Arcosanti has not yet sought to shelter political refugees despite the fact that there have been opportunities to do so, despite the fact that arcology, Paolo Soleri dared to say, is a surefire way to improve humankind's odds for replacing mere chance survival with an integral, truly humanitarian habitat.
The jury is still out on how this might be proven but still, there is ample evidence supporting the observation that humans as a species tend not to survive well without basics. Surely it is unlikely there will be much disagreement with either of the following equations:
- No air =s no life.
- No water =s no life.
- No arable land =s starvation?
- No shelter =s grave stress?
- No intimacy =s little or no self-esteem?
- No self-examination =s hypocrisy?
From time to time, I've seen people refuse to make use of their natural gifts. Whenever I've observed such negligence, what I felt I was witnessing was (to use a moral term) a sin; but my reaction is tempered by expectations derived from experience. One of the consequences of my years in various educational environments is my desire for answers to fundamental questions that are related to moral values, like:
- How shall we improve our chances of being able to make use of all our natural gifts?
- How might we consistently exercise our capacity for spiritual independence?
These are not feathery questions. They are no-holds barred challenges to battle. They came into my mind because I was thinking about Elie Weisel, whose eloquence and conscience raised the consciousness of millions of people - even the angels must have wept while reading his words or heard him speak about the terrors of the Holocaust - but I was also simultaneously thinking about Arconauts wishing to see Arcosanti build itself quite rapidly, this day and every other day forward.
Consequently I've started collecting suggestions for a "Wish List" of site-enhancing projects for an Arcosanti Community Cooperative to address. Please feel free to offer your own! So far, to the question [Think of one place at Arcosanti that you like very much and you'd like to see improved; tell what you feel would improve that space as well as what you like about it] a few of the responses have been:
- Crafts III: a screen door with a magnetic latch; a small sink (with running water) on the patio.
- Bakery: operable windows (one-way glass?), convert use of that space to one conducive to video and movie watching.
- Lab Building and Lab Kitchen:
- "off-hours" Soda Shoppe and Leftovers Coffee Bar.
- Construct a glorious new Maintenance Shed with huge skylights
- Classroom: Establish a formal relationship with the people involved with <https://www.academyofurbanism.org.uk/urban-laboratories/> and <http://www.urbanlabplus.eu/> that can/will develop a forum for Guest Lecturers, including a series given by current contributors to <https://urbanlaboratories.wordpress.com/>
- ArcoMart: Relocate to the space in the Crescent that was promised for it (where the gym equipment is. Ping-pong table stays, the rest is divided up between the Library and other exercise-equipment friendly spaces.)
The idea of an Arcosanti cooperative (or a number of cooperatives working in cooperation with one another, along the lines of Mondragon) has been in the air for some moons. But thanks to a recent presentation facilitated by Rob Jameson, discussion is starting to sound practical rather than theoretical. Focus has been thus far largely concentrated on "what kind of coop should it be?" - choosing from among the following models:
- Regular Cooperative: one type of stakeholder (i.e., consumer, worker)
- Multi-Stakeholder Coop: two or more types of stakeholders (i.e., community agriculture, co-housing)
- Fair Share; all types of members.