As more cities start to experiment with an Integral City paradigm, a collection of case studies is asking to be written. Four cities in four different countries, disclose the power of engaging with the 4 Voices of the City, but each with a different inaugurating voice.
Abbotsford, BC, Canada is the city where I have worked the longest in catalyzing Integral City principles. Why? Because I live here and have had the first and longest provocation to look at this city so close at hand. In fact, by now, I have many stories to tell about Abbotsford. Some of them have already been documented: The Maple Leaf Meme Project; Imagine Abbotsford; Welcoming and Inclusive Communities. In this series, I will re-tell the story of Imagine Abbotsford through the lens of the Voice of the Citizen.
Ekurhuleni, South Africa invited me to work on their futures-focused project to discover a practical vision for the city in 2050, from which they could backcast strategies to realize it from today forward. Their incentive came from the Voice of the City Manager.
Leon, Mexico brought me to their industrial city to support a multi-stakeholder initiative to strengthen their cultural and social fabric. Their energy came from the Voice of Civil Society.
Durant, Oklahoma is working towards a new vision of the future that builds on traditional values and leverages new economic opportunities through tourism. Their intention comes from two organizations who share a strong Voice of Business.
The following blogs will tell these stories and show how any of the 4 Voices can be a fulcrum point for nurturing the qualities of an Integral City.