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How Do We Design Healthcare Systems for Integral City 2.0?

on Sun, 09/16/2012 - 19:16

Integral City Meshworks: The Blog by Marilyn Hamilton January 31, 2012

Marilyn Hamilton is the the Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc. and works with cities and eco-regions,  ‘meshworks’ or weaves people, purpose, priorities, profits, 

programs and processes to align contexts, grow capacity and develop strategies for resilience. She facilitates sustainable development programs, research, inquiries, assessments, co-creativity practices and collaboration.

In her blog she explores the relationship of People Place and Planet. She applies the principles of Integral City , and uses Living Systems and Complexity lenses to make sense of how we think, act, relate and create in the Human Hive.

Designing healthcare systems that serve the wellbeing of Integral City 2.0 begins with remembering “health” comes from the same root as the word “whole”. Healthcare in the human hive is based on the principles of Life and Evolution .

Wholistic healthcare systems are rooted in natural science and embody values and cultural intentions.  Principles that contribute to appropriate healthcare systems include:

  • Aligning the purpose of healthcare systems with the vision and purpose of the city
  • Understanding how citizens define health – recognizing the multiple definitions that connect to food, energy, information and spirit
  • Integrating, educating and supporting a variety of healthcare modalities to match citizen preferences
  • Designing healthcare from a systems-thinking perspective for optimizing flex and flow of city and citi-zen resourcefulness
  • Understanding demographics of the city so healthcare design serves thelifecycles of the citi-zens
  • Embracing the wholistic realities of the bio-psycho-cultural-structural health needs of the city
  • Mapping existing health facilities and human resources to improve access and grow capacity to serve across the whole city
  • Considering the spectrum of cultural sub-populations and their specialized needs based on life practices
  • Benchmarking healthcare with vital signs monitors to track and improve wellbeing measures
  • Adapting healthcare to the life conditions of the city in all kinds of “change weather” – stable, troubled, turbulent or promising

Most of the major cities of the world are now melting pots of East and West. As such our healthcare systems can learn from the intelligences and wisdoms across the spectrum of major healthcare traditions. Wellbeing in the city demands that we pay attention to how we value and manage the patterns, processes and structures of our city as a living system – the human hive.


Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers. Chapter 6