Posts Tagged ‘resilient city’

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



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When we place all the locators of our GPS compass in the service of our cities, we have the very real opportunity of re-calibrating our intentions, expectations and outcomes for cities.


Working together as 4 Voices of the City, we have the intelligence to go beyond the Smart City beloved of Civic Managers and Citizens, beyond the Resilient City beloved of Business and Civil Society into the Knowing Field of the Integral City – beloved by the interdependent Meshwork of 4 City Voices in the Integral City.

Happiness as Evidence of Success

Now we can ask, how can we use the Integral City compass for aligning performance that produces well being and re-calibrating our intentions, expectations and outcomes for cities?  Where is the evidence or the sweet spot that aligns Smart, Resilient and Integral intelligence’s for optimum living in the Human Hive? What is the equivalent target of 20kg of honey to measure well being in our cities?

As simple or as trite as it may sound – I think our friends the honey bees suggest an obvious location for such evidence. Remember they used a very practical measure to trigger change – namely, their pheromones that measure depression. In humans we can also measure that – when it is in a positive state, we call it happiness. And Happiness Studies have become early evidence for the wellbeing of individuals, cities, cultures and nations. (GNH, Dalai Lama, Happy Citybook, Happiness Studies, etc.). This kind of happiness is not merely ego or self-centered, nor is it ethno or regional centered, nor even merely place or planet-centered. Instead this indicator integrates all the scales of possible happiness that arise when our decision sets are aligned. This happens when we live the Master Code – choosing to take care of our selves, each other, our cities/places and the planet all at once – simultaneously.

Integral City International Faces

I suggest to you that the bees have modeled for us the great value of why happiness is the ultimate feedback loop for re-calibrating our cities because it ultimately measures the relationship between Caring Capacity and Carrying Capacity. We must learn to notice when our BEEings are depressed and what we must do to steward all life in our eco-regions and planet. We must listen and respond to the Evolutionary Intelligence at the center of our compass which has offered a path of Caring Capacity (a gold dot to locate us on our GPS maps??) and by now also offered many means to move the path of Carrying Capacity beyond traditional cities to Smart Cities to Resilient Cities. Out beyond all these there is a Knowing Field where you will find the Integral City.

In closing this blog series, I would ask Smart City and Resilient City experts – what roles can you play as Civic Managers and Business Innovators, as Citizens and Civil Societies to build on the potential of Smart and Resilient Cities and working together co-create the Knowing Field of the Integral City? This time in our history is an opportunity to discover that Care lives in the center of that Knowing Field.

I believe, that together we can co-create the next generation of IT – the Integral Technology that will enable us to implement the Master Code. – This Evolutionary Intelligence of Care that is so needed by our Planet of Cities.

I invite you to dance towards that Knowing Field so that our Human Hives can add the distinctive capacity of Care so that Earth’ cities can work together to create an Integral Ecology.  By aligning our Caring Capacities we will naturally expand the Carrying Capacity of our cities.  We may also  take the critical next steps to avoid the human version of Colony Collapse Disorder that our dancing cousins the bees have warned us about. I will meet you on the dance floor!

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If we are willing to consider the city as the human hive, then how would we locate the four internal roles and one external role that enable its survival and ability to thrive?

Integral City GPS Locator Compass Locating Smart – Strategy Locator: Inquiry, Navigating, Meshworking Locating Resilient – Context Locator: Eco, Emergent, Living … Integral Locating Integral – Integral Locator – Consciousness, Culture, Care, Capacity Locating Power – Evo Locator – evolutionary impulse/drive/energy

Integral City GPS Locator Compass
Locating Smart – Strategy Locator: Inquiry, Navigating, Meshworking
Locating Resilient – Context Locator: Eco, Emergent, Living … Integral
Locating Integral – Integral Locator: Consciousness, Culture, Care, Capacity
Locating Power – Evo Locator:  evolutionary impulse/drive/energy

And how would we notice if our Human Hive were a Smart City or a Resilient City or what I propose as the Integral City?

I offer a tool to assist us to see how the fractal system patterns have evolved and operate. This tool is an Intelligence Compass for the Human Hive – a kind of GPS for the city. You’ll notice this GPS has unique Intelligence points on it – and in fact has four GPS locators on it – they move and scale independently from and interdependently with one another.

This GPS represents the early technology for the human hive that will one day evolve into something as elegant as the bees have evolved in their amazing dance. Traditional cities have not needed this compass technology because they have been able to function with low tech solutions unmediated by high tech supports. But today, few cities in the world do not have some Smart technology driving human behavior – if only and especially the endemic smart phone. But for now I will focus primarily on the relationship between the Smart, Resilient and Integral Cities.

In the next blog we will start with pointing out instructions for the Smart City.

