By Marilyn Hamilton for Enlivening Edge MagazineMany people ask me what city or cities are Integral Cities? My usual response is that Integral City is a framework or a model or a paradigm for understanding “city.”I see the city as a human system – the most complex one that humans have yet created. The city is so complex, in fact, that in order to see and understand its patterns, I have developed 5 maps of the Integral City – each of which shows how individuals and groups relate to the city.

As a human system, the city is a fractal of the human condition that emerges from the holarchy (or hierarchy of wholes) of human systems in the trajectory of: individual, family/group/team, organization, sector, community, city (and world). (This is Map 2 in our Integral City set of maps.)

The city transcends and includes all these less complex scales and has a life of its own.

Within this nested holarchy, organizations play a critical role. It is important to note that they are potentially represented at every level of scale. An individual may operate a proprietorship; be a partner in a family firm; lead a hobby group; work at a business; teach at a school; be a professional in a health or hospital practise; volunteer for a community association; serve as a city bureaucrat or councillor; and represent the city at a global NGO.

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Note from Enlivening Edge Magazine:

EE is happy to be an affiliate partner of Integral City which is offering these three sequential courses at Findhorn International Centre for Sustainability, Scotland, this year: