What is Social – or Structural Intelligence aka Systems or Building Intelligence?
Social or Structural (or Systems or Building) intelligence represents the “Its” space of the city. This intelligence connects us to the realities of the city, that we see, feel, hear, smell, touch and taste. It gives us the capacity to structure and systematize our environment.
City structures are made up both from the collective of people of whom we are a part and also the built environment. The built environment is the extension of our human systems that enables the large population of people in the city to survive in close proximity to one another. The structural systems for managing energy, information and matter are essentially the same as those mapped out for the individual biology (outer intelligences).
The essential structural and infrastructural systems of the city exist to support the direct or indirect survival of its citizen bodies, relationships and exchanges.
Even as cities become increasingly adept at creating built solutions to meet human demands, they seem to be disconnecting from the ultimate infrastructure on which their systems depend — namely the planet’s carrying capacity.
The intelligences for structures, systems and infrastructures embrace the concretization and manifestation of relationships.
Structural design and our current built landscape are likely contributing to climate change and we must accept responsibility for governance systems that serve the values of sustainability. Even as our structures, infrastructures and systems have concentrated resources and blocked energy flows, we can use our intelligences to redefine how a healthy dissipative structure operates at the scale of the city.
Three simple rules for applying Integral City Structural Intelligences
- Manage life sustaining energy for all.
- Design from the center, at all scales for all holons.
- Build structures that integrate self-organizing creativity with hierarchies of order.