Transform New Orleans into World's First Arcology!
October 24, 2005 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Transform New Orleans into the World's First Arcology? The good Doctress Neutopia has a new mission: New Orleans is to be rebuilt as Arcosanti writ large. Perhaps one of the remaining Monster Truck Neutopians will lend a backhoe? Get the FAQs and the counterFAQs on the inventor (back around 1994) of the world's first online religion, and join the lovolution! (and I can't believe DN has never appeared on MeFi before, but thus sayeth the Search)
posted by Creosote (32 comments total)
So they're envisioning New Orleans as a Quixotic project turned wasteland populated by hippies selling bells and clay coasters? 'Cuz, you know, that's pretty much what Arcosanti is.

I thought Arcosanti was an awfully cool idea until it became clear that Soleri thought that humans would be happy living in little 4x6 rooms with very little light. It was never made clear to me exactly why his very cool, super-energy-efficient architectural ideas had to be combined with the assumption that everyone would be happy living in a giant beehive.
posted by gurple at 4:42 PM on October 24, 2005

Right. Why don't we just rebuild safe, sustainable, worthwhile communities that retain a sense of urbanity but respect nature and the fragile environment of the Delta?

Mississippi works with New Urbanists
Mississippi Renewal

(gurple's dead on, what fluff this is)
posted by johnjreiser at 4:45 PM on October 24, 2005

My first exposure to the arcology concept was from Larry Niven's book Oath of Fealty, wherein he spent most of the time exploring the dynamic of a self-governing arcology in the midst of LA, and the friction between the two communities. So when I think arcology, I think about a place much nicer to live in than Arcosanti, and much more properly planned/implemented. But I can't imagine living in one without a massive improvement in between-apartment-sound-proofing.

Well, I could live there until my neighbors filed too many noise complaints, I guess.
posted by nomisxid at 4:57 PM on October 24, 2005

So they're envisioning New Orleans as a Quixotic project turned wasteland populated by hippies selling bells and clay coasters?

gurple, it's really more like "she's envisioning" than "they're envisioning". But DN has never let the scarcity of converts discourage her.
posted by Creosote at 5:00 PM on October 24, 2005

"Monster Truck Neutropians" -- now there's a link that you just can't resist clicking on! (Or at least I couldn't, and I'm surprised I don't remember her from my time lurking on alt.usenet.kooks.)
posted by Zonker at 5:07 PM on October 24, 2005

no barbeque sauce? that's not a future I want to live in.
posted by flaterik at 5:09 PM on October 24, 2005

I've been to Arcosanti--it's a really sad place filled with burnouts and chickens (actual chickens).

/preview: What gurple said.
posted by bardic at 5:12 PM on October 24, 2005

/geekfilter: Isn't Arcology the name of the city in Deus Ex: Invisible Wars?
posted by bardic at 5:14 PM on October 24, 2005

The arcologies in Sim City 2000 were way cooler.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 5:23 PM on October 24, 2005

Anybody remember those sorta utopian tower thingies back in SimCity 2000? You could pack a bunch of people inside them, and they mostly looked pretty and were ok for property values and such.

Those things were cool.
posted by gurple at 5:25 PM on October 24, 2005

Bah, BIAB beat me too it.
posted by gurple at 5:25 PM on October 24, 2005

My counter-proposal: anticipate the collapse of the state and federal governments and lay groundwork for the inevitable rise of Franchise-Organized Quasi-National Entities.
posted by mullingitover at 5:34 PM on October 24, 2005

New Orleans is to be rebuilt as Arcosanti writ large.

No, it isn't.

(We like our Creole cottages, camelbacks and shotgun doubles, thank you.)
posted by chuq at 5:37 PM on October 24, 2005

chuq: Amen. This utopian bullshit annoys me just as much as the wasps who want to turn NOLA into Orange County South.
posted by brundlefly at 5:43 PM on October 24, 2005

Of course, it occurs to me after the fact to actually provide some links ...
posted by chuq at 5:44 PM on October 24, 2005

The only reason New Orleans was fun was because it was a degenerate shithole.
The people who lived there want to live and should be living in a degenerate shithole.
Build it back into the fun dengenerate shithole we all knew and loved.
posted by HTuttle at 6:08 PM on October 24, 2005

If it's designed by 士郎正宗 I'm all for it...
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:40 PM on October 24, 2005

