1 Million Person Arcology Type Ecocity Planned for Dubai


Discussions had been taking place between Arcosanti alumni and a group in Dubai, regarding a plan to create an ecocity Arcology in Dubai. So possibly it is no coincidence that I recently came across this posting from Inhabit’s website. However there is no mention of it as an Arcology or its inspiration from Soleri’s work even though of course it appears to be borrowing one of Soleri’s design.

Timelinks claims that their Ziggurat will be capable of running completely off the grid by utilizing steam, wind, and other natural resources. The tightly knit city will also feature a super efficient public transportation system that runs both horizontally and vertically, and plans are being drawn up to utilize both public and private green spaces for agricultural opportunities.

According to the International Institute for the Urban Environment, the technologies incorporated into the Ziggurat project will make it a viable metropolis, and Timlinks has responded by quickly patenting the design and technology developed for the project. A number of European professors will be on hand at CityScape Dubai to explain how the Ziggurat project can be incorporated into grander plans, meaning that it may not be a one-off structure.

Architectural News also has a report on the project that is more detailed and includes some questions raised about the holistic approach of the project. Martijn Kramer, managing director of The International Institute for the Urban Environment told WAN: “As a general reaction the Ziggurat Project is viable from a technical point of view. However reflecting from a more sustainable holistic approach we do wonder if the food supply and waste system are taken care for, as the concept seems rather based upon carbon neutrality and energy saving.” Kramer’s initial reaction to “Ziggurat” also raises a very important issue: are people willing to live in a mega building of 2.3 sq km? Will the thought of living in a machine comfort people?

So no it does not appear to be a holistic approach.

Also so far I see no credit or mention given to the person who has been most notorious in promoting such designs Paolo Soleri even though one his Arcology designs resembles the pyramid shape offered by Timeless. This is also interesting because people from Dubai have been requesting information about Arcology from the Cosanti Foundation (the organization I currently work for) at Arcosanti.

Arcosanti is designed or envisioned to be a prototype for that larger scale vision of Arcology but is currently more like an ecovillage, similar in some respects to Auroville in southern India.

We at oneVillage Foundation have considered how a smaller more localized, human scale approach could be developed from the Arcology concept that could be applied at a global level (a global network of training/business incubation centers focused on a new and more thoughtful way to approach challenging problems using a more holistic framework) with the ICT as well as Ecological Design components included.

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