Experts Welcome Public for Discussion on Sustainable Future of Arizona

A public presentation and discussion that explores the possibilities for Arizona’s sustainable future.

Phoenix, AZ, November 21, 2008 --( On Saturday, December 6, 2008, a free public presentation will be held at the Burton Barr Central Library from 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. to discuss sustainable possibilities for planning Arizona’s rapid expansion. As part of the Desert Environment Series, the panel discussion, titled “Sustainable Urban Growth in Arizona,” will feature photographer David Muench presenting Arizona Desertscapes, Arcosanti architect Paolo Soleri with the Lean Linear City concept, ASU Professor John Meunier discussing the Architecture of Compact Urbanism, and ADOT’s Rakesh Tripathi with the Future of Rail in Arizona, followed by a short break and open discussion.

Outdoor and fine art photographer David Muench introduces the framework of the discussion with images of Arizona’s beautiful desertscapes. Paolo Soleri presents his Lean Linear City concept, a model for a dense, pedestrian, urban development that utilizes solar and wind power. The city’s logistical design includes an extensive train system with local pedestrian and bicycle paths, all along an urban park. Food production, waste processing, and water recycling systems are integrated into the city. Architect and ASU Professor John Meunier discusses desert planning along with Sustainable Compact Urbanism. Rakesh Tripathi, ADOT Multimodal Planning Division Director, explores the future of rail in Arizona. Steven J. Gottesman, AIA LEED Architect, will facilitate the discussion and cellist Dennis Yee will entertain participants before the presentations.

The Desert Environment Series was started by Tempe, Arizona resident Alex Barragan in March 2008. It presents forums to discuss ideas on architecture, urbanism, industrial design, transportation, and the arts as they influence Arizona’s most spectacular desert environment.

This event is sponsored by The Cosanti Foundation (, Changing Hands Bookstore (, The Phoenix Library (, and Alberto Hernandez Designs (; refreshments are provided by Cookies From Home ( A high-resolution poster for this event can be downloaded at:

David Muench
David Muench's sensitivity and determination to champion the strength and beauty of the land has led to extensive contributions of his work in magazines, books, advertising, exhibits, and wilderness and conservation publications throughout the world, including Arizona Highways, Outdoor Photographer, Wilderness, Sierra, View Camera and many others. David was the primary photographer for more than forty books, and has participated in numerous photography exhibits. His most recent exhibit-format books published by Graphic Arts Books include "Arizona", "Our National Parks", and "Windstone". In 2009 Graphic Arts Books will publish Muench's "Colorado: Portrait of a State" and "California: Portrait of a State."

Paolo Soleri
Internationally recognized architect, artist, and philosopher Paolo Soleri is best known for his theory of Arcology, which blends architecture and ecology to create a pedestrian city in response to problems caused by urban sprawl including isolation, environmental degradation, resource depletion, lack of cultural activity, and pollution. The Cosanti Foundation was incorporated in 1956 as a nonprofit, educational organization devoted to Soleri’s planning and architecture research. In 1970, Soleri launched Arcosanti (, a prototype Arcology in central Arizona. It serves as an urban laboratory where the principles of Arcology are tested, a model urban environment that is striving to reduce humankind’s ecological impact. World famous Soleri bronze and ceramic bells are produced and sold on site and at outlets nationwide. About 50,000 people visit Arcosanti annually with over 6,000 participants in educational Workshop programs.

John Meunier
John Meunier served as Dean of Arizona State University’s (ASU) College of Architecture and Environmental Design from 1987 – 2002. He held leadership roles at the University of Cincinnati and Cambridge University in England and served as professor at McGill, Harvard, Yale, San Luis Obispo, and Charlotte, North Carolina, and numerous other institutions. Today he remains a Professor at the ASU School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Meunier recently worked on research for a public television program, “Desert Cities: Surviving the 21st Century,” which lead him to travel to Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, India, Egypt, Yemen, Australia, Chile and Peru. The thesis of the series is that there are important lessons to be learned from visiting pre-industrial desert cities that are relevant to the challenge of sustainability as we contemplate the future of rapidly growing desert cities of today, such as Phoenix.

Rakesh Tripathi
Rakesh Tripathi is the Multimodal Planning Division Director for the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). The Division focuses on planning an integrated transportation system consisting of highways, rail, public transportation and bicycle/pedestrian facilities for the movement of people, goods and services. Prior to working for ADOT, Tripathi served the Texas Department of Transportation for 14 years, helping manage the largest transportation planning program in the state, covering eight counties with a population of more than 4.5 million. Beyond transportation planning, he has extensive rail experience for freight movement and commuter rail - a concept under study in Arizona.

Cosanti Foundation
Erin Jeffries