Born in Turin, Italy on June 21, 1919, Paolo Soleri was awarded his Ph.D. with highest honors in architecture from the Torino Polytechnico in 1946. He came to the United States in 1947 on a fellowship with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West in Arizona, and at Taliesin East in Wisconsin. His major project is Arcosanti, a prototype town for 5,000 people, under construction since 1970. Located at Cordes Junction, in central Arizona, the project is based on Soleri’s concept of “Arcology,” architecture coherent with ecology. His proposed cities would be for people on foot, not designed around automobiles, compact and three-dimensional, not two-dimensional, that is, not flat and scattered over large distances. Arcology advocates cities designed to maximize the interaction and accessibility associated with an urban environment; minimize the use of energy, raw materials and land, reducing waste and environmental pollution; and allow interaction with the surrounding natural environment.
In 2006, Brent Toderian was appointed the City of Vancouver’s Director of City Planning, succeeding celebrated Co-Directors Larry Beasley and Dr. Ann McAfee. His broad mandate involves current planning, including the many projects related to the 2010 Winter Olympics, and visioning/CityPlans, including the new “EcoDensity” citywide initiative currently being discussed with the Vancouver community. EcoDensity is based on the premise that strategically located, sustainably designed density can reduce the City’s ecological footprint while making Vancouver more sustainable, livable and affordable. Since arriving, Brent’s been encouraging candid, city-wide dialogue around an evolving urbanism, with bold opportunities around sustainability, creativity, and architectural risk taking.
Curitiba, Brazil’s model sustainable city, was largely the brainchild of Jaime Lerner. As three-time mayor of the city, he created a rapid transit bus system, increased the amount of green space, and encouraged children and adults alike to recycle. Jaime Lerner joins host Steve Curwood in the LOE studios and says all cities have the potential for environmental success.