Celebrate City as Gaia’s Reflective Organ

City of Organs

Traditional Chinese medicine embraces a geography of the human body that reflects an energy flow model of the body, where energy cycles through the body organs along meridian pathways in daily rhythms. The Chinese refer to the body’s organs as “officials”.

Map 1: 4 quadrant 8 level Map of City Organs

Map 1: 4 quadrant 8 level Map of City Organs

In thinking about the city as the human system writ large, I have relied on Miller’s interdisciplinary research that demonstrates that all living systems (including cell, organelle, organ, body, team, organization, sector, city-state)  have evolved three major systems for managing information, energy and matter (and 19 sub-systems).

Both the traditional and scientific models of the human system are richly served by the post-modern worldviews that demonstrate sustainability requires inclusivity and tolerance of all the stakeholders in any human system such as a community and city.  In a city where traditional, modern and post-modern realities co-exist it serves us to have a map that allows us to celebrate every truth, so that we can emerge from these true but partial views, a picture of the whole city.

Integral City integrates all of the organs, systems, and stakeholders into an integrated view and gives us a map of the city with reflective, acting, relating, productive organs.

James Lovelock  has recognized the evolutionary value of the human species as Gaia’s reflective organ. When we consider the scale of the social holon that is the city, we might propose that individual humans are cells and Gaia’s actual reflective organ is the city. Furthermore, as a planet of cities our city organs are just evolving into the level of interconnected elegance that the organs of our individual bodies enjoy. But if Lovelock’s proposition is correct, we should not only reflect on our reflective service to the planet, but celebrate in each of our cities the evolutionary progress we are making.

References

Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers.

Hamilton, M., Beck, C., Fisher, V., & Marx Hubbard, B. (2011). Grok Talk Walk Rock: Choreography for 4 Generations in the Human Hive; Presentation Slides. World Future Society 2011. Vancouver, Canada: World Future Society.

Barnett, T. P. M. (2005). The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century (trade paperback ed.). New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.

Beck, D., & Cowan, C. (1996). Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

Bopp, J., & Bopp, M. (2006). Recreating the World: A practical guide to building sustainable communities Calgary, Canada: Four Worlds Press.

Cooperrider, D., & Whitney, D. (1999). Appreciative Inquiry: Collaborating for Change. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Friedman, T. L. (1999). The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (hardcover ed.). New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

Friedman, T. L. (2005). The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century (hardcover ed.). New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

Lovelock, J. (2009). The Vanishing Face of Gaia. New York: Harmony Books.

Miller, J. G. (1978). Living Systems. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Peck, M. S. (1987). The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace. New York: Touchstone, Simon & Schuster Inc.

Peck, M. S. (1993). A World Waiting to be Born. New York: Bantam Books.

Porkert, M., M.D., & Ullmann, D. C. (1988). Chinese Medicine (M. Howson, Trans.). New York: William Morrow and Company Inc.

Watkins, J. M., & Mohr, B. J. (2001). Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the Speed of Imagination. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.

Whitney, D., & Trosten-Bloom, A. (2010 ). The Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change (2nd rev. ed.). San Francisco, Calif.: Berrett-Koehler.

Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, Ecology and Spirituality: the spirit of evolution. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.

Wilber, K. (2000). A Theory of Everything. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.

Wilber, K. (2007). The Integral Vision. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.

Wilber, K., Patten, T., Leonard, A., & Morelli, M. (2006). Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physcial Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity and Spiritual Awakening (1 ed.). Boston, MA: Integral Books.

 

 

About the Author:

HI I am the Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc. and Chief Blogger. Working with cities and eco-regions, I ‘meshwork’ or weave people, purpose, priorities, profits, programs and processes to align contexts, grow capacity and develop strategies for sustainability and resilience in the Integral City. You can read more details about me here http://integralcity.com/about/about-the-founder/

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  1. City Organs on Parade – Integral City September 15, 2016 at 3:23 am - Reply

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