This exploration of core principles that can inform a Planet of Cities, needs to be unpacked in two ways so it is useful for our inquiry.
First let’s define what a principle is and second let’s set the scope of what we will consider in this series of explorations. We start with the definition.
Oxford Online Dictionary defines principle in this way. (Note that I have underlined key words and changed or added the italicized examples to relate to the Integral City).
(usually principles) a rule or belief governing one’s behaviour:Integral City Practitioners struggle to be true to their own principles[mass noun]:she resigned from the city committee over a matter of principle
on principlebecause of or in order to demonstrate one’s adherence to a particular belief:he refused, on principle, to pay city taxes for services he had not received===It can be seen from this definition that the emergence and discovery of principles is core to understanding Living Systems – and in particular human systems (including the city) – the Anthroposphere – that we identified in the last blog. A principle can be considered as a habit or rule, that the Living System has developed both for accomplishing outcomes in an agreed manner (effectiveness) and minimizing energy in the process (efficiency). A set of principles acts like a compass to keep a Living System internally aligned, externally adaptive and alive.I notice that the Oxford Dictionary definition embraces all of the Integral Quadrants : (UL reasoning, attitude, belief; UR behaviours, constituents and scientific theorems; LL moral correctness; LR natural law). This seems to reflect the importance of each quadrant in considering principles related to Integral City Practice.Finally I also observe that the discovery and identification of Principles is what differentiates a Practice – and especially a Community of Practice/Practitioners – from a mere Network of Practitioners. (And for those who already know about the framing of Meshworks, you can see that Principles are foundational to the very emergence of Meshworks.)With this in mind, I think it is safe to say, that we couldn’t establish an Integral City Practice Field without discovering and identifying the Principles that underlie our Practice.