In a small town in Arizona, researchers are conducting an experiment based on the principle of combining architecture and ecology to find a more sustainable way of building cities.

The Atlantic visits Arcosanti to speak with Jeff Stein, Arcosanti co-president, to discover what's going on in the urban laboratory. The questions Stein proposes in this experiment is "how much space do we really need to take up to have rich and rewarding lives?"

Arcosanti hosts construction workshops and events every year, while roughly 80 people live on-site and work for the town. Stein estimates that 7,000 people have come through the town since 1970, spending weeks to years of their lives, paying tuition to build the buildings and be apart of the community.

"The goal is to figure out how to live a rich life without being rich," says Stein.

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