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Arcosanti

Community, Historic Site or District
The Urban Laboratory

Midway between Phoenix and Sedona, off Interstate 17, Arcosanti sits on a 4,000 basalt mesa and represents an entirely different way of living that considers nature and people over cars and sprawl. Begun in 1970 and built over the past 50 years by over 8,000 volunteers, Arcosanti is the prototype for an arcology - a way of building communities that balance architecture with the environment. The efficient, dense, multi-use qualities of Arcosanti’s compact design provides an enriching life for its residents, while thousands of acres of the surrounding desert remain undisturbed. Arcosanti offers workshops, performing arts programming, and daily tours that inspire, educate, and enhance our cultural community. By urging us to think more critically about our collective responsibility to use our natural resources more intelligently and creatively, Arcosanti demonstrates how a man-made world can exist in balance with the environment for the good of the planet and the 8 billion people who call Earth home.

Social Links

Since the ambitious undertaking of building Arcosanti began in 1970, it has been a work in progress, an experiment, and a proof of concept. For the thousands of students, volunteers, and residents who have participated in its construction, the experience of creating a micro-city centered around people and the environment has been an empowering one. The aim they have all shared is to demonstrate the feasibility of creating a more efficient, urban structure that brings people closer together and closer to nature without exploiting the limited natural resources of the planet. Paolo Soleri calls this “arcology,” the integration of architecture with ecology, and envisioned it as an alternative to rampant urban sprawl. Historic, artistic, and educational by nature, Arcosanti inspires us all to consider what is possible with human creativity, vision, and determination in seeking out a different way to live.
Arcosanti's Tour Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W2n3GrVew0&feature=youtu.be
Architecture as an Evolutionary Quest, an essay by Lissa McCullough about the philosophy of Arcology, the conceptual basis for Arcosanti. https://drive.google.com/file/d/134LD5qcyzoepn68pXaV6qSwkv_qIC-jn/view
Craft and the Handmade, an essay by Elissa Auther about the importance of artisan crafts at Arcosanti in the past with implications for the future. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4hhzkrGaHC9QlBDYWhQREhXUUlDR1ZfUmpxSmFfMXZ6TVBZ/view
10-minute video from Vice. This was filmed in early 2019 and released that summer. It is a snapshot of life at Arcosanti just at the beginning stages of some major changes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U787b23Af50&t=26s

Hours

9am - 5pm every day, except major holidays

Pricing

Tours cost $15/person, kids under 12 are free

Amenities

  • Guest Rooms
  • Camping
  • Dorm Rooms
  • Airbnbs
  • Swimming Pool
  • Cafe
  • Gallery
  • Private Events
  • Hiking Trails
  • Walking Tours
  • Workshops

Attributes

  • Locally or Family-Owned Business
  • Universally Accessible
  • Family-Friendly
  • Pet-Friendly
  • Eco-Friendly