "count noun" and "autarky" as though we are supposed to know what they mean. You should fix this. - random person —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.162.90.246 (talk) 03:28, August 26, 2007 (UTC)

This article needs revision. It is incredible deception. Majority of article is subculture. Entertainers do not define a concept. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.82.100.222 (talk) 16:30, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Xenakis[edit]

Does the architectural work of Iannis Xenakis have anything to do with arcology?... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nwerneck (talkcontribs) 15:44, 24 November 2007 (UTC) It would have been nice if it did but i don not think it does in any manner —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.176.68.230 (talk) 10:53, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Montreal Underground[edit]

I just discovered about Calgary's +15. Ok, if that can be considered a proto-arcology then so can Montreal's Underground City or "Montréal Souterrain". See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_city%2C_Montreal. I would not presume to say it corresponds to the idea of arcology, though. But as I said, if the +15 is in... Mandragorae (talk) 18:25, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

This is not an article of acceptable quality.[edit]

It is a promotional device for Paolo Soleri, maybe by a fan, maybe without Soleri's knowledge or consent. Fawning praise like this is depressing and irritating. Even if the article didn't turn people off, Soleri doesn't need this ballyhoo.Rich (talk) 22:34, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

If you don't think the style is appropriate, rewrite it. The subject itself is notable and goes beyond Soleri; as is noted in a comment on the page the term has also been used extensively in fiction and elsewhere. Soleri may have originated the term but he doesn't control it. Bryan Derksen (talk) 22:52, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the comments on the page indicate EXTENSIVE use apart from Soleri. I think the subject of the article is unworthy, so it undermines Wikipedia. Of course, i respect your right to disagree! Rich Peterson130.86.14.90 (talk) 23:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd say the article certainly establishes its notability as a singular subject. Should there be concerns with its prose, be bold and modify it to clean it up rather than delete it entirely. --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 23:16, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, I personally first came across the term in sources entirely unconnected to Soleri, so my perspective on the matter differs. IMO even if the term didn't originally mean "big damn building" that's what it's commonly used as nowadays. Bryan Derksen (talk) 23:18, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
The article itself documents the EXTENSIVE use in fiction by many different authors and prominent media outlets within the science fiction genre. And obviously a great many of the people passing through Wikipedia recognize the concept expressed in fiction but not the architectural one. One of the reasons that this is poor quality is that the individuals who consider Soleri to be a definitive trend-setter keep trying to censor phrases and content that addresses the non-Soleri meanings of the term.

As a consequence the article has become choppy and erratic and satisfies neither party. It needs to be written so as to clearly delineate both meanings and left that way, or even be split into two articles. --Struthious Bandersnatch 16:23, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Where are all these supposed sci-fi references and are they of any significance? i have not seen a single one referenced

Soleri has also written books some of which have done quite well. If others have stolen his ideas in a shallow way is that worthy of equal recognition?   —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.176.68.230 (talk) 11:04, 5 August 2010 (UTC) 
Yeah, it's a poorly-written article. I wish I had the time to take it on. However, I really don't see the need to split it into separate articles. First of all, it's an obscure enough topic that it barely justifies a single article; second, there really isn't that much divergence between Soleri's original promulgation of the concept, the extrapolations created by other (mostly Japanese) megastructuralists, and various fictional arcologies. If this article were to be structured better, it would first define arcology in the most inclusive way possible, and then look at it through other, more specific lenses. A simple chronological framework would start with Soleri, move on to other architects, and then finish up with use of the concept in fiction and other forms of popular culture.
Soleri should be given some due, because he did coin the term, but I don't think he deserves the bulk of the article. "Arcology" has had its most notable impact in terms of pop culture rather than architecture -- and it has done so in ways that Soleri (and other architects) never intended, and certainly wouldn't approve of. That's okay; there can be multiple definitions of "arcology," and they can all fit within the same article. There's nothing wrong with that. We just need to be careful to specify, in each case, exactly whose definitions they are. Skybum (talk) 22:38, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Removing the term "self-contained"[edit]

To the anonymous author who removed the term "self-contained" with the comment that arcologies "were never meant to be self-contained": again, this article is not exclusively about the work of Paolo Soleri. You would need to demonstrate that being self-contained is not a characteristic of arcologies as the word is used in general. Obviously from your use of the word "meant" you're trying to be prescriptive rather than descriptive.

