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City of Tomorrow initiative AiREAS was analysed among the Smart City projects in Eindhoven and classified “peer 4” city development. Peer 4 is unique in the world and a major evolutionary accomplishment of both the city and AiREAS. But what are these layers of city development mentioned by the external analysts? And what does it mean for all involved?
City evolutionary steps:
Peer 1: basic infrastructures of the city
Peer 2: functional integration of infrastructures
Peer 3: intelligent interaction between the infrastructures (Smart City)
Peer 4: purpose driven multidisciplinary civilian cooperation with city executives (Eco-city)
There seems to be an important line drawn between peer 3 and 4. While peers 1, 2 and 3 are managed by the city executive through the establishment of a territorial hierarchy, peer 4 has totally different characteristics. Peer 4 involves core human values and value driven interaction with the city’s citizens in which there is no hierarchy anymore. Peer 1, 2 and 3 cities can be seen as destructive black holes that absorbe resources from their surroundings without any return. That is because the citizens and city both interact from a consumption point of view. Peer 4 suddenly transforms the black hole in a warm star that enlightens the surroundings with productivity and core values for life enhancement and wellness. City and citizens work together on those local core human values.
Eindhoven became a peer 4 pioneer with AiREAS (heathy city, healthy people, healthy air) as recognized spark into a new reality.
From an anthropology point of view I compare the city break through from peer 3 to 4 as a “second positive desintegration” at community level, proyecting on the “city’s awareness” the analogy of Kazimierz Dabrowski and the psyche of people. Also, if you like, the level 4 awareness based structuring applies, according MIT’s Sensing views (see below).
From black hole to star
Any city starts off as an unaware “foolish” conglomerate of people who, for what ever reason of submission, decide to group together under territorial command. Infrastructures are needed to host those people and create society of some sort. Time evolves and so does the city. The original submissive reasons for any person to come to the city transforms over time too. At one time the motivation was maybe the expected labor in town, now it may be housing, entertainment, care systems, shops and social securities. Many people don’t even decide to come to the city anymore, they are born there and for all they know it is the only reality that exists.
For many generations city governance, with submissive citizenship, was the norm. The city provides a promise of abundance at the expense of one’s human identity. The human being is simply “the consumer”. Nowadays cities cannot keep the promise of abundance. Huge global issues affect the local stability and sustainable progress. Abundance cannot be garanteed anymore even though it is democratically demanded by the citizens. The economic attractiveness and functioning of the city is questioned due to the shortages created by the conglomerate of cities themselves. The lack of productivity of the population makes any city into a massively destructive consumer of resources. Since 70% of the global population lives now in cities, and numbers grow every day, the destructive force of the cities can be seen as black holes that just take without giving anything back. It is not just the resources that are consumed that is devastating, the pollution generated by all cities together and the way countryside productivity has been adjusted to economic norms, produces a lethal natural unbalance.
Human awareness develops when people do things and subsequently enjoy the benefits or suffer the consequences of such actions. The interpretation of suffering develops our understanding of what we are (the “to be” part) through backward analysis.
We tend to mature in our understanding of life as we build up (painfull) experiences. At one point an awareness breakthrough is encountered. This is when our matured being starts to consciously determine what we do. We have learned so much about life’s mechanisms and essentials that we can anticipate and learn to create rather than destroy. This inner breakthrough is the one referred to by Dabrowski and a unique benefit of the human psyche. Unfortunately we have not yet based our executive leadership on these breakthroughs but gradually we will.
Peer 4 can be seen as a similar breakthrough but at city level. This is unprecedented in human history. It can be seen as a logical and evolutionary consequence of the times we live in and necessary for the survival of the human species. It is an inspiring act of group leadership that steps down from a hierarchical position to adopt a partnership role in a teritorial eco-system.
