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PRINT May 1970

Paolo Soleri

A city is a perfect and absolute assembly or communion of many towns or streets in one.

—Aristotle, Politics

IN AN EPOCH IN WHICH urban planning interest is centered in “non-delineated matrix systems” and “statistical composite frameworks,” Paolo Soleri is one of the few architects in the world who advocates an unrestricted use of the third dimension in the design of cities. More than any of his contemporaries, he fathered the idea that cities be regarded as singular objects, not unlike a cup, a table, or any other type of artifact invented by man. Soleri’s position is not without precedent. Other architects have speculated on what “literal unity” means for the city. Vasari’s star shapes, de Giorgio’s octagonals, and Boullée’s spherical geometrics come quickly to mind. But these were paper-graphics, flat-disc attempts at organization rather than true perceptual environments.

Attempts at new

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