Arcosanti was an unplanned stop on the Southwest Tour, but it turned out to be one of the most interesting places we've been. The driving principle behind Arcosanti is "arcology," a term coined by the mastermind behind the development, architect Paolo Soleri, that describes a combination of architecture and ecology.
Soleri sought to concentrate large numbers of people in dense living quarters, limiting the impact on the surrounding lands, which are either kept wild or used for agriculture. True to that goal, Arcosanti sits on more than 4,000 acres of protected land, while the 50-100 residents live on only about 25 acres. Soleri's buildings are built on a pretty steep ravine, looking out on some pretty stunning landscape. His buildings are designed to take full advantage of passive solar heat in the winter, and most of them have nice cross-ventilation to cool them in the summer.
Dorothée and I took a tour of the grounds yesterday in hopes of learning about the way they produce food at Arcosanti. We were pretty impressed by the architecture and the natural beauty of the site, and after the tour, our guide Lindsay took us down to show us some of the experimental greenhouses.