This newsletter is published quarterly using a cycle of perspectives on the Integral City viewed from: Planet, People, Place and Power. The theme of this issue is Place.
It should be noted that, at the same time as this [Integral City 4 quadrant] framework has evolved, a number of other city specialists have focused on “Place” in a wholistic way. Some may object to my parsing apart Place Caring from Place Making. But I have found that people only care to make what they have capacity to care about. Ironically, in this intensely ever-connecting world (re)learning to care is a basic building block for all 4 Voices to cogenerate well-being in the making of place and all of the city’s systems and subsystems.
Hamilton, M. (2017). Integral City Inquiry & Action: Designing Impact for the Human Hive. Tucson, AZ: Integral Publishers, p. xxvii
Scroll to the end to access Free Resources.
Wholeness Emerging in the Human Hive
Wholeness in the Human Hive seems to be emerging as a powerful – and perhaps unexpected outcome of the pressures, denials and affronts that cities face from senior levels of government.
When the federal government of any country downloads onto cities the expectations that cities solve the social dilemmas that federal legislation has created without providing commensurate funding to solve the problems (e.g. substance addiction response policies), they risk experiencing the wholeness that can arise when anger is sparked. When federal departments refuse to accept scientific research substantiating climate change, they risk the rebellion of city residents who will bear most of the critical losses. When senior governments insult the elected officials of cities by neglecting to consult them on key issues, they encourage the widespread passive aggression of citizen disengagement that can result from disrespect and distrust.
As a radical optimist, I am always inclined to respond to the re-framing of city potential in the context of whatever life conditions the city faces. I propose this can happen through the re-imagining of Placecaring as the citizen’s core experience. This in turn can result in the renewed relationship of citizens to Place Making. I see this dual approach as similar to what Margaret Wheatley calls for, when she seeks Warriors of the Spirit – where Placecarers wield the Sword of Compassion and Placemakers wield the Sword of Wisdom. Working together they give Wise City Warriors a strategy for wholeness.
Our Journey, Art by Gaia Orion www.GaiaOrion.com
I fully appreciate how Ian Wight and Mark DeKay have explored place, Place, PLACE from intimate and advanced integral perspectives revealing Modern, Post-Modern and Integral definitions. Wight says: “consider a place/Place/PLACE differentiation similar to [DeKay’s] nature/Nature/NATURE elucidation. Move beyond locating ‘place’ in just the physiosphere and/or the biosphere. Locate ‘Place’ as – additionally – in the noosphere. Think of PLACE as all quadrants, all levels (including the theosphere? (see p. 327 in DeKay’s Integral Sustainable Design).” Similarly, Wight proposes, “Why not situate or differentiate your Integral sense of city/City/CITY for even greater, more expansive, notions of wholeness. In that way, city/City/CITY wholeness in the case of Integral City will more closely align with the whole-making, at the core of both placemaking and well-being [that I utilize]. This might well be the terrain around which we could eventually find common ground.”
Cities evolve through a cosmology of elements converging and reforming themselves (as Beth Sanders acknowledges in her article below on Edmonton’s evolution). Cities emerge through progressive levels of complexity that build on the layers of people aligning around homes and hearths; then through organizations and communities; and finally, through economies and governance.
Each of these levels of complexity can be mapped in terms of Quadrants and Levels (Integral City Map 1). In addition, these levels of complexity can be nested into Holarchies of engagement and belonging (Integral City Map 2).
Each of these maps (plus Maps 3, 4 and 5 ) reveal realities in the city that are co-existing and co-arising. Thus, each scale and aspect have potential for change. This potential can be nurtured through our commitment to wake up, grow up, whole up and clean up. Thus, facilitators, guides and teachers are needed at each level of city system and sub-system to reinvent the capacity at each level and thereby encourage the evolution of the whole city.
We can recognize that each level is holarchic – containing and/or mirroring in some way all the other levels (e.g. community can’t exist without citizens; citizens exist in some aspect of community). Each is also fractal – reflecting the self-same patterns in other levels (e.g. individuals, groups and organizations develop through ego, ethno, world, Kosmic-centric capacities).
When we are imagining how to expand or deepen the wholeness of the city, we are called to honour and support the pioneers who are reinventing individuals, groups, organizations, communities and sectors in the city. The way that we hold these sets of wholeness in the Human Hive is to invoke the Master Code. We remember the CARES – of caring for Self, Groups/Organizations, Places and Planet. For the first time in history our cities are learning from the bottoms, tops and middles how to placemake and become Gaia’s Reflective Organs.
All of us who are working across these terrains, sharing this common ground of Placecaring and Placemaking are celebrated in this newsletter. Transitiereizen tells us about Placecaring and Placemaking of the All-Inclusive Neighborhood. Then we look at the growing methodologies of Placemaking explored by Paul van Schaik in his new Hub 11 on Emergence. And finally, we consider the evolution of PLACE through Beth Sanders’ Integral City approach to engaging the 4 Voices for the renewal of mature neighborhoods in the city. Finally, we offer other resources that expand our sense of wholeness in governance, economics and ecology at the global scale (Terry Patten) and the local scale (Rick Smyre).
Wholing the Human Hive is an AQAL endeavour, calling forth our attentions and intentions to nurture the development of all Quadrants, Levels, Lines/Intelligences and Types in the city every day.