It's really about time that you people who want this article to be all about Paolo Soleri go write your own article and stop censoring and vandalizing this one. Seriously. Someone start Arcology (contemporary architecture). --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 16:37, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

On this ongoing issue of whether the term arcology implies self-containment: not only do basically all of the works of fiction mentioned in the article that I'm familiar with depict arcologies as self-contained and self sufficient, and not only is the word "self-contained" already used in two other places in the article, but Paolo Soleri, if he's an authority on the architectural and "meant" meaning of the word "arcology", mentions "self-sufficiency" all over the place as do architects who are describing his work:

At this point even the claim that arcologies "were never meant to be self-contained" looks completely made-up and baseless given that the guy who invented the term is obsessed with self-sufficiency. As far as I can see the science fiction literature and popular futuristic conception of self-contained habitations, even mostly or completely self-contained habitations, being called "arcologies" is completely in harmony with what Soleri "meant" in the first place. (I'm not saying all of the popular definition is exactly what Soleri would imagine but the self-contained part fits like a glove, so to speak.)

I've put my due diligence here in the talk page - time for you to start justifying and citing what you're saying before tearing up what other people have done. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 21:20, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate the due diligence that you've put into it, but am afraid that you've discovered one of the common misconceptions about Soleri's notion of "arcology" -- common enough that yes, many journalists have gotten caught up in it. Unfortunately, Soleri and his work seems to be a magnate for this kind of confusion, due in no small part to his own highly oblique and confusing use of language. In the 1970s, for example, no less of an institution than New York Times wrote an article about Soleri's "underground cities," based on a gross misinterpretation of some cliff-dwelling-style arcologies from City in the Image of Man. (Decades later the myth is still occasionally repeated, and Arcosantians continue to occasionally chase off people snooping around looking for the secret entrance.)
At any rate, I can assure you that Soleri absolutely never intended for his arcologies to be materially self-contained (space arcologies excluded). Mostly I know this from a well-placed primary source: I've known Paolo quite well for over 16 years, and he's always been quite adamant on the subject. But you can also refer to some of his own (incredibly annoyingly oblique and opaque) writing on the subject. For example, his own personal definition of self-sufficiency:
"Self-Sufficiency (Utopia)
"An abused label hiding a "fundamental" deception. By now we know that the whole of reality is the only instance of self-sufficiency , but only if one accepts the fact that it is a dynamic , a process of self-sufficiency, almost as if chasing after a constantly receding fullness, the fullness of a true self-sufficiency.
"If a maker intruded in the scenario then poor reality would for ever be not a sufficient agent for its own becoming , let alone its being. Would this maker, God, be a self-sufficient agent? Not if it is caught (trapped) in the becoming of which is supposedly the generator."
And also:
"Utopia
"Utopia is the emblematic example of the great deception of self-sufficiency. It is the parochial pretending to be the catholic , the fragment to be the whole.....And even when unpretentious(?) it shows an arrogant sort of blindness toward the reality in which it is inescapably nested in.
"The perfect community , the Garden of Eden , a just and loving reality, all floundering presumptions fatally flawed and prime causes of suffering and cruelty. Good intentions, catastrophic results."
In more practical language (and here we encounter a problem, because Soleri himself never actually writesin practical language), this means that he regards self-containment as a false ideal that would be intolerably isolationist and highly culturally destructive, if ever achieved. He does favor what he calls self-reliance -- or the ability for an arcology to meet its own minimum needs, if required. But he imagines that under ordinary circumstances, arcologies could and should be highly engaged in constant cultural and material exchange, and he is adamant that this is very different from notions of "self-sufficiency" or "self-containment." Actually, he is endlessly pissed off that so many people have misunderstood him on this point. (Not pissed off enough to try communicating in plain language, for once, but still...).
Aside from Soleri -- and I fully agree with you on this point; he no longer owns the word -- I can think of plenty of literary examples of non-self-sufficient arcologies. In William Gibson's work, for example (and most other works that I can think of in the cyberpunk genre), "arcology" is often just a by-word for a gigantic, mixed-use megastructure, which is typically quite embedded within a broader urban context. For example, the Chiba City arcologies in Neuromancer: nothing aparently self-sufficient about those, if I recall correctly.
So, it would be fair to state that arcologies are often portrayed or construed as self-sufficient structures. However to say that this is an inherent part of the definition is indeed incorrect.
Actualy, if you'd like to have a serious go at fixing some things in the article, here's one for you: since when is "arcology" a "set of design principles"??? I've been studying the concept for half my life, and I know that many different people have now adopted the term, and there are widely varying definitions of it. But I've never seen the actual word "arcology" used as anything other than a noun. It's a specific type of architectural or urban object. Can anybody provide some examples to the contrary, and, if not, would anyone like to fix this? Skybum (talk) 22:26, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
This is absurd. When I pointed out that it doesn't matter what Soleri meant, the common use of the term in literature does mean self-contained, you responded "Oh! That's totally what I saying - forget that bit about what arcologies were meant to be, the reason to make this change is that it's the more general and common use of the term!"

