Sustainable City Futures
Based on a world centric[i] view, the sustainable development of our cities needs to be implemented with new thinking, facilitating the human progression of its citizens through the Spiral of Development[ii] and its evolutionary frames of reference. This requires intervention at all levels of the city, from its citizen’s cultural memes to their ways of life and the resulting social system’s products and processes. Currently however, sustainable development is practiced within a milieu of competing systemic frames of reference, and this struggle is consuming our focus rather than achieving tangible outcomes. Casual layered analysis (CLA) is useful here, in that it is able to probe through these frames of reference (or systemic levels of reality) seeking casual linkages and contradictions. CLA will be used to posit the urban contradictions that exist in the achievement of sustainability at each level of urban reality. This paper shows that these contradictions within “sustainability” at each level are interrelated and how these are resolved creates future scenarios.
[i] Wilber K. A theory of Everything: An integral vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality, Boston, Shambhala, 2001, p. 22 and 126. World centric awareness means the mature adult meets the world on its own terms, as an individuated self in a community of other individuated selves operating by mutual recognition and respect. Using spiral dynamics this stage’s meme espouses “all of us” in unity in diversity.
[ii] Beck D, Cowan C. Spiral Dynamics – Mastering Values, Leadership and Change, Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge Massachussetts, 1996, p 296 and 314. City transformations must have spiral congruence and respect Spiral dynamic’s prime directive being the health of the overall spiral, not the preferential treatment for any one meme level’s reality.