Eindhoven become powerfully aware of it vulnerability already in the 80’s when its major providers of employment (Philips and DAF) either went broke or moved their industrial processes to China. The pain of unemployment and corresponding social costs brought a severe crisis. It made the city reflect about its vulnerability out of dependence. This became the basis to convert into Smart City’s peer 3 with initiatives like Brainport. The city had become aware that it should remain productive even though this was translated primarily in product innovations for the global market. Triple helix is a typical peer 3 structure in which the three pillars for economic growth (government, education and business innovation) work together to optimize resources and results. Yet the triple helix is still focused on the world economic market of trade (to do). Brainport developed into a highly subsidized technology driven creative institute.
Eindhoven became the hotspot for creative product development but remained vulnerable in the economic context of demand and supply. Natural resources are increasingly being dealt with in a competitive manner as consumption peaks. Human consumption has its limits and inflation produces an enormous economic bubble that does not provide securities for all anymore. Poverty rises, migration starts and unbalance and insecurity becomes the standard. The city realizes at all levels (not just executive) that it needs to become much more self sufficient rather than competitive or consumptive. The main resources of the city are not its way to deal with economic growth but its talent to produce its own wellness. This understanding is a major breakthrough. Balancing value driven creativity with economic drivers becomes the deeper understanding of the essentials of life. A totally new way of dealing with one’s surroundings appears as well as the way citizens are seen in the city’s context, and how citizens see their city. Both develop empathy towards eachother and the objectives the community faces. Everything (governance, business development, education, behavior) starts to resonate with the higher purpose of quality of life in harmony with the natural surroundings.
While previously the city’s citizen were mere consuming parasites now they become primary resources for wellness driven creativity and productivity. Everything one can produce together one does not have to buy. The city’s economy balances out because it gradually becomes self supportive and self aware rather than vulnerably dependent of outside resources that it cannot control. The city develops awareness of its own core needs and takes responsibility by facilitating rather than controlling citizen’s interaction and productivity. It is not the city’s executive that leads anymore, it is the common persuit for core values that does. Both the citizens and the executive interact and adjust to produce the best results together. The entire city dynamics transforms.
Obviously the underlying peer 1, 2 and 3 infrastructural resources are still needed but they also need adjustment to the ecosystem that develops in the city. The city becomes self aware, passionate and energetic, less dependent on resources from outside. An energetic turn around can be felt. People in Holland state often “it all happens in Eindhoven” as they sense the warm and positive vibes. Its own resources sustain the city now, applying awareness, knowledge and tools for sustainable progress through quality of life rather than just trade.
Peer 4 transforms the city also economically. Since local values are created by the citizens themselves a local value sharing system needs to be developed. Citizens are no taxable parasites anymore but cocreators of wellness. People from outside the community can interact with the abundance created inside the city through financial means but those local citizens who put energy into the cocreation should be able to share the benefits without having to pay for it. Taxation transforms from money (VAT) over consumption to a sharing system of creative input and output for the city’s self sustaining progress. Housing is key to keep the value driven citizens in the city as the city recognizes that without them it becomes vulnerable again. The citizens become more important than the real estate which becomes functional to productivity rather that consumption. Also issues like pension-schemes become obsolete because peer 4 value driven interaction and contributions are not age but awareness dependent. A new dynamic interaction develops in which the elderly contribute and share as much as the youngest. Regards are measured in tangible reciprocity, not money. The city becomes less dependent on economy and more on social interaction and harmony. The city executive transforms and becomes more like the spinal cord and stemholder of the community than its brain. The community itself becomes the brain as the city starts to behave like a living body, with all its senses and core value awareness. Peer 4 transforms the black hole into a shining star.
In AiREAS we have been able to create and sense the warmth of our own creative powers and it is great for the city and all involved to be recognized as such. Any city can cross the line to peer 4 and we are ready to share our experiences of the new era that presents itself as more and more “black holes” transform in stars. All our progress is being documented and published through open access briefs. We use the global publishing channels of Springer and New Horizon Research. If you follow this blog you will be kept updated too. Also the global AiREAS Blog will provide you the specifics on progress around healthy city from air quality perspective.