Then when I reiterated that the term is widely used in literature to refer to communities that have the characteristic of self-sufficiency and self-containment in common, you again made your edit, this time without mentioning general usage of the term but instead saying something about "being more precise" with no explanation of exactly how removing criteria for what an arcology is makes the definition more precise.

Now here in the talk page you're back to making a basically unsupported argument based on what Soleri may have meant. (See below as to why I think those quotes don't mean what you say they mean.)

Not only are the repetitive drastic changes in your reason for the edit suspicious-looking, but if you really believed what you're saying you'd be trying to remove all the references to self-sufficiency and self-containment, not just a single sentence at the very top of the article.

Citations -

The stuff you're quoting from the Arcosanti site is practically unintelligible and it's quite a stretch to say that statements like "reality is a dynamic process of self-sufficiency" and "the ideal of utopia is fatally flawed" actually are some kind of code for "the definition of the word arcology does not involve self-sufficiency or self-containment." I think that most people, and especially most Wikipedians, would not consider those quotes to be citations supporting the position you're claiming they do, even if they thought Soleri's thoughts about utopia was reason to ignore the ways the word "arcology" is used everywhere outside the heads of him and his acolytes.

And if Soleri actually meant to say that arcologies do not involve what is meant by the standard English term "self-sufficiency" (and you really have not said what he meant instead when he used that term - your description of "self-reliance" sounds like exactly what I would consider self-sufficiency to be) but he so garbled and mangled the explanation that every reporter who has interviewed him in the last several decades came away thinking self-sufficiency is one of the elements of an arcology, and put that in print... well, then that's what the popular and general meaning of "arcology" is now - more in sync with the science fiction literature use of the term than with Soleri's rarefied and lofty personal meaning of "self-sufficiency" denotes, as it turns out.

On science fiction - you're saying that William Gibson's mega-structure super-cities like Chiba City and BAMA weren't self-sufficient? I really don't think it's clear either way, and especially in BAMA's case I have difficulty seeing how a city covering the entire Eastern United States could be anything but mostly self-sufficient, particularly if the entire world population was that dense. And the projects, the thing actually mentioned in this article - as it says, "It is a megastructure that has been constructed with electricity, heat, oxygen, and food that it produced" which just about sounds like the definition of "self-sufficient and self-contained" to me.

And of course you've already mentioned Sim City. Gregory Benford's arcologies and chandelier cities were definitely self-contained, they were basically fortresses. And he specifically used the word "arcology", they didn't have any other name. (In Great Sky River, I think - two years before Sim City, if I'm correct about that. One of the books in that pentology, anyways.) Appleseed's Olympus from Japanese manga was self-contained and self-sufficient... and of course, being a space station, "Arcology" in the Andromeda television series is self-contained, another direct use of the word.

From the "real world examples", Dongtan and the other Chinese eco-city projects are designed to be maximally self-contained and self-sufficient, especially the "linear cities" they're designing that construct a thin urban strip with farmland on either side (though Dongtan isn't that specific design). Co-op city in the Bronx is designed so that all necessary community services are available on-site. The Montreal 15+ is literally physically self-contained - it's a series of below-ground and above-ground tunnels that allow the city to be traversed without ever venturing outdoors - as the person who added it noted and as are in general that type of urban project. And McMurdo Station is self-sufficient (at least, notably more so than a normal city or town) but I added that one.

In conclusion -

What you're saying looks to me like an arbitrary, unsupported attempt to claim that the non-Soleri uses of arcology "don't count" and to chip away at language supporting them in the rest of the article. Saying that the non-Soleri uses of the term are "inherently incorrect" just makes you sound even more subversive.

This overall attempt to censor non-Soleri conceptions of "arcology" from this article and remove information that doesn't fit with whatever orthodoxy you people are coming from needs to stop. It certainly has to stop before anyone is going to put serious effort into this article. I have looked back in the history and I've seen how much good material has been deleted. Really... why not just go create a second article where you can go talk to your heart's content about what arcology was "meant" to be or "never meant to be"? --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 03:26, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Just to make it clear: I don't hate Paolo Soleri or anything and I actually would really look forward to reading a separate well-referenced article that an expert like you might write on the intricacies of his ideas and meanings. And I definitely would want this article to clearly delineate the divergence of meaning in the popular and science fiction use of the term from his ideas, and even mention the way reporters misinterpreting him has contributed to that divergence.

