On the Beloved Arcology


After searching for an intentional community—an ecovillage--where I could work for the enlightenment of the planet as well as contribute to the local community, I decided to work and live at Arcosanti. It is a community that is experimenting with a new urban design, what architect Paolo Soleri calls arcology. Arcosanti is different than other intentional communities that I visited because it is a prototype in urban design. I found this appealing because I want to go to the root problems of contemporary society and transform them. I felt that if I lived at Arcosanti I would be at a place where I could have challenged the American dream house, its car-addicted life-style, and wars for oil that go along with it.

In 1999, I was accepted into a new program at Arcosanti, the Paradox Project, which had the goal of bringing together cyberspace and arcology. My dream was to broadcast an Internet TV show from Arcosanti about living at a prototype arcology. I saw this as a way I could be a teacher of arcology by living the talk. What a powerful statement it could have made!

I also saw the TV show as a way to open up the Arcosanti community so that they would have a way to express their thoughts on our cause of changing city design so that it lived in balance with nature. The first step in building such a TV show was to build a community web site. But this kind of web site was discouraged by the Arcosanti managers. My idea for a TV show wasn't even discussed.

After a year and a half, I could no longer live at Arcosanti because my feminist politics was not respected. In a community dictated by its founder, being an advocate for a new model of democracy was not appreciated. Instead, it was seen as a threat to the power structure. So, I left Arcosanti and moved into a studio apartment in Prescott , AZ.

Once I left Arcosanti, I had time to reflect on the Arcosanti community and what had happened to me there. I realized that in order to build an arcology that has the beloved community as its core means that not only was the physical construction of the container necessary, but, of equal importance, was the creation of a social architecture that creates personal liberty. The last chapter of my online book is the result of that reflection.

Eventually, I bought a small mud house in a Mexican barrio in Tucson. It was difficult for me to buy into the real estate system that I had opposed all my adult life. But owning a house seemed like the cheapest way that Wayne and I could live.

Now I have a cable access TV show in Tucson where I teach about the wondrous plans of building and living in a sacred arcology. Even though the ecological city that I am seeking is only in my imagination, the possiblity of its creation gives me inspiration and direction in my life. In order to find the Beloved Arcology, I have to make the dream real which has been my great work.

On this community page, I am placing artwork and essays about people who are encouraging me in my work. This is the beginning of my arcology circle!




Human Extinction or Lovolution?