Editorial Vol. 1.4

With this fourth magazine, I will have successfully moved all the articles from the original forum. That forum (and now this magazine) was designed to help us explore how to interact with the gates of society. Hopefully it presents perspectives and when there are different viewpoints expressed that the differences will only help enrich rather than simply accentuate opinions that divide.

In this volume I will try to pull together the various articles that were written on an approach to the business sphere, including one article that received numerous comments. The title was a little tongue-in-cheek though with it I did try to open up an important issue: ‘Is the stock market evil?’. Alongside the articles touching on business issues there are a couple of media clips on education, one being an interview with Sue Mitchell.

Cheryl has suggested that the ‘gates’ I have outlined leaves out a major issue: that of space. Here is her original critique:

“speaking as a landscape architect and urban designer – I will be very interested in how you approach the issue of space. It is a resource which we share, especially in cities. And it will become increasingly important as we seek to produce energy within our cities, grow food within our cities, and provide space for civil society and transit. Without space for education, health care, financial management, government, culture and anything else we humans do together, those things cannot happen. So is there a ‘gate’ for space and place?”

Of course she could be right… I made a reply with:
Cheryl, you are in danger of messing with my system and we know that all of life can be systemitised and put in boxes… and this is of course our goal!! So keeping with the system, that of course I claim came to me as divine revelation (a blueprint??!!!!) maybe we can put this discussion under family and community. It is of course also a political issues and a health issue.

Bottom line – it will be great in due course to get you to put some material there on this as a real issue is that of space in the urban context. We have talked about roof gardens, growing vegetables there etc., in this place or our next place.

And she to me:

“But it is even more than those things. I realized while in Italy that public space itself is a resource to be shared. Some cities have lots of public space, others do not and instead privatize space -like shopping malls. Public space be it where the old men sit in the piazza and watch young kids play ball, or transit systems, or communal gardens, is critical to us and not for all those activities though they are each important. Public space teaches us to be civil and courteous to each other and even to strangers. That is one of the reasons I love riding the bus. Well, some days it is a pain. But I sit there and watch all the wee moments as strangers take care of one another. In cars, those isolationist tin cans – you get increased levels of rage and loneliness. On the bus you are trained in civility and socialized to care for others. We can design our cities to provoke and enhance such moments or to deny them. And I would suspect that most of your gates, to function well, actually depend on a city space that enhances public life.

There you go – I have trashed your system! Back to the drawing boards. Gates are good because they are a liminal moment and indicate transition. I like the idea of gates. They are also generally, in the days of old walled cities, public space. Umm, lots to think about all of a sudden but its way too early in the morning yet. I trust you will tease this all out in its fullness.”

I tried to come back with this:
No I cannot allow you to mess the system!!!!!!! How about though that this is the responsibility within community? Community needs space / so must take responsibility to ensure that it is there? Space must be provided for in city planning: a ‘political’ in the sense of part of the ‘polis’?

Is not ‘space’ part of the culture that needs to be shaped by the gates and that this includes physical space.

I will transfer this comment over to the gates general forum to let it be part of the ongoing discussion there.

Oh and the system must survive… or was that what Babylon once said?

So over to others of you who wish to upset the system!!

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