(This blog is one of a series on Waking Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart, Resilient City to the Integral City – thinking notes for a keynote speech at IDG’s IT Smart Cities Conference, September 23, 2015, Amersfoort, NL.)

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All cities of any size draw on energy sources to power functions. Smart Cities and Resilient Cities source their energy externally.

Evolutionary Power Source

Evolutionary Power Source

To build Smart Cities we drew on fossil fuels. To develop Resilient Cities we are drawing on renewable energy. To energize Integral Cities we tap into the energy at the center of our GPS compass – the internal energy that makes all the other locators respond and register intelligent responses. It has many names – Energy Source – Evolutionary Amplifier – Evolutionary Impulse – even Spirituality. I have called it simply the Evolutionary Intelligence. For good reason it sits at the center of the Integral City GPS Compass.

However we choose to understand or explain this intelligence, I believe it has left the evidence of 14 billion years of track record that has brought us to this room today. The consistency and persistence of its driving force is now explored by both scientific communities and spiritual communities, and begs us to discover the next evolutionary step of inter city and intra city collaboration.

The tentative explanations of both scientific and spiritual leaders seems to be converging into Quantum Thinking Theory and Field Theory – an energetic “Knowing Place” where visible and invisible energy open our understanding of cities – ecologies – and the universe – into other realms entirely.

Business Innovators tap its mysteries to leap ahead of what Citizens and Civic Managers sustain as the status quo. Civil Society Integrator’s observe its evolutionary patterns to discern alignment and re-balancing of systems.

As the sciences of mind and matter listen more closely to each other, it has become obvious that we need to convene the  4 voices of the city so that together we may tap into the power of this evolutionary intelligence as a Human Hive Mind. (Indeed over this last summer a movement of Russian cities is illustrating this principle by embarking on defining a Living Cities Charter to identify and operate by the principles implied by evolutionary, integral intelligence’s.)

(This blog is one of a series on Waking Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart, Resilient City to the Integral City – thinking notes for a keynote speech at IDG’s IT Smart Cities Conference, September 23, 2015, Amersfoort, NL.)

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The third Locator nests inside the Smart City and Resilient City Locators – it is the core intelligence chip that reflects the deepest intelligence of the Human Hive – the Integral City Locator. Essentially it offers “Integral Intel Inside”.

Integral City GPS Compass Integral Locator

Integral City GPS Compass Integral Locator

This chip embeds the core intelligences that enable human systems to be the most advanced life systems on earth. The Integral Integrator is built on the very simple architecture of Inner and Outer, Individual and Collective Capacities.

Outer Individual Intelligences include the external objective biological elements of living systems – the analogs of organic structures like hearts, lungs, brains, metabolic systems. The Outer Collective Intelligences include the external inter-objective infrastructural and systemic elements of cities – like the electric grid, transportation systems, and the built environment.

Both these Outer Intelligences enable the operation of Smart and Resilient Cities.

The Inner Individual Intelligences include the internal subjective phenomena of emotions, consciousness, beliefs, mindfulness and intentions. Inner Collective Intelligences include the external intersubjective realities of values, worldviews, vision and culture.

Capacity to Care Grows Capacity to Carry

While the Smart and Resilient City Locators have depended largely on the Outer Individual and Collective elements of the Integral Locator, the true distinctiveness of the Integral City Locator arises from the power of the Inner Capacities – Individual and Collective Intelligences – that are inherent in city life.

Embedded in these Integral zones is the DNA of the Master Code which is expressed through Consciousness, and Culture and the capacity to Care.

For as much as we struggle to locate right direction, right action, right Cities, with our strategic Smart City approaches and systemic Resilient City adaptations, it is not until the Integral City Locator adds Care to the equation that we can really sustain and grow the outer capacities of our cities. This is core to the message the Pope’s spiritual call for an Integral Ecology and it may be the missing link in the IPCC’s scientific call for a global strategy to address climate change??

Circles of Care

Circles of Care

This Integral Locator points to the Caring Capacities – the ones that emerge from our attention to the circles of care in our lives. These circles of care begin with caring for ourselves. They grow to caring for others – in our families, clans, neighbourhoods, workplaces. And when those are in place we can expand the care to our places – cities, eco-regions and planet – thus creating an Integral Ecology that embraces both the material world of the Smart and Resilient cities with the consciousness and cultural world of the Integral City and emerging an Ecology of Care.

Smart Cities and Resilient Cities can only be sustained with the inner power provided by this Master Code of an Integral City. But there is a true return on investment (ROI) that results by adding Care into the equation for optimizing the Human Hive.

Because it turns out that growing Caring Capacity grows Carrying Capacity – the very capacities that Smart and Resilient Cities seek to maximize. The reality and need in the human life is to not only have biological and physical sustenance but to meet the equal (if not greater) need to enjoy personal care and collective belonging.

