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Cities are massively redefining their functions

When we look at the development and evolution of cities we can observe an era of intense changes. While the organic growth of urban centers has historically been motivated by defense against external aggression, trade and later industrial activities, nowadays cities develop around quality of life and services. For a long time city management was conditioned by urban growth factors, building infrastructures and facilitation business dynamics. This determined the look and feel of the places, often at the expense of pollution, traffic based collapsed infrastructures, waste development, criminality, ghettos, etc. They were the playing ground of financial lobbiest, industrial giants, logistic trade lables, real estate developers and speculants, and underground activities of drug dealers, financial criminals, etc. Expensive bureaucracy, police and other measure developed to manage this dark side of city explotation.

Brave leadership nowadays is producing a massive turnaround that is motivated by a new era in which awareness of certain key responsibilities have penetrated all layers of society. Things that were held for impossible a few decades ago are now florishing in certain municipalities as a modern age example of sustainable progress. We are still living in between the two realities but the new one, the healthy, participatory, environmental friendly one, is manifesting itself with great determination and growth. Gradually urban environments can become Sustainocracies.

Jean-Paul Close

Some examples on social media:

Barcelona car free superblocks

The city with the highest car density is transforming into a green pearl along the mediterrean sea. Since the 80´s we have seen a huge transformation of this once ugly, highly polluted, industrial harbour city into a genuine urban oases of livability and quality of life.

Paris redefining the Champs Elysees

An historical location known for its traffic chaos in Paris is now being redesigned to host art, nature, recreation and health. The introduction is in French but it shows the steps that the mega city is taking to make it a livable and dynamic environment. Not quite a sustainocracy yet but a few steps closer.

City Micro Farming

Increasingly food is being produced in the cities, close to and involving the consuming people. Our own FRE2SH program is inspiring people accross the world to initiate such processes.

7 principes for building cities (Peter Calthorpe)

We at Sustainocracy tend to agree with many the views of Peter Calthorpe on city design. The only difference is that we place them specifically into a human values centered context. We introduce the participation society around our five core natural human values as a shared responsibility. This makes a city more than a set of infrastructures. It brings a city alive with an identity, authenticity and interactive citizenship, 4 x WIN entrepreneurship and facilitating governance. The city becomes a self sustaining eco-system that has a rich and dynamic inner life and a symbiotic relationship with its surroundings.

The words that trigger city development now are “participation”, “shared responsibilities” and our “core natural values”, such as health and safety, with a much broader meaning of each of these two words then what we were used to. Developing our basic needs in community based districts is key and only briefly mentioned in this video. But still the video is a good basis that can be enhanced with Sustainocratic tables and development clusters.

Our own required actions to extend our own “expiration date” as a species on our wonderful planet.

The first thing we need to do is stop relying on political and financial structures to solve our problems. These structures have been based historically on the use of human and material capital for their own financial and authoritative positioning. Most of the problems that we face in the world are caused by these structures and our own delegation of responsibilities. This does not mean that there are not many people in leadership positions doing their best. They face a type of DNA of these organisations that limit their options. To change this we need to look at ourselves, as human beings, to re-establish our core natural values and shared responsibilities. We can then help restructure the DNA of our institutions to become instrumental to human and planetarian wellness.

Taking responsibility again ourselves in 4 steps:

Here is a list of actions that we can develop ourselves and invite others (including institutions) to participate.

Establish local 4 local food communities

Food is not a commodity, it is a shared responsibility

This Urban Design Forum issued a set of recommendations for city councils to facilitate urban food community development.

The STIR Foundation, together with worldwide partners, initiated a global FRE2SH learning platform around re-designing our resilient food systems. We open up the dialogue around inspiring outdoor and indoor examples and techniques that colaborate with nature. You can participate in the program

Start taking care for each other again intergenerationally in communities that share housing, space and responsibilities

By developing again our communities we break with our individualism and start sharing our responsibilities and basic needs again. From a financial perspective individualisation was great, as everyone was stimulated to fullfill their individual needs in dependence of the financially structured services and dominance. From a sustainable progress point of view it was deadly since the first natural human need is the social cohesion, the community. In a community the basic needs such as care, food, water usage, energy usage, etc, can be regeneratively optimized in close cooperation with our natural environment.

Our community partners in Poland: Chata Mirdada

Reduce our exorbitant energy usage by 70% or more

The main energy that we need as a biological living species comes from our food and the sun, not from the electricity plugs at home or a petrol station along the road. Our excess usage of energy can be found in our mechanized mobility, industrialized productivity, logistic systems, the many devices used in our homes for lighting and entertainment, our heating and cooking facilities, etc.

By developing our needs around local for local structures we can eliminate many energy wasting and highly polluting activities while optimizing our remaining requirements through clean resource management. Also community based living reduces our energy requirements due to the sharing of needs over groups of people. The related reduction of pollution will enhance our health and healthy living environment, reducing our healthcare needs and related infrastructures or bureaucracies.

Taking our own responsibility at hand

Develop and accept only 4 x WIN institutions (multiple values driven, regenerative and non polluting governments and business enterprises) as supportive, non abusive instruments for human development.

Look at 4 x WIN here

Institutional DNA (In the 21st century: purpose and positioning in a 4 x WIN ecosystem) transformation is only possible when the entire institutional ecosystem transforms at the same time. This is done when we as human influencers put new demands on these structures. Instead of competing for financial, human and material resources (1 x WIN mentality, leaving the consequences to society, the planet and future generations, if any remain left) they start cooperating in core human values driven co-creation platforms. Money is not a main issue anymore, it is just a means, just like creativity, engagement, applied innovation, impactful applied knowledge, etc. The main issue and driving force is our shared and sustainable wellness in close cooperation with our natural environment. 4 x WIN is a mentality of shared responsibilities for human, societal, environmental welbeing and financial continuity (not necessarily growth).

Our own regional ecosystem in the region of Eindhoven is developing with broad human and institutional participation.

The global Visioneers network is preparing a great launch and clustered platform for values driven actions.

Save the date: Sunday October 9, 2022 at 11 am PDT = 20.00 CET online and offline (Vancouver) event.

Humanity’s Golden Peace
An Entry to the Age of Global Consciousness 
A Catalyst 

What is/are “the Visioneers”? In 1992 Dr Desmond Berghofer (Vancouver, Canada) published a book on his views of human development. Ever since he has been living his views together with his wife Dr. Geraldine Schwartz. Five years ago they started to extend Visioneers Awards to people who were recommended to them for their humanitarian work accross the world. So far over 300 awards have been extended by them forming a worldwide network of great people that have been making a difference. I myself was surprised and honored to be included in this network some time ago and also become part of their round table of about 30 Visioneers. I suddenly found myself surrounded with the greatest authors, TV personalities, musicians, peace activists, intellectuals, etc.

The event on October 9th? After all these many years of preparations, gathering wonderful people, extending awards to them, it is time to engage the whole world. Read about the plans here in the latest bulletin. The event will contain three parts:

  1. 1. The celebration and official designation of Visioneers Awards
  2. 2. Humanity’s Golden Peace, described in visuals, stories, music, poetry and songs, sending our message through the Arts, with choirs of many ages and voices and ongoing audience participation.
  3. 3. A mosaic of film clips, of 10 inspirational episodes of wisdom, stories of outstanding achievement and visions of Humanity’s Golden Future. 

It is also the time to initiate the process of clustering Visioneers in Leadership Circles:

Visioneers Leadership Circles to be formed worldwide will be introduced as we wage peace and register our achievements on the Visioneers Wall of Stories, colour-coded to display progress on the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Geraldine Schwarz
Statements from the Visioneers