David Grierson

Dr David Grierson is deputy Head of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, where he leads on international engagement activity. David has delivered postgraduate courses on ecocities and sustainable architecture, and carried out research work, in Asia (China, Malaysia, India, Nepal), Africa (Egypt, Senegal), North and Central America (USA, Guatemala), the Middle East (Qatar) and Europe (Italy, Austria, Spain). His work, on connections between technology, ecology, buildings and cities, aims to improve design decision-making for a more balanced relationship between the built and natural environments, in developed and developing countries. Having supervised around 30 postgraduate researchers in this area, and reviewed grant applications on behalf of six European Research Councils, he is currently editor of a book series for Routledge on Architecture and Urbanism in the Global South.

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First modern arcology project

Providing an alternative to modern urban sprawl, Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri’s (1919-2013) arcology concept was developed in the 1960s and aims at a more balanced relationship between urban form and efficiency of performance within a unique conception of the modern city. Construction of the first prototype arcology town, named Arcosanti (referring to "architecture before things"), began in the central Arizona desert, 110 km (70 mi) north of Phoenix, in 1970. Built to test the validity of the new city model, the ongoing construction, research work and educational provision at Arcosanti explores low-energy and resource use, the intensification of space and land use, and self-containment of habitat. It is often lauded as one of the earliest attempts to build an eco-city.