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Arcosanti

Arcosanti is an experimental project which had one determined goal and mission - 'To save our Mother Earth' . Paolo Soleri - an architect from Italy, started developing this project in 1970. Located in the state of Arizona (USA) , it is situated approximately at the height of 3,800 Ft and is 110 kms from Phoenix. It is surrounded by rich environmental conditions and is the main project of a non-profit organisation named 'Cosanti Foundation' founded by Soleri and his wife - Colly.

Soleri had a vision - to build a town where the urban constructed buildings go hand in hand with natural resources such as solar energy, light and air ,with easy access to nature and no negative impact on it. Out of the 4,060 acres of land purchased for Arcosanti, 25 acres has been ¬†used for construction of the town itself.  He used his own theory of 'Arcology ' while developing this town. This theory is a combination of architecture and ecology concepts. When finished, this town will accommodate more than 5000 people who will live in urban conditions with minimal possible destruction to Mother Earth.

Although started almost 40 years ago, this project remains 70 percent complete. 13 major units of  various heights have been completed till now. The designs of most structures on the site are large and unique. The construction of these structures is done with the intention of maximum utilization of sunlight and heat. These structures are mostly designed in such a way that they will be cooler in summer and hot in winter. Lot of Greenhouses, gardens and agricultural land are included in the project. Extra Greenhouses on the terraces are also provided as it would make way for extra gardening space and will help in the collection of solar heat. Rather than having a typical urban concrete jungle layout , Soleri has designed it effectively to improve the social bonds of people and their relationship with natural resources, while strictly respecting their privacy. 

Arcosanti is in itself a system of education. Workshops are conducted to teach the concepts of arcology and its architectural techniques. People from different walks of life come here to study , volunteer and stay . They help in constructing the structures of the Arcosanti while attending these 4-5 week long workshops. In addition to the educational workshops , they also conduct programs for Construction , Urban planning , Agriculture , Archives and Land planning. Entry for these programs is open to everyone. 
The major reason for the incompletion of this  project is shortage of funds. One of the major sources of funding for this project is proceeds from sales of metal and ceramic bells that are manufactured in-house. Funds are also collected in the form of donations and  through the fees they charge for workshops conducted. 

Arcosanti conducts day tours for visitors and it is estimated that around 50,000 people visit Arcosanti annually.

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