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I love Cracked.com =) It has some very interesting and informative articles =) Like this one. I had never, ever heard of Arcosanti. What a splendid idea: Utopia, in the Arizona desert!

This is Arcosanti, built by Italian architect Paolo Soleri, a former student of Frank Lloyd Wright. Arcosanti is a community built upon arcology, a principle that stresses the fusion of architecture with ecology to create structures perfectly suited for their environment.

-snip-

Why It Failed:

Did we mention that this lush, artsy paradise was located in central Arizona?

It was a planned community estimated to sustain roughly 5,000 citizens at first -- but with room to grow! Now, after nearly 40 years of architectural perfection, Arcosanti is still going strong, a measly 4,900 citizens short of its initial projected goal. We're guessing it has something to do with building a fantastic city in the middle of nowhere in an area where the average salary is minimum wage.

-snip-

Seriously, it's impossible to underscore how far away from anything Arcosanti is located. Arizona is basically one giant set piece for the next Mad Max movie anyway, and Arcosanti is firmly wedged deep up its rural behind. The nearest town whose population exceeds its elevation is nearly 30 miles away. The only way into Arcosanti is down a tiny 3-mile dirt road split off of a rural highway. It's like a real-life Sudden Valley.

Arcosanti
Arcosanti
After reading the Cracked piece, I naturally had to read further. On Earth Day, 2008, the Washington Post wrote a rather glowing article:
Arcosanti was started in the 1970s by Italian architect Paolo Soleri, a spitfire who seeks an alternative to a car-dominant, hyper-consumerist society. With his so-called urban laboratory, Soleri, 88, hopes to eliminate the automobile, promote frugality and create a functional metro center run on the Earth's resources: food from organic gardens, power from the sun, air conditioning from the shade, building materials from the natural surroundings. Though still a work in progress, Arcosanti in theory offers residents the same amenities as, say, a Manhattanite: housing, commerce, culture and dining.
Arcosanti really is quite fascinating. The original plan called for about 5,000 residents. At the time of this New York Times slideshow, there were 56 residents. They make and sell ceramic and bronze bells. There's a pool, greenhouses, and big concrete structures.
Arcosanti amphitheatre
The amphitheater at Arcosanti
There's a lot of information on Arcosanti out there. This article, written in 2013 by a man who stayed there in 1998, is interesting.

If you'd like to visit Arcosanti, here's the info.

What's your vision of Utopia? Mine involves LOTS of books, overstuffed reading chairs with good back support, great lighting, and peace and quiet =) And I love the idea of the AutoChef from the J.D. Robb novels, too. H'mm. My Utopia is apparently a giant library with a cafeteria =) Happy Monday to all!

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