Living the Master Code is what drives change and indeed recalibrates the Human Hive to an integrated inner and outer ecology (i.e. Integral Ecology). People only change when they know others care that they change.

For as we expand our capacity to embrace greater circles of care – from self, to others, to place, to planet – we expand our capacity to develop habitats that carry and support the life conditions that we most need to be Smart, Resilient and Integral.

This is the indicator that the Integrators of our cities must use and pay attention to – are we enabling Integral Caring Capacity to expand so that it can hold and grow Smart, Resilient Carrying Capacity?

(This blog is one of a series on Waking Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart, Resilient City to the Integral City – thinking notes for a keynote speech at IDG’s IT Smart Cities Conference, September 23, 2015, Amersfoort, NL.)

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The second locator we look at we name the Resilient City Locator. It is like the Motherboard of our intelligence system – it is based on the natural systems we have inherited from Mother Earth.

Resilient City Contexting Locator

Integral City Contexting Locator (for Resilient Cities)

The Resilient City Locator is all about locating our Human Hives in terms of their Ecologies and ecoregions; their Emergent responsiveness to local conditions; and their embedded, recurrent dynamic Life cycles.

The Resilient City Locator is all about understanding and responding to the interdependent scales of our cities in terms of their inter-city and intra-city ecologies.

The Resilient City intelligences provide Contexts for the Strategies of the Smart City intelligences. It is used by Civic Managers who track the external conditions of the eco-regions of our human hive – from climate, to water, to energy, to population densities – using the language of data relationships to give feedback that tells us if we are going to be successful at not just reaching our target once, but multiple years into the future.

The Resilient City Locator focuses on sustainable and resilient systems. It also alerts Business Innovators to threats and opportunities needing remedies, adaptive strategies, innovations and inventions.

And finally the Resilience Locator includes a measure of large scale systems integration. And it is working with these patterns that it leads us to the third locator – the Integral City Locator which we will discuss in the next blog.

(This blog is one of a series on Waking Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart, Resilient City to the Integral City – thinking notes for a keynote speech at IDG’s IT Smart Cities Conference, September 23, 2015, Amersfoort, NL.)

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The biomimicry pattern of the Human Hive (aka city) draws on fractal patterns and systems in play in our global ecology and human species.

Integral City International Faces

Homo sapiens sapiens is supposedly the most advanced species of the vertebrates. We have developed four types of cities in our Human Hive line. Moreover we have also developed four roles that are active in our cities similar to the four roles in the beehive.

The four types of cities I want to consider are Traditional, Smart, Resilient and Integral. Together they form an evolutionary spectrum.

In this blog series, I will only point out the Traditional City, driven by managing the transactional exchanges of the basics of life but will not spend time on it. I am more interested in exploring the potential of the Smart City driven by technology and industry; the Resilient city driven by ecological and eco-regional interdependencies; and the Integral City driven by the flex and flow of cultures, consciousness and care – the very energies of the Master Code.

4 + 1 Roles

Now let’s explore the 4 roles of the Human Hive.

In the Human Hive, I have noticed that the 4 bee roles provide a fractal pattern filled by what I call the 4 Voices of the City.

  • Who are our Forager-Producers?  I think of them as Citizens
  • Who are our Diversity Generators? I think of them Business (Private Sector)
  • Who are our Resource Allocators? I think of them as Civic Managers (Government and Agency Sector)
  • Who are our Integrators? I think of them as Civil Society (our NFP/NGO sector)

These voices/roles in the human hive follow the same fractal patterns of roles that the bees have evolved. And not surprisingly others have noticed similar fractal patterns in organizations and nations. Dr. Ichak Adizes has noticed these patterns in family behaviors and applied these same roles to organizations as: Producers, Entrepreneurs, Administrators and Integrators – his famous PAEI pattern.

Moreover, I take the license of suggesting that the Pope himself has chosen “Integral Ecology” as the title of a key chapter in his encyclical “Laudato Si”, because he recognizes the ecological realities that permeate life at all human scales.

I am curious, as a Reader – while you are doing your work in the city – would you name your role as Resource Allocator or Civic Manager? Diversity Generator or Business/Private Entrepreneur? Forager-Producer or Citizen? Or perhaps Integrator or Civil Society? Or maybe a combination of multiple roles?

As you compare notes with voices/roles in other cities – will you remember to see that at another fractal scale that city’s roles act as the important fifth voice/role of the inter-city competitor?

For Human Hives all five roles in all city types are critical for cities to survive and thrive.

(This blog is one of a series on Waking Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart, Resilient City to the Integral City – thinking notes for a keynote speech at IDG’s IT Smart Cities Conference, September 23, 2015, Amersfoort, NL.)

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