Arcosanti + Vertical Farming


Leon Neihouse has been putting forward some important links in relation to integrated design, habitat construction and food production.

His work is most relevant to the effort to develop the Energy Apron + Greenhouse that is envisioned to provide much of the food for Arcosanti Critical Mass (this idea of the project gaining momentum to do larger scale development as envisioned by Paolo Soleri in terms of actually creating a fully operational Arcology).

The core question for consideration here is: how one might consider the development of an Arcology type vision of urban living that would include the habitat getting a significant amount of its food onsite using state of the art food production technologies.


Leon recently submitted an application to the Bucky Fuller Institute (the BFI Challenge) with an idea to develop an vertical farm prototype in Maine that would provide an integrated live and work environment that could be a showcase for sustainability in the 21st century.

He has been working with Open Source pioneer Eric Hunting. Eric wrote a rather long article entitled “Adaptive Architecture, Collaborative Design, and the Evolution of Community” for the Peer to Peer Foundation (P2P) website. Eric and Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation have agreed to work with Leon to reprint an abridged version in the book he is drafting.

Leon also has been working with Dr. Despommier the originator or the Vertical Farm concept (which was featured in an article in the Dec issue of Time) and Dr. Schreibman who is an expert on aquaponics.

The recent Dec 6 panel discussion on the Lean Linear City at the Phoenix Central Library featured a design for a large scale food production system located inside the Arcology complex. As such designs are considered in the development of an Arcology, it becomes increasingly important to consider what people like Dr Despommier are actually designing in the field of intensive urban food production systems and in terms of what people Barry Adler of Rainfresh Harvests are actually doing to test out such systems at a small scale.

He also reports that Dr. Brin, a Science Fiction author, has expressed some interest and they are investigating collaboration through Dr Brin’s EON foundation.

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