Given Paolo Soleri's self-acknowledged major shortcoming as a planner (he freely admitted he had none; his claim as a plumber notwitstanding), developing a strategy that's immediately viable seems a sensible place to start. It isn't rocket science for the Urban Laboratory to commit to responsibly assuring all its programs evince all-inclusive population diversity, now and forevermore into the future.
I start with diversity because I suspect (and would wager) that Arcosanti workshop program demographics cannot provide incontrovertible evidence that absolutely anyone who's interested in learning experientially at Arcosanti (or, for that matter who's interested in visiting Arcosanti) can readily take part in any event or project, no matter whatever his/her handicap might be.
But here's what looks to me like a nitty-gritty issue: Arcosanti Workshop flyers declare, pace Iolanda Lima, that Arcosanti is Delivering arcology as human ecology. How, exactly, is that being done? What is the curriculum? Who is responsible for planning? Execution? Are the program's course work records, report sheets, participant evaluation reviews, et al, available?
Interested people want to know.
I myself want to see Arcosanti fulfill the vital imperative of assuring that the workshop program outreach and execution are inclusive. Maximized diversity cannot help but serve as a strong symbol of comfort with how the workshop program practically serves to realize the premised goals of validating the crediblility of arcology at Arcosanti for a global majority.
Arcosanti can demonstrate accessibility, inclusive user-friendliness, its unique material culture's validity and meaningfulness in a multicultural world, by taking the ADA seriously. The ADA is, after all, no only federal law, but an ethical imperative to assure the safety of guests as well as workers at Arcosanti. Awareness of this cannot be permitted to dangle as an optional concern.
As architectural oversight goes, is there really/truly any actual doubt this challenge can be met? Are ADA-compliance and site safety assurances too complex for Arcosanti's gifted architects to solve?
That hardly seems possible.
[CONFESSIONAL CAVEAT: My concern is personal and professional, over and above my historical experience as a handicap-identified human.
Alhough I know the terrain of Arcosanti relatively well, I took a wrong turn one night last winter, stepped off a ledge, plummeted smack down onto rocks and concrete. At the time, I was just grateful that I didn't land on my head. I caught my bearings, picked myself up, somehow put one foot in front of the other, managed to get myself to my intended destination.
Pretty much put the event out of my mind immediately although I did say, at least once, to all the Arconauts within hearing range and anyone in the world in general who cared to listen, that visibility, even/especially at night, is A Good Thing worth having in great abundance at Arcosanti. (Unless you prefer a gimmicky alternative, like handing out headlamps at the gate?)
But when a necrotic mass in the back of my left thigh showed up on a medical scan some weeks later, I thought not hardly at all about it until it pained fiercely enough to warrant a trip to ER. After which, my terrific docs insisted on biopsies to make sure whatever it was, wasn't malignant.
It isn't malignant but having to cope with miserable slow-downs of my already slowed-down walking pace, killer pain-medication PRN, plus the general nuisance of either moaning and groaning or putting out the energy required to ignore the pain, has added a whole new realm of obstacles that have to be overcome on a daily basis .
And here's the quintessential irony: Having put the brutal tumble out of my mind ASAP ("Keep on trucking," right?), I could not account for the awful lump in the back of my thigh that hurt non-stop. Had no recollection of how that lump coulda happened. Until very recently, when in the course of thinking about other Arcosanti-related matters, I recalled how I'd plummeted off that beautifully intended, poorly illuminated, completely unguarded ledge.
"No blame," as the I Ching says. I don't see the point in adding to Arcosanti's anxieties by piling yet another negligence lawsuit onto the Foundation's heap of unaddressed burdens. Plus I'm not litigious enough to threaten one - no matter how forceful such a suggestion might be.
But I will still like to know what could be making it possible for people who claim to care about Arcosanti to think (if Arcosanti is supposed to be demonstrating the value of arcology to the world) that planning for accessibility is not essential, that designing for safety isn't paramount?
No chain is stonger than its weakest link.