Communities are a systemic ‘whole’ on a small (local) scale, while also larger-scale ‘component wholes’ … of our greater socio-economic system(s).
It is this ‘duality’ – in a fractal sense – that presents an opportunity of enormous potential.
Communities represent a key ‘leverage point’ … as a means of establishing large-scale beneficial systemic change.
In fact, this is a uniquely vital ‘Dual Leverage Point’: as an ‘end’ goal of resolving many practical ‘issues’ for local residents (a means of improving their lifestyles); and, on a greater social scale, the improvements of local behavioural interactions serves as a means of establishing large-scale transitional systemic socio-economic changes.
Our problematic situations are systemic, and many eco/socio-economic ‘issues’ are a result of the form of our existing residential subdivisions.
Subdivisions, specifically their lack of coherent, integrated design – as I’ve discussed in previous articles – has resulted in a physical form that predetermines many our daily behavioural actions/habits as primary contributors/sources of our problematic eco/socio-economic situations (’problems’).
The ‘problematic situation’ is an ‘emergent property’ of the whole system dynamics – the ‘problem’ exists as a function of the dynamical interaction of the interconnected components. Likewise, a systemic solution is an ‘emergent property’ that exists as a whole, resulting from the systems interactions.
In order to resolve our greater large-scale eco/social problematic situations, ‘localized’ problematic situations of our residential subdivisions must be resolved … subdivisions require a systemic ‘non-reversible’ change to become true integrated Communities. Transforming subdivisions into real Communities can/will achieve a systemic solution … resolving a variety of ‘issues’, simultaneously.
Transformation, as the word implies, is a change in form … a transitional change, and permanent. In ’systems theory’, this is a ‘non-reversible’ systemic change.
In this way, a systemic change to transform residential subdivisions into Communities, in turn, becomes the impetus for greater urban and regional transformation(s), as well as socio-economic transformation.
In terms of Complex Adaptive Systems:
‘Community’ (a social structure of a higher-order than neighbourhood) is an ‘emergent’ property, and ‘invariant’ … resilient amidst fluctuating parts.
And this resilience and sustainability is precisely what we need and seek to achieve on a larger social scale(s). This is the fractal nature; scale-independence … characteristics of the ‘whole’ represented in each of the component parts (’component wholes’).
Transforming our subdivisions into integrated Communities, by design, will resolve many eco/socio-economic ‘issues’ for local residents, and in turn, will serve to establish the non-reversible systemic change to a resilient sustainable society.