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, and in that wish I want to see included people who may have a handicap, whether developmental or otherwise.
Even though there was no ADA when ground was broken to begin building Arcosanti, there is now. It seems obvious to me, therefore, that one priority must be to increase the ways Arcosanti addresses the material needs and rights that have already been identified as pertinent to the disadvantaged.
Or is arcology to be only for the advantaged - the wealthy, most fit, most able? If so, I shall be greatly troubled, and that is why I feel the mission must be as readable as Missouri. I want Arcosanti to be:
A place that can 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, 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 all kinds of people can reach towards full potential and reside in housing in the community 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 made up of individuals, groups, couples, and families.
I want Arcosanti to empower its entire constituency of arconauts and the arcology-minded, so 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. I believe it deserves to be one and can 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 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"!?); the friends they made, how they engaged themselves; the talent, energy, dream time they contributed? What they sacrificed? Whether they brought children into it...gave life to or gained livelihood from it...?
I want Arcosanti to set a global standard, test every conceivable hypothesis of arcology imaginable (whatever the hypotheses might be), 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).
Cities are conglomerates, culturally and materially. Urban life is not homogeneous, it's diverse. Even a city as anti-democratic as Capetown was before Mandela's release is an example of "manifest urban diversity."
As Paolo once put it, very nicely: "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 actually 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 lifetime we have right now.