Ecosphere 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.
Ecosphere intelligence is fundamental to our energy security, food security and water security. If we approached Earth from outer space looking for ideal locations for cities we would need to take into consideration how different are the ways that cities of the seaside, cities of the mountains and cities of the plains could invent infrastructure to supply these basic needs.
Each geography on earth has ecosystems that are constrained by nine planetary boundaries that contribute to our sustainability: climate change, ozone depletion, atmospheric aerosol, ocean acidity, freshwater consumption, chemical pollution, biodiversity, nitrogen flow and phosphorus flow . Johan Rockstrom and his colleagues have examined how these interdependent boundaries are now in a state of unbalanced tension.
Rees and Wackernagel have long ago proposed that our eco-footprint must be respected if our cities are to be sustainable. The eco-footprint honours the planetary reality of our metabolic resource flows and the limitations that both local boundaries and global realities impose.
An Integral City lives sustainably not just from resources taken from the environment, but because appropriate resources are intentionally returned to the environment. Thus a self-supporting seasonal feedback loop should operate.
Developing ecosphere intelligence starts with a wake-up call for cities to measure their resource consumption and equivalent land displacements to realize the extent to which they borrow natural capital from both surrounding and distant geo-bio regions, which depletes the planetary natural capital account. A planet of cities is called to develop a strategy to recycle our natural capital (or even improve it).
This blog is a prologue to the Integral City webinar conference City 2.0 Co-Creating the Future of the Human Hive . We are inventing a new operating system for the city. Click to get more details re the Free Expo and eLaboratory membership scheduled September 4-27 2012. You are invited to attend and participate.