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.

Just as honeybees adapt themselves to different geographies, human settlements must adapt different solutions to the same infrastructure problems. Each location provides a unique combination of matter, energy and information in its resources. Over time humans have discovered and developed different technological solutions for city infrastructure that are appropriate for each distinctive environment. This has required ingenuity and experimentation. 

Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers, p. 7

Micro, Meso, Macro Place Caring and Place Making

Place is becoming a favored and favorite term in the language of urban planning. From Integral City’s perspective “place” has both qualitative and quantitative meanings. When we talk about creating an Integral City we say that both Place Caring and Place Making must occur.

Place Caring happens when people are mindful, conscious of self and others, embracing the visions and beliefs they share. From the perspective of the integral quadrants this includes both upper left awareness and lower left relationships. If Place Caring are weak, then the capacity to build, sustain and adapt to the challenges of Place Making are undermined.

Place Making happens when people behave in ways that contribute to manifesting the city by building structures and infrastructures – shelters, commercial establishments, transportation and communication systems. From the perspective of the integral quadrants this includes both upper right actions and lower left urban and rural production. When these Place Making systems of structures and infrastructures are weak then the capacity to support Place Caring is undermined.

Place Caring and Place Making are inextricably linked to the macro geographical location (of the geology, environment and ecology), the meso location (of the footprint of the city or urban center) and micro location (of city address), all of which add up to a human habitat. As a result Place emerges from the tetra-realities of the invisible personal and collective sensitivities that connect individuals to the families, groups, clans, organizations and communities who care for a Place and the visible actions and interactions in living, recreating and working that actually produce a design for the way the systems of a Place work.

The history of the Human Hive indicates that as our human habitats have expanded in size, our natural predisposition for creating Places that serve us has cycled from Traditional settlements with an emphasis on Caring, through Modern settlements which swung towards Place Making. Now living in Post-Modern times we have tried to return to more emphasis on Place Caring than Place Making with only marginal success. It is only when we shift to Integral City strategies of engaging the four voices of the city, mesh working organizational directions and prototyping whole city systems, that we grasp the truth, beauty and goodness that can emerge when we balance Place Caring with Place Making and generate a naturally Smart, Resilient and Integral City. Essentially we “wake up the human hive to its full potential” (as discussed in the next article and series of blogs below).

place making

Waking Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart & Resilient City

IDG IT Smart Cities conference in Amersfoort NL (September 23, 2015) invited Integral City to keynote.The topic of interest was Waking Up the Human Hive and we chose to talk about How to Recalibrate Care, Context and Capacity for a Planet of Integral Cities. Here are the key points we made:

1.     Waking up the Human Hive happens when we live the Master Code: when we take care of our Selves, each Other, our Places and our Planet. This connects our Caring Capacity to our Carrying Capacity and is the core of wellbeing.

2.     The metaphor of the Human Hive offers us an integrated whole picture of the city aligned with the Master Code (Self, Others, Places, Planet).

3.     The Human Hive embraces the relationship between 3 types of cities and how they are interrelated: Smart Cities, Resilient Cities and Integral Cities.

4.     4+1=5 Voices in the Human Hive contribute to city wellbeing.

5.     Each type of city is powered by different energy sources and the Integral City GPS offers key indicators for recalibrating our cities with the Master Code.

6.     The Integral City GPS aligns City Types, City Voices, and City Energies with the Wellbeing indicator of the Master Code. It aligns the natural evolutionary potentials of the Smart City, the Resilient City and the Integral City. It gives us the feed
back to recalibrate Care, Context and Capacity for a Planet of Integral Cities.

Read the whole keynote here (and the series of blogs under Free Resources below).waking up the human

Pop Ups are Places Too

At Integral Theory Conference 2015 – which took place in mid-July 2015 at Sonoma State University – Integral City took a new initiative to offer Systemic Constellations as a lunchtime harvesting process for participants to discover the invisible, non-linear insights they were gleaning from the conference plenaries and presentations.

Integral City’s PopUp Playgrounds were “temporary Places” designed to attract spontaneous, unexpected, unplanned diverse people to discover in the moment what they can do together. All of a sudden the city’s voices PoppedUp together – in an instant forming bonds amongst citizens, community and cultural organizations, the business community, and civic institutions. Our PopUp Playgrounds were intended to remind us of our capacities for joy, creativity, acting as a “we”, and rediscovering our brilliance. They brightened our day and reminded us of the interconnections that we are so often blind to. We just published a Harvest Report – and you can find out more about the PopUp Places, Process and Purpose here.

integral city has catalyzed

Celebrating “Place-focus” in the Third Quarter of 2015 

September 21 marked the start of what Integral City calls the Place Quarter (from September 21 to December 20). What Place perspectives does the change of season bring to your mind? What Place Caring processes wake you up?  What impacts of Place Making connect you to Place in deeper, wider, clearer or higher ways?  Visit us at Integral City Collective on Facebook and post a short note or a photo about a Place for which you are Caring and/or Making.

Meshful Blessings for the Planet’s Emerging Integral City Places

Marilyn Hamilton and the Integral City Core Team


Here are some some Free Resources for learning how Integral City practitioners work with Place:

1. Imagine Durant Policy Makers Dialogue Harvest Report

2. Janice Simcoe writes “There are many roads to the High Place”. The story, as she received it, is about different kinds of leadership and how each has its place and space.   She tells of the Anishinaabe, also called the Ojibwe, people have a clan system that, among other things, helps to identify relationships between families, connections with those newly met, and the teachings – including some of the roles and responsibilities – of an individual’s ancestors, and thus perhaps the individual her or himself.  Each clan traditionally has a particular responsibility to the community.  Read the whole of Janet’s article “A Circle of Aiijaakag, a Circle of Maangag: Integral Theory and Indigenous Leadershipin Integral Leadership Review here.

3. Check out the series of blogs that expand on Waking Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart and Resilient Cities: Recalibrating Care, Context and Capacity for a Planet of Integral Cities:

4. Here are two more blogs that give “gentle” Integral City guidance to share as “Householder Dharma”

Householder Dharma: The Best Exotic Qualities of Home

Householder Dharma: Gaining Altitude on a Community of Blessings