Safety, of course, is paramount, because arcology must be socially as well as physically constructed. Once universal accessibility and assured safety are prioritized as common sense dictates, ideas for development can be readily assessed for inclusiveness.
A social community model that could be included in such a strategic plan is one based on Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf School pedagogy called Camphill. I'd like to see one happen in the Slocan Lake area of the Kootenays; I see it also making sense for Arcosanti to have a Camphill, as well.
This notion is an expansion of an idea I had for a disability-friendly arts-based program that could be located on The Ranch that's beyond Arcosanti's Camp. (Camp is historically the gateway to its farm/gardens/apiaries/orchards.) Even though The Ranch no longer has either Charolais cattle or horses, it still does have strong potential as a child-friendly place.
The Philadelphia-based dance troupe, Group Motion <http://groupmotion.org> was the inspiration for that idea, which I put on hold to think about what other social models might contribute to developing arcology as a viable alternative to sprawl, asking myself:
How high can Arconauts collectively raise the bar for what arcology is good for, interactively and potentially? What about some type of workers co-op? Co-housing group? Refugee settlement complex? International Hostel? Conference Center? Arts and Crafts Studios? A Center for Spiritual Studies, including but not limited to Paolo's design for a "Teilhard de Chardin Cloister"?
Aren't all those "grist for the arcology mill?" How might Arconauts seek to manifest them? As neighborhoods of a single urbanesque entity? Or each as a distinct village, each with its own form of self-governance?
Ideas, whether grand or simple, need the incubation of of collective imagination. To harness the energies of three generations of energetic Arconauts is the beginning-point of all arcological endeavors, of ideas that can manifest in good deeds. Arconauts can all move forward by 'starting where we are' - and that, to me, means: What can we do with what we have on hand now, what is there at our fingertips? What is available? What resources are we willing/able to liberate from their strangleholds? How can we allow and encourage common sense to dictate where we can go, where we need/want to go?
Consider this comic book example: Could Superman have survived the loss of his true home on a faraway planet if the couple who adopted him had not been common-sense earthlings, folks who were able to divine a foundling's need to be treated as if he were just like any other kid? How could he have learned to manage his super powers without that guidance?
Mom and Pop believed he had good potential. Which he did. They respected him. Patiently, with patience. Hands- on, they led a simple life, let him experience himself and the world. Rather the way Paolo Soleri imagined Arcosanti would do, yes?
Time need not be our enemy but it is, I feel, important to remember how precious, how impermanent, is our human sojourn on our Planet Earth. The bottom line for all of us, for each and every one of us - for all of Humanity, in fact - is that all life on this planet is wear-dated. Each and every one of us gets to die.
This universal truth is one that Arcosanti has just been confronted with, by Ed Wurman's passing. Those of us who knew Ed as a friend can't help but mourn, not because anyone could have prevented his death but because despite ourselves, no matter where we were, no matter what we were doing, we somehow did not quite see it coming.
Putting any friend in the past tense is a challenge: Ed will be no exception to that rule. For my part, now that it's too late for me to tell him in person how important his gifts were, still are and always will be, now that it's too late for him to hear me say once again how important he was to me, how grateful I am - was - for his friendship, I will simply observe tradition: I will sit shiva, light a yahrzeit candle, say Kaddish as if he had been a member of my family. I will do this not because we were actually blood-related, not because either of us adhered to ritual performances common to our individual childhood communities. Neither of us was given to demonstrating consistently the connective force exerted by our common ancestry in traditional Judaism. But I will recite and pray simply because that is a gentle, meaningful way I can acknowledge all the gifts Ed proffered..
Reckoning with grief is a challenge under any circumstances. Creatures of habit that we are, change is rarely easy, no matter what form it takes - even if and/or when it's somehow possible that it's change for the better.
I've argued with Death often enough know that so long as I myself keep going, however long that turns out to be, Death will still be visiting someone who matters to me. Somewhere. Some time....
Hardly anyone is well-prepared for Death, ever-present though she is, breathing with us and through us. The raw fact - bitter as it may be - is that she is just as essential to all of us, as necessary to all humanity, as the precious gift of Life itself.
None of us may have life without her, none of us may live without knowledge of her mission. She has no choice in any matter.
With the greed of all the hungry ghosts that serve her, her vast legions of echoing pawns enthralled with her appetite, what she craves is - completion.
Therefore, remember this truth: Death, she plays for keeps.