That said, I offer, with great respect, my dissenting perspective on what I think of as my personal arcological experiment. This is an experiment that I've come to undertake ever since I became, rather to my own surprise, a suburban homeowner.
I became a suburban homeowner because when my father died, he left me the right to buy, at a price much below its market value at the time, a Tudor-style cottage he'd inherited from one of his sisters. I won't bother gentle readers with the saga of the peculiar brouhaha engendered by that clause in my father's Will that entitled me to become a homeowner. Suffice it to say that I managed, despite considerable stress, the exeutrix's protracted legal maneuvering (which engendered discomfiting legal bills) to gain title to that aforementioned house.
Poof, she becomes A Woman of Property.
Now, the last thing in the world I'd ever imagined when I left Long Island back in the day was returning to my home town, never mind hunkering down in a house I'd come to know in my infancy. But: Mann plannt und Gott lacht! - as I said before: thus, I am an owner of a house in the 'burbs.
Moreover, I own a house built in the 1930s for 2.1 persons (surely the developers must have envisioned a young couple with a small child) that is situated on two lots on a corner with southwestern exposure. It came with metal cabinets, lots of tile on some of its various walls (in the kitchen and bathroom), some nice boiserie including oak floors in the living/dining room, hardly any closet or storage space, stinking rugs, leaky windows and doors, not-to-code jack post supports, a brick chimney in need of rebuilding, "et cetera, et cetera and so forth," as the King of Siam sang to Gertrude Lawrence.
It was what a real estate ad, if ever there had been one, might have called "a place with potential." (Hmmmm, said she who has become a Woman of Property.)
Thirty-seven miles east of mid-town Manhattan, one hour on a LIRR train that's a fifteen minute walk, for a slow walker like me, from the train station.
The consequence has been, despite Paolo's contention that the suburbs have no meaningful connection to arcology, that I've come to believe that there is one, that this house and property that I own has, actually, a lot of "arcological potential."
What, you ask, does that mean?
Well, to me it means that it is possible to apply 'arcological principles" to the 'burbs, in particular to my own property. That is to say, with respect to habitat, that I mean to preserve as much of the natural environment around it as I can, make outdoor living. edible landscape and garden intrinsic to the design. I want to triple the floor space by expanding up and down rather than out. The footprint will hardly change at all but the habitat will accommodate many more people. More 'urban effect.'
I am determined to Incorporate architectural design elements that maximize solar gain, will make optimal economic use of soil and be conservative of water. Paolo's philosophic position implies that the 'urban effect' will tend to vitalize social connections, enhance and expand consciousness of the universal need for 'frugality," enhance kinesthetic experience of habitat space, will validate understanding and appreciation of time. I might not be able to escape people driving up to it, but I can incorporate a fixed place for people to park their cycles. Hopefully, all that will serve to minimize consumption and waste, make it relatively easy to clean and keep clean. At least I hope so.