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26 years ago, the Cosanti Foundation began building Arcosanti, an experimental city in the high desert of Arizona. When complete, Arcosanti will house 7000 people, demonstrating ways to improve urban conditions and lessen our destructive impact on the earth. Its compact super-structures and large-scale solar greenhouses will occupy only 25 acres of a 4060 acre land preserve, keeping the natural countryside in close proximity to urban dwellers.


Suburban sprawl, spreading across the landscape, causes enormous waste, frustration and long-term costs by depleting land and resources. Dependancy on the automobile intensifies these problems, while increasing pollution, congestion, and social isolation. Arcosanti hopes to address these issues by creating a three-dimensional, pedestrian-oriented city. Because this plan curtails suburban sprawl, both the urban and natural environments should keep their integrity and thrive.

Arcosanti is a prototype: if successful, it will become a model for how the world builds its cities.


Arcosanti is designed according to the concept of arcology (architecture + ecology), developed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri. In an arcology, the built and the living interact as organs in a highly evolved being. This means many systems work together, with efficient circulation of people and resources, multi-use buildings, and solar orientation for lighting, heating and cooling.

In this complex, creative environment, apartments, businesses, production, technology, open space, studios, and educational and cultural events are all accessible, while privacy is paramount in the overall design. Greenhouses provide gardening space for public and private use, and act as solar collectors for winter heat.


Arcosanti is an educational process. The five week workshop program teaches building techniques and arcological philosophy, while continuing the city's construction. Volunteers and students come from around the world. Many are design students, and some receive university credit for the workshop. But a design or architecture background is not necessary. People of many varied interests and backgrounds are all contributing their valuable time and skills to the project. Week-long silt sculpture workshops and Elderhostel programs offer other ways to be involved.

The residents of Arcosanti are workshop alumni, who work on planning, construction, teaching, computer aided drafting, maintenance, cooking, carpentry, metal work, ceramics and communications. They produce the world-famous Soleri Bells, as well as hosting 50,000 tourists each year in a Gallery, Bakery, and Cafe open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Guided tours introduce visitors to the philosophy, history, planning and ongoing construction of the site.

Concerts and other events in the Colly Soleri Music Center also allow visitors to experience Arcosanti. Shows include dinner, and are often followed by a Pictograph 2000 light show on the opposite mesa.


Answers to your most commonly asked questions, directions for getting here, and all the basic stuff you need to know.


Over 5,000 people have participated in our workshop programs throughout the years, learning arcology theory and building the city. If you want to study or live here, then check this out.


Arcosanti hosts or is involved with many unique cultural events. Get the details here.


Publications, Bibliographies & Press releases.


About 70 people currently live, work and play here, while hundreds of alumni form an extended community. Find the home pages and email addresses for both residents and alumni here.


Coming soon!


Also coming soon!


Interactive chat rooms where you can discuss the project with us and others.

Send any feedback to [email protected]