Arcology /

(Category Gestalt)

This is most likely a basket of controversial topics. PaoloSoleri refused to talk very much about this: "I build the instrument. Others will play the music".

But maybe there is relation between the music and the instrument. As Marshall McLuhan said in the "laws of media", every medium has fourfold impact:

  1. it enhances something which previously was retarded
  2. it limits things that previously were enhanced
  3. it retrieves things that were previously obsolete
  4. it changes or reverses things out of pushing them to an extremity
So lets talk about the music. Maybe there are some things to be considered
  1. Forms of individual and community life within an arcology. Does the arcology propmote single living, family style living, cohousing? Does it change the occupations, roles etc.?
  2. Forms of allocation of resources (economy). Is the arcology model favouring communal economy, market economy or what?
  3. Forms of political decision making.

Note: at present economic policy is discussed in more detail in the potential economic security section.

Several political models have been presented as viable possiblities. However, it should be noted that possible benefits may be relative (eye of the beholder).

Political Status:

1. Megabuilding - An arcology could exist within an existing city and municiple structure. Its governance would then not be governmental but rather simply residency restrictions and conditions.

2. Corporation (profit or non-profit) - a corporate entity could own and operate the arcology. The residents would be its "customers." They might still retain decision making authority in some form. If structured as a co-op or an employee owned corporation, or one in which residents are given no-cash value voting shares upon entering. This may or may not be compatible in combination with the other political status options.

3. Incorporated Town - an arcology could be incorporated as a town and run like any municiple government with modifications based on its characteristics.

4. Independant Nation - an arcology could be set up as an independant nation. This raises defense issues as well as the question of how land for this purpose would be aquired. Recognition by existing nations could also be problematic. However, an independant arcology would not be constrained by the legal or judicial authority of outside powers that might otherwise intervene contrary to the wishes of the residents.


1. Viable Megabuilding governance options: a. Co-op b. For profit corporation c. Government ownership d. NGO/ foundation ownership

2. See above - same possibilities apply

3. Viable Incorporated Town options: a. Standard Mayor/City council control. Elected officials. Representative democracy. b. Citizens assembly/town hall voice referendum. Direct democracy a la much of ancient Greece. c. "Mayor for life" or "Permanent Standing Council" or other defacto permanent singular leadership. This may be difficult to establish within existing democratic nations. d. Cadre leadership - a special council could elect/appoint leaders on behalf of the residents while in no way governing themselves. This may also face legal obstacles. e. Internal government system - the government could be structed so that it, like a business or some NGOs, could appoint leaders from withing based on their percieved qualifications.

Community life within the arcology would be significantly affected by the choice of governance options as well as the political status of the arcology. Any predictions made without the existance of an operational arcology (ie made today) may be inaccurate due to the lack of information.

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