‘Arcology’ is an area of study that melds architectural design with the study and understanding of ecology.
On earth arcologies have been hypothesized to homogenize the growing human population reducing expansive cities to condensed self-contained areas with enough natural resources to be self-sufficient.
A number of architects have theorized such self-sustained environments in all shapes sizes and dimension.
Frank Lloyd wright’s broadacre city is a rough but prototypical pattern for a self-sustained small population. In the 1950’s An architect named Paolo Soleri experimented with an Arcology in the desert of central Arizona in the United States He combined the urban environment with the natural environment using architecture to shape space and interactions with nature while encouraging the least amount of human impact on the natural area. his work was bold an explorative, but ultimately lost momentum into the later 21st century.
Mostly arcologies have been the dreams of science fiction writer imagining super cities or technological dystopias, but in reality arcologies are a sound solution to a problem; and that is planetary colonization.
It’s the perfect first step in establishing a human population. A self sufficient arcology is the birthplace or expansion and growth. As far as the future of mars ultimately terraforming is the long term goal and I believe establishing arcologies and getting a working human population on the red planet is the perfect first step in becoming a celestial race of planetary beings. As once we were earthly cave dwelling protohumans exploring the wilderness of earth, now we become celestial cave dwelling creatures exploring the wilds of the solar system.