I call a place "home" by virtue of the associations I have with it, which belong to me. I may enjoy myself in lodgings just about anywhere but since I prefer being able to call the world my "home," I want to include Ar/Cosanti.
Along with that wish I want to see included at ArCosanti people who may have a handicap, whether developmental or otherwise. Although there was no ADA when ground was broken to begin building Arcosanti, there is now and it seems obvious to me that one priority must be to increase the ways in which ArCosanti addresses the material needs and rights that have already been identified as pertinent to the handicapped/disadvantaged. Or is the world's first "prototype for arcology" to be only for the advantaged? The wealthy, the most fit, most able?
If that is so, I shall be greatly troubled, which is why I feel the mission must be as readable as Missouri. I want Arcosanti to be:
A place that can/does assist individuals, families, and the rest of the community to participate in all aspects of life, to make informed choices about where they live, work, play, worship if they choose. A place where they have access to individual, family and group supports that are flexible, based on need, provided in a culturally sensitive manner. A place with ample opportunities to engage in productive employment, to enjoy meaningful retirement or respite; to experience continuing growth. A place that all kinds of people can co-use so as to reach towards their full potential. A place in which people can reside in community housing with individualized supports available.
A place in which all people are treated with dignity and respect; a place with educational programs that can be attended with peers: a broad spectrum of educational environments. A place where people can become full members of powerful advocacy networks for good works, networks made up of individuals, groups, couples, and families.
I want Arcosanti to empower its entire constituency of Arconauts and the arcology-minded so that it/they become powerful forces in forging a vitally needed, responsive, flexible arcology support network.
I want Arcosanti to test Arcology as a real-time, real-world experiment because I believe it can be one and deserves to be one.
There would be no Ar/Cosanti without the efforts of 7000+ people to date. Who among those numbers can say, somehow or other, "It didn't matter"?
But most of all, what I'd like to know is: How do all those people feel? What do they think - about how they gave to it, what they invested in it (as "sweat equity"!?); who were the friends they made, how did they engage themselves; what talent, energy, dream time did they contribute? What did they sacrifice? Did they bring children into it...give life to or gain livelihood from it...?
I want Arcosanti to set a global standard, test every conceivable hypothesis of arcology imaginable (whatever those hypotheses might be), and look for new ones. Develop a sense of "home" that can be recreated and expanded, experientially anywhere on the planet.
I'd like to see elements of all of the templates drawn by Paolo and the revolving roster of architects@Arcosanti manifest in the evolution of its construction. It doesn't seem practical or sensible, to me, to limit its new structures to only just one of the varied renditions (i.e., Two Suns, MacroCosanti, et al) since cities are conglomerates, culturally and materially, urban life is not altogether homogeneous; in fact it's quite diverse. (Even a city as anti-democratic as Capetown was before Mandela's release is an example of "manifest urban diversity.")
As Paolo once very nicely put it: "The city is an organism of 1000 minds:"
All the parts of an organism operate in sync to function effectively. Each part, even at the atomic level, performs its task.
I, for one, would like to see Arcosanti fulfill its potential as an "urban laboratory" (as Ada Louise Huxtable dubbed it, "the most important experiment of our time"). The Cultural Construction of Arcosanti is as significant as its built environment, its material construction. Neither is complete, and perhaps neither is likely to be complete in a single lifetime. Paolo himself took a long view - Chardin's teleology suited him and has influenced many (often especially appealing to those raised in the Catholic faith) - but we can "Start where we are" (as Buddhist writer and teacher Pema Chodron put it) and make more of it happen in the lifetimes we have right now.