Evolving intelligence

Over the last few weeks I have been exploring the city’s  12 evolutionary intelligences as articulated by author Marilyn Hamilton (Integral City – click here for her web sitehere for her book).   This is the last of the 12 intelligences – evolving intelligence.  (In my next post, I will recap the 12 and summarize them.)

Hamilton asks this essential question: How can we live in cities intelligently?  To answer this question, I propose two more:

  1. How do citizens create the city?
  2. How do cities create citizens?
There is a back-and-forth relationship between these two elements.  Cities and citizens co-evolve together.  As one shifts and changes, so does the other.  The whole city system and all the systems that make up the city are constantly adjusting, readjusting to the changing conditions surrounding them.  Our physical environment is changing, our biology is changing, our psychology is changing, our culture is changing.  Our very consciousness is changing.  Citizens and cities are co-evolving.
Cities, as a are citizens, are not steady-state.  Cities are forever responding to many changing conditions.  Here is Hamilton’s logic about evolving intelligence for cities [1]:
  1. Seeing the city as a whole system of whole systems reveals an emergent, evolving system.
  2. Seeing systems reveals interconnections and non-linearity.
  3. Non-linearity helps us live with, prepare for and anticipate the unexpected.
  4. Having muscles for the unexpected creates resilience.
  5. Resilience means greater adaptability.
  6. Greater adaptability means greater survivability.
  7. Greater survivability means more joy, expansion, creativity, potential.
The very relationship between our species and the habitat we build for ourselves serves our evolution.  Understanding this is allows our intelligence to evolve.  Understanding our relationship with our habitat – both given to us and created by us – allows us to thrive.
My next post will distill the 12 evolutionary intelligences into bite-size pieces.





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[1] Marilyn Hamilton, Integral City, p. 261

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If you are interested in learning more about evolutionary intelligences relating to cities, you will be interested in the Integral City eLaboratory – Co-Creating the Future of the Human Hive.