The All-Inclusive Neighborhood
Patricia van der Haak and Carla Onderdelinden, Co-Founders of Transitiereizen, The Netherlands have developed an Integral-holistic approach for transforming communities that face many “wicked” challenges into sustainable communities. In this article they start by considering how to organize abundance and sustainability.
You probably know the concept of the all-inclusive holiday with as much food, sunshine, and swimming as you wish? The impact of the all-inclusive neighborhood is the same: how much healthy food, work, leisure, happiness, labour, care or energy do you wish? It is all possible when you decide to work together and purchase and act as a collective.
Doing so, gives a whole new spectrum of:
- urban business models: citizen to citizen, business to community, community to business, community to government, government to community.
- integral-holistic organs and infrastructure in a neighborhood: like social purchase companies, social networks, social enterprises, social big data / algorithms. As we suggest below: these organs and infrastructure work like the lungs and veins of a community (to the interest of all).
The all-inclusive neighborhood (in Dutch: de all-inclusive wijk)
This is a community-based business model and a method to realize socio-economic transformation in communities like a neighborhood, a village or a city. The model shows how a neighborhood can work as a collective, using community owned structures to organize daily life. This way of working together opens new opportunities for community entrepreneurship, socio-economic transformation and the introduction of MVC (multiple value creation) business models.
Edmonton is Evolving
Beth Sanders MCP RPP, Founder of Populus and Meshworker of the Year 2013, Leader in Integral City Core Team and Global Constellation, asks: How do we welcome more people and new homes in our older neighborhoods? This is the question behind a project in Edmonton, Canada, to develop an action plan for city government to support the city’s efforts to grow “up” instead of “out”, to make the city more densely populated and be more fiscally and ecologically responsible. …
With [the] latest wave of infill, [Edmonton] city government chose to involve the wider city system to ask what action it should take.
Over 20 months, conversations took place among and between citizens, civic managers, community organizations and the business community. The first round of conversations revealed desired outcomes and possible actions to make those actions a reality. The second round involved identifying the actions that made sense—from the perspective of citizens, civic government, community organizations and the business community—then fine-tuning them. Along the way, a document grew with the project, revealing the city systems and what they had to say (What We Heard).
… The conversations began with processes to hear each Integral City voice specifically, then process to find the actions while integrating the perspectives. Citizens, community organizations, city hall and the business community could see what each other was looking for – and what city government was committed to do (and not do). …
A solid, responsive action plan is now being implemented that will change, once again, this place. This time with more consciousness from a wider range of the systems of the city.
Click here, to read the full article and obtain links to the five documents available on the City of Edmonton Website for your perusal.
Urban Hubs Emerging
Paul van Schaik, continues the publication of his graphic book series with Urban Hub 11: Co-Creating Emergence. Just one example of the many authors, designers, and architects who are practising emergent designs whom he highlights in this book is Steffen Lehmann.
Steffen is quoted from his new book: Urban regeneration: a manifesto for transforming UK cities. This book provides an urban manifesto and clear guidance to city councils, architects, planners and decision makers on how to maximize social and environmental benefits from the urban regeneration of UK cities. It explores and offers guidance on the complex process of how to transform cities… [with] a 21st-century manifesto of ten urban … focusing on the characteristics of a ‘good place’ and the strategies of sustainable urbanism. The Urban Manifesto builds on … 30 years of reflective practice in urban design and sustainable architecture, and extensive advisory work with cities worldwide, [ advocating] health and well-being as the main policy drivers… This Urban Manifesto frames an architecture of re-use that translates and combines the complex ‘science of cities’ and the art of urban and architectural design into actionable and practical guidance on how to regenerate cities. Fascinated by the typology and value of the compact UK and European city model, Lehmann introduces the concept of ‘high density without high buildings’ as a solution that will make our cities compact, walkable, mixed-use and vibrant again. This book was written to fill a much-needed gap and offer guidance on the complex process of how to transform and regenerate existing post- industrial cities in the UK, where attention is turning to the regional cities. It is an important resource for practicing architects (and students), town planners, urban designers, urban decision-makers, geographers and engineers taking an active role in developing urban strategies and adaptation solutions to ensure our cities are resilient, resource-efficient and sustainable in the face of intensifying global warming. He offers the examples of green space in central Rotterdam. He points to a worldwide trend that universities develop their city campuses and open them up as informal green spaces to the surrounding city, with strong patronage for good architecture. He favours the model of the poly- centric network city, for example, Brighton & Hove who are developing higher-density areas around railway stations.
In Hub 11, van Schaik notes that the key to an Integral urban design approach is the notion that although other aspects of urban life are important, people (sentient beings), as individuals and communities, are the primary ‘purpose’ for making cities thriveable. All other aspects (technology, transport & infra-structure, health, education, sustain-ability, economic development, etc.) although playing a major part, are secondary.
The Urban Hub Series applies Integral theory or an Integral Meta-framework in understanding cities and urban Thriveability. Although each book can stand alone, taken together they give a more rounded appreciation of how this broader framework can help in the analysis and design of thriveable urban environments.
How to access the Urban Hub Series: Pdf versions are free to view or download by clicking here. They can also be viewed at issuu.com/paulvanschaik .Hardcopies can be purchased from Amazon.