A new leadership perspective and perception appears. For a short time both coexist in tension but after some time the persuit for harmony will prevail growth.
The internet is filled with articles about conspiracies against humankind. The most persistent ones are the stories about the banking families controlling the world of finance, the business conspiracy controlling the markets and the conspiracy of the Islam to control the religious world. Many more circulate. And YES! They are all true. In fact, they are all normal, even though you can hardly call them a conspiracy against humankind. They are conspiracies using humankind. In fact, the biggest conspiracy against humankind are we ourselves.
That is because we believe in wellness provided by external resources and allow people to develop hierarchies to control them, making us dependent through financial means, goods and the mercy of God.
There are good reasons why this has grown this way
World peace until we die
Dependency creates ignorance and ignorance makes people docile. Surround people with all the goodies of the world and we will never stand up again for ourselves. From a world peace point of view this is excellent. The vast majority of people in the world have not reached the level of awareness to carry responsibility in the highly competitive world of an advanced species. So spreading ignorance through dependencies is a means to avoid disaster, especially now that we are growing to a extremely large world population.
The problem we face is that this ignorance also structures our systems. All manipulators are people who just desire the power of control. Their blind focus is totally ignorant of the bigger consequences. If they become aware they are morally to blame so large efforts are put into keeping them clean of responsibilities. That’s why they purchase with money and institutional donations, scientific reports that contradict scientific evidence, spreading doubt and division out of self interest.
Divide and rule is the democratic credo. When millions of people disagree, common greed and self interest rules. That’s the basis of a democracy that has no other purpose than to dispute each other’s opinion with the only common denominator being money. Since “money” has no other value than growth the entire democratic discussion becomes senseless, manipulative and meaningless.
We see political governance practice this technique. They control the tax money as unified source of control and spread it over the population through subsidies and services to create dependency, competition and confusion. The more they divide, the more they themselves remain in power. Power is what rules, not progress, nor responsibility. They themselves are never to blame because confusion reigns. They can always resign (against a self installed protective wage) or blame others and get someone else to continue the game.
The population meanwhile loves democracy because it gives a sense of control through freedom of choice and speech. The masses do not realize that they allow financial dictatorship continue while their democratic vote disappears in the permanent confusion of minorities. The governing politicians forcefully need to team up with the money makers because that is where the power of both comes from.
Indeed it feels like a conspiracy but it is culture and human attitude around power, dominance and dependence (in the shape of slavery)
Food, fun and shelter
These three key issues are needed by all human beings. Those who control food, housing and the fun control the human needs. In a growing population, resident in cities, these issues have become instruments of speculation. It has simply grown that way. The benefit of cities is that it keeps the destructive masses out of the countryside, allowing for optimization of space and services. Cities are money driven hot-spots where capital interests have risen sky high. People want to live in cities because of the perception of work and money, not realizing that they sell their souls to the devil because of the money driven slavery in the cities.
The tremendous needs for energy, material resources and food of the cities creates a sucking force that is in hands of the speculative financial markets, demanding large scale productivity with all the consequences for our global environment. The cities are centers of automated processes where money rules and the human being is the means.
It is not a conspiracy, it’s a personal choice. And indeed, the city has all the facilities, in fun and care, that the countryside misses. This influences our choice. 99,99% of the human population is blindly attracted by the circus of a city unaware of the consequences for the larger picture (and themselves). But who cares? In the city people become invisible due to the masses and very individualized, which is extremely attractive for economies to evolve without any sensitivity or morality.
Religion builds on fear
From a practical point of view the human being is just a physical tube from mouth to anus which is kept alive through insertion of food and elimination of waste. Every human being here is the same. Life is “a miracle” and we depend of external resources through competition and growth, or money.
We fear death while religious leaders claim to have mastered the essence of life by their proximity to “the Source”. They can use the fear of people to manipulate through promises or elimination of fear and sense of guilt.