What I really don't like is to hear you talking about non-Soleri uses of the term being "inherently incorrect" - which, no matter how you sugar-coat it and doff your hat to William Gibson, still asserts that the buck stops at Soleri with defining the term no matter how other people use it - and I can't stand to see content about Soleri's work and ideas getting put on Wikipedia only at the expense of content that accurately describes the popular and literary uses of the term. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 03:46, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

No, no, no, no, no! You need to calm the down and stop being so paranoid and combative. This is what I actually wrote:
"Soleri should be given some due, because he did coin the term, but I don't think he deserves the bulk of the article. "Arcology" has had its most notable impact in terms of pop culture rather than architecture -- and it has done so in ways that Soleri (and other architects) never intended, and certainly wouldn't approve of. That's okay; there can be multiple definitions of "arcology," and they can all fit within the same article. There's nothing wrong with that. We just need to be careful to specify, in each case, exactly whose definitions they are."
How does this constitute trying to "censor" non-Soleri definitions of the term? I am specifically welcoming non-Soleri definitions, and I think that they are entirely valid and correct to include in the article! Read over that last sentence as many times as you need to, until you can get it through your head.
My only beef with including references to self-sufficiency in the article is in regards to placement. It clearly belongs in a discussion of the pop-culture usage of "arcology". However, pop-culture doesn't have exclusive rights to the term any more than Soleri does. Therefore, what goes in the intro to the subject should be what is commonly shared between various definitions of arcology. "Self-sufficiency" is not one of those shared attributes.
If I really wanted to Soleri-ize this article, the way that you accuse me of, I could put in all kinds of extraneous stuff, about how he developed the notion of arcology out of the philosophy of Teilhard de Chardin, and how he expects the social connectivity of arcologies (what he calles the "urban effect") to generate a higher-order noosphere, culminating in an eschatological "Omega Point" in which blah blah blah blah blah. All of that stuff is really important to Soleri's personal definition of arcology, but it doesn't belong in the intro to the article because it's completely irrelevant to the common definition. So is self-sufficiency.
So, here is what I hope that we can agree on:
  1. "Arcology" is a term coined by Paolo Soleri, with a specific meaning according to him.
  2. It has found its way into popular usage, with a definition that differs significantly from Soleri's (and in some respects pre-dates him).
  3. As a largely imaginary concept, the word has no empirical meaning; its meaning is dependant on the intent of whoever uses the term.
  4. Wikipedia cannot arbitrate whose definition of the term is correct; rather, Wikipedia should document how various parties define the term (and it's perfectly acceptable for definitions to be contradictory).
Now, I never wrote that including self-sufficiency in the definition of arcology "inherently incorrect". Go back and read it again. You're putting words in my mouth, and ascribing a completely false meaning to them. What I wrote was that it is incorrect to say that self-sufficiency is an part of the inherent definition of arcology. That is because there is no "inherent" definition of arcology -- there are only context-specific definitions. For the purposes of the intro, the best that we can do is put together a common definition, which captures the overlapping, shared elements of the various specific definitions. "Self-sufficiency" is not one of those elements.
You seem like someone who could add a lot of good content to this article, and I would really welcome your participation. I would be happy for you to elaborate upon self-sufficiency to your heart's content, but in context rather than in the intro. And please stop accusing me of bad faith, absurdity, vandalism, et cetera. That is both wrong and fantastically un-helpful. Skybum (talk) 07:53, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I hadn't noticed that in your last edit you went from completely removing the term "self-contained" to moving it one sentence over and making it "portrayed as self-contained". That seems like a good compromise, thanks. (Though I am not yet convinced that all of this has been entirely in good faith. A less patronizing edit comment to go along with that compromise would definitely have helped me recognize it as such.)

I think that this article could be greatly improved as well but like I said, after I first added some content a couple of months ago I looked through the history and noticed quite a lot of good content that has been ripped out of it over this whole Soleri / non-Soleri issue. Some of the previous versions of the article I saw seemed much better written that what's here now but got torn apart over doctrinal issues. That's why I've determined to spend a while putting the brakes on that sort of thing and establishing some more substantial paper trail on the conflict before I offer my own work up for the slaughter. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 19:34, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

A Host of Issues that are rarely addressed, and some suggestions for Arcology Theorist.[edit]

Ever notice how all the Arcology models seem to have the same flaws? How about we apply some technological solutions and some "No Freaking Duh" innovation to solve these flaws?

