Cities can do nothing to promote economic development, according to Mario Polese. But are the development patterns he enumerates missing the patterns of development of human culture and consciousness?

Polese traces the modern to post-modern fads that have influenced community economic development (CED) at the city scale from the 1960’s to early 2000’s: strategic industries, industrial complexes, industrial parks, cluster development (like hi-tech), local CED, quality of life (eg. Creative Class).

Embedded in this CED history are human capacities that are attempting to become more complex. But the mere citation of the CED history fails to recognize Integral City Intelligences – like Cycles of Living Systems (that would predict that cities have natural stages of birth, growth, maturity, decline); Emergence  (that would propose that unpredictable events will occur requiring immediate and/or long-term adaptation); Integral Perspectives that integrate individual and collective behaviors, psychology, culture and systems in the city; and finally Ecosphere Intelligence which contextualizes the city’s success to its eco-region’s wellbeing.

Understanding the patterns of human development is the key to designing patterns of city development that meet people, place and planet where they are at – consciously, culturally and coherently.