In essence the moral and ethical discussion is enhanced by the religious dogmas that provide answers through story telling, paraphrasing and metaphors. Material poverty and lack of education is often misused to indoctrinate people around certain beliefs and behavior. This has two sides of a story of course. It gives people something to hold on to in desperate situations when they cannot trust themselves anymore due to lack of opportunity and help. A miracle and the existence of a helpful parallel world is something to keep them going. The other side of the medal is that structures misuse the innocence of people to manipulate them for a particular cause that is against all principles of life, such as causing death in the name of belief. The latter is shear competition between human powers that need a market to keep their position executed by blind ignorance. But…isn’t working for money in a polluting multinational exactly the same?
Religion is the dogmatic interpretation of spirituality. From a spiritual point of view this human physical mouth/anus tube evolved and became uniquely alive by the complex harmonic interaction of billions of molecules and a universe of microscopic species, all uniquely programmed through billions of years of evolution of life. Every human being here is unique. Life is a universal reality and to live we depend on our inner harmony through love and building relationships with our surroundings. We ARE the mirror image of the universe.
The universe has laws of its own that no human being can claim but we can understand and live accordingly. This however requires open education and awareness. As long as the fast majority of the world’s population is uneducated, education is being manipulated, and people remain unaware through ignorance building cultures, we face the destructive hierarchies that we call “conspiracies”.
We unknowingly fool ourselves but what is the solution?
From the above we can deduct that we ourselves are the basis of every conspiracy. Ignorance, unawareness and blind individualism, combined with the difficulties to get what we need on a daily basis, becomes a logical melting pot of politics, finance and religious structures that use humankind as if they were serving. When we become aware of a “conspiracy” it is a sign of waking up.
Waking up is not at all that pleasant because it introduces the responsibility of self awareness. What to do about this? Leaving the conspiracies eliminates the benefits too. Maintaining them makes us accomplice of the larger consequences. We get in touch with our own moral awareness and start behaving accordingly, making different choices then before.
The problem we face is that all the above happens within the confinement of human nature. We use our surroundings to fulfill those needs and those high level manipulators now face the powerful manipulation back from the unexpected “mother nature”. Suddenly we are surprised by natural disasters, climate changes, lack of resources, human made disasters, effects of pollution, etc. The manipulators are face to face with their own consequences. They have been selling wellness to the masses for money. Now they cannot comply anymore and have no one else to blame but themselves. There is a call again for human ingenuity and integrity instead of ignorance to solve the sum of all issues that threaten humankind and with it, all the manipulative basics of the powers in place.
The general public is waking up, shaken by the visibility of the consequences and the open reflection through internet and visualization through the media. Local solutions need to be found that cannot be solved by money anymore because they are caused by the culture that money created. We need to go to the essence of our existence and learn to understand life. This has to do with education, awareness and willingness to look for alternative structures of cooperation and sharing responsibilities. The old human made system is crumbling because of the ignorance of the system’s leaders, the robotics they created and the damage that the consequences cause.
Humankind is waking up all together as a species and sees how much work is ahead to save our selves. When we wake up we realize that the conspiracy against humankind was our own blindness, the wake up call then gets us away from those forces into the challenge of doing something about it. But what? That determines the explosion of human creativity. Ignorance is not anymore with the public that is being manipulated, it is with the systems leaders that stand solutions in the way with the monstrous systems they try to keep in place. All around the world we see people overcoming these obstacles to start experimenting with new formats, insights and solutions.
We call some of them Sustainocrats, or game-changers. Time has come for those people to unite and share experiences or best practice to expand the movement throughout the world. Maybe in the future people will call this again a new conspiracy but that will only be a sign of a new level of awakening into awareness and consciousness. For now we need to open up to new realities that include the powers of nature that now affect us and call for action through wisdom, respect and evolutionary pressure proper of life itself.