Re: arcology & permaculture (was generic density increase / calendar control)

Date: Mon Jan 01 2001 - 12:31:34 MST

In a message dated 1/1/01 12:42:17 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

> Same here. However, I like to think of the principles being applied at the
> level of, say, a shopping mall (which would then become much more than a
> shopping mall) or an industrial complex. These projects are tightly
> from the beginning anyhow.

I've had the same thought for years. Two of my earliest architectural "aha"
experiences happened here in Houston, both on the same trip in 1973 or '74.
My girlfriend (a Houstonian, who I was visiting), took me into the Hyatt
Regency and made me not look up until I was standing in the middle (if you
could see the way she looked, you'd understand why I was willing to do just
about anything she asked me to do). Then she told me to look up and I had a
true mind-blowing experience as I took in the cavernous vertical space of the
25(?)-story interior atrium around which the hotel is built. I was
speechless for a good long time. The second was my first experience of a
shopping mall, when we went to the Galleria the same day.

Both experiences reverberated in my mind for quite some time. I imagined
merging the two spaces and combining living and working and retail spaces by
gradually extending the Galleria-style multi-story mall to connect to spaces
like the Hyatt that would be apartment buildings and also office buildings.
I foresaw a natural, organic growth possibility for a kind of urban landscape
that promised the efficiencies and vitality of Soleri's arcologies, but
without the need for so much up-front planning and investment.

For years I was surprised that centers like the Galleria didn't naturally
develop along the pathway I had imagined. The benefits to all participants
seemed like an obvious incentive to engage in that direction of development.
I still wonder why it hasn't happened. Partly, it's because many -- if not
most -- people really do seem to want their own piece of dirt, no matter how
small, and the level of privacy and the feeling of autonomy that detached
houses provide.

Another reason is the basic inertia inherent in the construction and real
estate development industries. Because work in those industries is so risky
and capital intensive, development tends to stick to what's known and proven
to work.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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