Architecture expert Charlie Luxton takes a high rise hike around the world's most iconic skyscrapers, discovering the stories of power, politics and daring design that lie behind their construction.
Runtime: 30 minutes
Vertical City - Arcology - Netflix
Arcology, a portmanteau of “architecture” and “ecology”, is a field of creating architectural design principles for very densely populated, ecologically low-impact human habitats. The term was coined by architect Paolo Soleri, who posited that a completed arcology would provide space for a variety of residential, commercial, and agricultural facilities while minimizing individual human environmental impact. These structures have been largely hypothetical insofar as no arcology, even one envisioned by Soleri himself, has yet been built. The concept has been popularized by various science fiction writers. Authors such as Peter Hamilton in Neutronium Alchemist and Paolo Bacigalupi in The Water Knife explicitly used arcologies as part of their scenarios. They are often portrayed as self-contained or economically self-sufficient.
Vertical City - In popular culture - Netflix
Most proposals to build real arcologies have failed due to financial, structural or conceptual shortcomings. Arcologies are therefore found primarily in fictional works. One of the earliest examples in literature is William Hope Hodgson's 1912 horror/fantasy novel The Night Land, where the last remnants of humanity survive in two enormous self-contained metal pyramids. Another significant example is the 1981 novel Oath of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, in which a segment of the population of Los Angeles has moved into an arcology. The plot examines the social changes that result, both inside and outside the arcology. Thus the arcology is not just a plot device but a subject of critique. In Robert Silverberg's The World Inside, most of the global population of 750 billion lives inside giant skyscrapers, called “urbmons”, each of which contains hundreds of thousands of people. The urbmons are arranged in “constellations”. Each urbmon is divided into “neighborhoods” of 40 or so floors. All the needs of the inhabitants are provided inside the building – food is grown outside and brought into the building – so the idea of going outside is heretical and can be a sign of madness. The book examines human life when the population density is extremely high. The Maxis computer game SimCity 2000 allows the construction of four different types of arcologies in the future, introducing a wider audience to the concept.
Vertical City - References - Netflix