For instance, why build up when you can do a better job at building down? Not only would that provide a more solid foundation but it would be more friendly to the surface environment.

Here's One, where do you get your energy? Are you self sustaining or do you expect to siphon everyone else's energy? How about massive surface level wind farms and maybe a nuclear power plant or two?

What about water purification? Well obviously you'd need entire sections dedicated primarily to this task.

What are you going to do with all the waste and garbage humans use? You need some REALISTIC model regarding how it's all going to be sifted through and recycled, or at the very least how it's going to be converted into energy and where replacement material will come from.

What about the constant need for cleaning and maintenance? For a single sky scraper it can be forgiven not to have much of a plan, but for a structure of arcology magnitude the sheer scale of necessity demands a planned model by which the arcology would be cleaned and maintained. Many models lack any account for this, or even any mention of the need.

Food sustainability? Well you'd obviously need cultivated GM crops grown in mass hydroponics farms. To sustain so many people we'd have to abandon this "soil surface growth" thinking left over from the bronze age. We'd also have to consider embracing alternatives such as vat grown food. Hey it's no more disgusting than eating dead flesh that's been ripped from the bone of a butchered animal, and frankly I'd imagine those raised on it would be revolted by our stone age eating habits.

Currency would be needed, how about a semi-technocratic society with a credits system, in which each citizen gets a monthly allowance of credits?

Management, law enforcement, and governance. I would imagine these issues would largely depend on where such super-structures were built, but some models (particularly those presuming autonomy) should often be provided for their more pressing and necessary aspects.

What's with these constant building concepts that imagine we're still spreading out along the surface building high rise towers? How about a single megastructure, a SINGLE building, much unlike the Try2004 Hyperstructure, which is mostly just a bunch of traditional sky scrapers without the constraint of being ground level.

Lastly, it's all well and good to imagine building these structures but that's all pretty useless if you can't come up with a way to get the resources, and building these structures in the first place is foolish if you're not clearly thinking out how the societies within them would function and sustain themselves. A lot of the arcology models are more like art projects than actual building concepts, and that's something that must change if any such megastructures are ever to become a reality. LucaviX (talkcontribs) 21:35, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Biosphere 2[edit]

Would Biosphere 2 be considered a type of arcology? Axeman (talk) 20:07, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't think it would fit the criterion of high human population density. Trigaranus (talk) 19:54, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Arcologies, self-sufficiency, and Hive Cities[edit]

Hive cities and arcologies are very similar, but have notable differences. Hive cities almost always tend to be organic structures: Built up, layer after layer, bridge by bridge over time, as needed. This is in direct contrast to the planned construction of the arcology. Secondly, the current wording of this article says that an arcology is meant to be, or considered by pop-culture to be self-sufficient. This is hardly a feature of hive-cities. Maybe someone with the wiki skills could make a page for hive cities, or maybe a subhead in the arcology article to deal with them specifically? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 114.76.175.153 (talk) 14:35, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Is xtopia an arcology?[edit]

Just asking. If so, it should be added to the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 189.165.108.128 (talk) 23:13, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Disconnected Meaning of the Term[edit]

I first encountered Arcology as a concept over 20 years ago, and the basic impressions I left with were the attempt to blend architecture with environmental considerations for the promotion of sustainability and greater efficiency in the production, use, and recycling of renewable resources. So we are talking about buildings with gardens, superstructures with parks and farms, use of solar power, wind, or other systems to produce a near utopian interface between man and the environment physically represented as this building. The analogy would be like a human machine producing a bionic or cybernetic being by adding technological implants, but with the case of arcological principles, we are talking about nature, such as plant life, jungles, and parks, being integrated within the bodies of buildings and superstructures. If you remove that attempt at a utopian architectural hybrid of nature and urban engineering, then you just have a super structure, which warrants a separate article. Not all superstructures should be seen as Arcologies, even if someone spends their whole lives in them, any more than the neighborhoods known as "the projects" should be known as Arcologies for the same sedentary associations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.185.88.183 (talk) 19:25, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

What about Vincent Callebaut?[edit]

Several discussants have complained that this article contains too much Soleri. What I see is a complete absence of Vincent Callebaut. He has been promoting arcology ideals since he graduated in 2000, and lately some of his projects are actually being built. —Not yet his most arcological ones, alas, but: his most visionary proposals should be linked to, yes? Fjados (talk) 23:55, 9 February 2014 (UTC)