I lived at Arcosanti in 87'-88' (holy moly that was 18 years ago).
Soleri is a benevolent dictator, and sure-we were a bunch of freaks in the desert, but not without strong ideals. Today, as the reality of sprawl/oil dependance is starting to slap us around, I still strongly believe in parts of his vision. But his total dream will never be realized, as not many people can handle living in such tight quarters--and it is certainly not very supportive of a capitalist economic system. Perhaps I am an old crank by now, but the idea of anywhere becoming an arcology is pretty freakin funny. Bells and the Friday frugal soup.
posted by tarantula at 6:44 PM on October 24, 2005

Hey, wow, you actually lived there, tarantula? That must have been a hell of an experience! Do you have any pictures from that period?

Like I said, my understanding of Soleri's vision is that it's pretty pie-in-the-sky, and the whole cramped-quarters thing seems nuts; but the buildings of Arcosanti are kind of pretty in a unique way, and he seemed to have some really good ideas about energy efficiency.
posted by gurple at 8:16 PM on October 24, 2005

/geekfilter: Isn't Arcology the name of the city in Deus Ex: Invisible Wars?

I don't remember the name of the city, but it was an arcology, not "Arcology." The SC2K/sci fi vision of an arcology is basically an enormous building that is as self-dependent as any other city, i.e. living and working space, parks, industry, etc. Like if you started putting factories and homes inside the Empire State building and it got to the point where people who lived there wouldn't go outside for days or weeks at a time.

This other thing seems to be a few buildings in the desert.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:04 PM on October 24, 2005

Interesting as an idea. I can't imagine where the money would come from.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:31 PM on October 24, 2005

Copyright © 2005 Libby Hubbard All Rights Reserved

Does anyone know if there is an L Ron in Libby's family tree?
posted by Cranberry at 9:43 PM on October 24, 2005

New New Orleans will be JUST like Old New Orleans, only BETTER! None of the terrible things that offend Baby Jesus! No grimy old architecture! None of that horrible booze! No Boobies, cause Baby Jesus hates Boobies! No "looters", "potential criminals", or "hypothetical terrorists!" Glorious barbed-wire fences to keep out the terrible liberals, and gay homosexual people! Searchlights everywhere to keep us from temptation! Sure, nobody can leave, but Good People won't want to!
posted by swell at 10:16 PM on October 24, 2005

I can't be the only one wondering if Soleri is also the Time Cube guy.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:19 AM on October 25, 2005

You will then be able to translate this webpage from English to any of the following languages: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

What, no Esperanto?
posted by fandango_matt at 1:22 AM on October 25, 2005

Oh, and I love this gem from the bottom of the page:

"Eutopia or Oblivion?"
posted by fandango_matt at 1:25 AM on October 25, 2005

But Soleri, he does great rendering. He should get into sci fi cover art.
posted by jfuller at 2:45 AM on October 25, 2005

posted by taursir at 3:36 AM on October 25, 2005

Thank you for the images, taursir -- I think you made my day.
posted by ducksauce at 6:51 AM on October 25, 2005

I bought a copy of his book 'Arcology - City in the Image of Man' in college many years ago because it's so unique and strange. It's filled with wonderfully detailed drawings of arcologies in different settings.

His philosophy laid out in the book is very strange. Acologies are supposed to be the next step in the physical and mental evolution of man similiar to the aggregation of cells into larger animals. That was my take on it anyway. At the time I was smoking alot of dope so it seemed very profound.

Also -- in the beginning of Blade Runner, when Decker is flying above the city all those huge buildings are supposed to be arcologies
posted by BuzzKill at 11:15 AM on October 25, 2005

Miscellaneous facts:

The word 'arcology' derives from 'arx', Latin for 'citadel,' and '-ology', Greek for 'study of'.

Doctress Neutopia used to date a guy with a funny name, whom the Monster Truck Neutopians called 'Gearjam.'

Because we always and only made fun of her, DN hated the MTNs.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:51 AM on October 25, 2005

I only learned the other day while poking about for Neutopia stuff that the MTNs go back to a poem that DN posted that began

Monster Trucks
running over my soul,
destroying the landscape of my heart,
polluting the ponds with their poisonous fossil fuels.

The original Usenet post containing it is not on Google News but is preserved here.
posted by Creosote at 1:12 PM on October 25, 2005

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