Integral City :Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive
The City of the Year is a new – but natural award for us to make. We have recognized the importance of cities as both trigger points and tipping points in their respective nations and for the world at large.
Paris has been particularly on our heart/mind this year from January through to December. We have been learning how Paris has made possible a new sense of connectedness.
Paris has shown us three new ways of appreciating the Master Code through taking care of Self/ Others/ Place/ Planet.
Je Suis Charlie
Je Suis Paris
Je Suis COP21.
Each of these experiences, may not only represent breakthroughs from the “fever crises” of the human species, but also represent the vestiges of an early “We Consciousness” – the glimmers of our collective consciousness shining through Paris, the City of Light. This consciousness is shining through all who have supported her from the great to the ordinary, from the “present in body” to the “awake in spirit”, from the displaced refugee to the homeful citizen, from the reflective practitioner to the expressive artist.
What synchronicity and foreshadowing inspired the graphic artist to select Paris as the quintessential city for the cover of Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive?? That choice, made in 2008 has always fascinated me (and intrigued city planners and integrally informed readers alike) – but little could we have known that it would presage Paris’s high profile in 2015.
When people have asked me to identify Integral Cities, they have anticipated that I would point to particular cities demonstrating the features of an Integral City. But as I explained in the book, at the time of writing I was noticing the patterns and “weak signals” that indicated a new paradigm of the city was emerging. Many cities exhibited some qualities of an Integral City – but it has not been easy until the paradigms of the Smart City and Resilient City emerged in the last seven years, to point to particular cities as “Integral Cities”.
In nominating Paris as City of the Year, we are not even saying that Paris IS an Integral City – yet. But it has demonstrated a powerful City Spirit that responded immediately and deeply to the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Its defiance in the face of the multiple November 13 attacks continued its enactment of the key values born in earlier times: Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité. And its gracious and surprisingly secure hosting of the COP21 conference demonstrated alignment with a global purpose and strategic capabilities to keep safe space and time during a global conversation on ecology.
So in respect to the Integral City Intelligences we could say that Paris enabled a global conversation on ecological contexts, demonstrating inner, outer, cultural and social capacities, supporting strategies (inquiring, meshworking, navigating) that framed outcomes and walked through a refiner’s fire of dissonance for evolutionary breakthroughs.
If any city deserves the City of the Year 2015, Paris does. At this stage of human development none of us has a perfect record of living the Master Code – but collectively we are learning our way through to taking care of Self / Others/ Place / Planet.
Paris as City of the Year 2015 has offered a city-focused model of how the Master Code works – even on an implicit level.
Congratulations and Gratitudes to Paris – City of the Year 2015.