This blog is the third prologue for a keynote at the FreshOutlook Feb. 27, 2012 Building SustainABLE Communities Conference.

Integral City is a new paradigm for looking at cities that reveals its bio-psycho-cultural-structural evolutionary intelligences. These twelve intelligences cluster into five capacities and are organized into an Integral City Compass that provides direction and alignment for an integrated operating system for the “human hive”. (The core principles are summarized here).

The five sets of intelligences encompassed in an Integral City operating system are these.

1.      Outer Ring: Contexting Intelligences:

  1. Ecological Intelligence is an awareness and capacity to respond to the realities of a city’s climate and eco-region environment. Just as honey bees adapt themselves to different geographies, Integral Cities in different locations must adapt different solutions to the same infrastructure problems.
  2. Emergent Intelligence is the capacity to look at the city as a whole, through the lenses of aliveness, survival, adaptiveness, regeneration, sustainability and emergence.
  3. Integral Intelligence uses four essential mapsto integrate city life:
    1. the four quadrant perspectival map of reality (bio-psycho-cultural-social)
    2. the nested holarchy of city systems
    3. the scalar fractal relationship of micro, meso and macro human systems
    4. the complex adaptive dynamic stages of change
    5. Living Intelligence relates to the aliveness of each citizen through each of its lifecycle stages and the aliveness of the city through its lifecycle stages. Living intelligence asks how can we align and optimize the life of people in the city at each stage of life? How can we align and optimize the lifecycle stage of the city with its people?

2.      Inner Ring Upper: Individual Intelligences

  1. Inner Intelligence is the “I” space of each citizen. It is the seat of intentional consciousness, attention, interior experience and intelligences or lines of development, e.g. emotional, cognitive, spiritual.
  2. Outer intelligence is the biological “It” space of the citizen — the space where the body acts and behaves. Behaviours demonstrate our intelligence in action. Demographics are key determinants of our intentional, cultural and social capacities, because they represent the bodies through which our intentions, cultures and systems are delivered.

3.      Inner Ring Lower: Collective Intelligences

  1. Cultural (or Storytelling) Intelligence represents the “We” life of the city. It considers the relationships in the city which transcend boundaries that both contain and separate including: the individual and the group voice; multiple levels of values; and city cultures and rural cultures.
  2. Social (Structural) (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.

4.      Middle Ring: Strategic Intelligences

  1. Inquiry Intelligenceasks key questions that reveal the meta-wisdom of the city:
    1. What is important to you?
    2. What’s working in your life, family, community, school, health system, city?
    3. What’s not working in your life, family, community, school, health system, city?
    4. What is your vision of the optimum in your life, family, community, school, health system, city?
    5. Where do your source your bio-psycho-cultural-social energy in the city?
  2. Meshworking Intelligence creates a “meshwork” by weaving together the best of two operating systems — one that self-organizes, and one that replicates hierarchical structures. The resulting meshwork creates and aligns complex responsive structures and systems that flex and flow.
  3. Navigating Intelligencemonitors and discloses the wellbeing or general condition of the city. It uses a vital signs monitor as a reporting mechanism or protocol which monitors and discloses the health of the city. It includes five key indicators for an integral dashboard:
    1. Climate change
    2. Environmental health
    3. Society’s responses to environmental problems
    4. Positive economic relationships
    5. Incongruent neighbours (p. 11)

5. Centre Ring: Evolutionary Intelligence

Evolutionary Intelligence is the capacity to transcend and include the intelligences we currently demonstrate, in order to allow new intelligences to emerge. Evolutionary intelligence is an impulse that springs from our evolutionary history and impels us forward into our evolutionary future. It assumes that life conditions will continue to change and the human species will change and adapt and evolve with such changes.

Integral City Intelligences manifest an integral paradigm which offers many advantages for designing Integral Cities that :

  • Respond to critical contexts that situate the city in its eco-region as a living human system on planet Earth
  • Create the bio-psycho-cultural-social climate to build capacity in individuals
  • Develop habitats for the prosperity of the collective
  • Integrate strategies that bridge and mesh sectors, silos, stovepipes & solitudes
  • Continuously evolve intelligences that integrate optimal conditions for city emergence and eco-regional sustainability

Integral City Intelligences enable thriving because they underscore the Master Principle:

Take Care of Yourself

Take Care of Each Other

Take Care of this Place/Planet