Following the Sustainable Development Goals, Climate Change is despite Covid-19 not forgotten. More so, the last is seen by scientists, managers and experts as an omen what we can expect when we keep disrupting the Earth ecosystem. Goal 13 is Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. This goal has 5 targets:
Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.
Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible.
Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities.
My personal expression of climate change is displayed above. I imagined the canvas of our world as a chess board with 8*8 fields and estimated the most hurt ecosystems due to change: coral reef (Pantone Living Coral ) and tropical rainforest (Pantone Forest Biome). Government (Pantone Imperial Blue) is a tiny spot on the canvas and is not doing too much with many public leaders which are still in denial of what is happening (why? Interest and stakes!). Government, steered by people we as citizens elect to be our representatives (how difficult can it be!), need to take the lead. But, to be frank, its influence anno 2020 can not be marked as substantial. Storm (Pantone Storm Gray) is coming.
It is a personal art impression – or maybe better an expression of an impression – to remind me that we will loose precious life if we continue this way. The myriad of life is so abundant in coral reeds and tropical rainforests, we can hardly imagine. If you have seen it, and understood, you fall in love immediately. And if this happens you want to protect and want to stay it forever. I am in love, still (it is actually since 1978, the year I met Professor Roelof Oldeman and with him discovered the forest, almost 32 years now).
I am a realist, not a pessimist. I hear you thinking. I did my homework (daily) as Wageningen University ecologist. Believe me, storm is coming, if we keep sitting on our hands. Maybe this small expression is a small contribution to one of the targets of this sustainable development goal. The colours of climate change are printed in my mind.
Today the colour palette of every city in The Netherlands is Nassau Orange and Blue. It is King’s Day. King and Queen enter the snow white fields of the living world of society. They thank all special citizens who kept us running and contributed to the fibres of communities so well. The King honours them for their service with the medal of Order of Orange-Nassau. Today is also Corona lockdown day. A double layer here, but with mixed feelings for all of us.
Obvious in the crisis management approach of government is bringing healthcare into position to act as swiftly as possible. Nurses, doctors and other medical trained workers and helpers are forming the center stage of the public domain now. Many governments frame the lockdown, most of them with own accents, but all are focusing on constraints and needs, to tackle Corona. The policy is prevent, cure and care. And after that, back to work.
Following the rules of the measurement triangle of Ecosystem City® I mapped the production of the present main city components, being cure & care organisations and government. The first component is in charge, the second putting the frame from the outside and managing delivery of the necessary tools and equipment from the inside.
I expressed this as simple as possible on a 8*8 canvas (the chess board) giving an eagle view over the city. We write this on the 14th of April 2020. It is also the first day that some governmental leaders start to position the approach otherwise wanting to divert from lockdown and seeking for the blame others and even threat the World Health Organisation.
Government will step gradually out of the light of the mall which it created so effectively, and is expected to start choosing the path of political propaganda more and more. From governmental councils to elected councils to politics again. History will repeat itself. The above diagram will gradually change in structure and in color the coming months, depending on the country and the leadership style of those who are in charge. My personal expectation.
The Pantone® Imperial Blue of government marks the framing influence(in rules, regulations and decisions) on society, bringing healthcare (Pantone® Quartz Pink) into optimal position to actproperly. For that it keeps limiting space and free movement for its citizens (Pantone® Snow White).
After the lockdown we all will seek for the new balance again. I imagined how this could look like after COVID-19 and how the balance of influence between citizen as metaphor for civil society – and main inhabitant of cities – and government could be restored. Or maybe also the balance between authority steered crisis management and regular democracy. It depends how successful we will be in beating the virus. The designed diagram is about society after Influence in COVID-19 ‘lockdown’.
Following the rules of the measurement triangle of Ecosystem City® I mapped the possible influence of both city components – citizen/civil society and goverment. It is a possible scenario. Ideal, but not sure. Compared with our present Corona situation, it would be a complete breath of fresh air.
I expressed this as simple as possible on a 8*8 canvas (the chess board) giving an eagle view over the city. We write this on the 12th of April 2020, Easter Sunday, for Christians the commemorating day of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is a day, figuratively spoken, we all hope it will come soon. There is much analogy with Easter to be found for many of us.
The Pantone® Imperial Blue of government marks the light framing (in rules and regulations) influence on society, offering citizen and civil society (Pantone® Terra Cotta) maximumliving space and free movement (Pantone® Snow White).
According Wikipedia a lockdown “is an emergency protocol that usually prevents people or information from leaving an area. The protocol can usually only be initiated by someone in a position of authority. Lockdowns can also be used to protect people inside a facility or, for example, a computing system, from a threat or other external event.”. Well, we all now know what this is. The internet is full of feelings, facts and figures.
Following the rules of the measurement triangle of Ecosystem City® I mapped the influence of the present main city components, being the citizen as metaphor for civil society and main inhabitant of cities (second after the Corona virus) and government, governing councils to be precise. The councils have in times of crisis appointed ministers, presidents and mostly mayors with the authority to act. They have full power to decide, rule, regulate and enforce what is considered as essential and necessary. A lockdown is such a decision and leads to absolute dominance of government power over the citizen.
I tried to express this as simple as possible on a 8*8 canvas (the chess board) giving an eagle view over the city during present lockdown. We write this on the 10th of April, Good Friday, for Christians the commemorating day of the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is not the day we had hoped for. Maybe there is some analogy to be found for some of us on this day. We all look forward to the Easter, the resurrection, imagined in New balance after COVID-19 ‘lockdown’.
The Pantone® Imperial Blue of government marks the dominant influence in present day life of the citizen, narrowing and limiting its space for living and movement to ‘beat’ our feared enemy, one of the members of the Coronavirus family. The citizen and civil society in Pantone® Terra Cotta in fact is completely surrounded by the sum of governments instructions, rules and regulations.
Which methods and techniques are available to measure and diagnose the state of an ecosystem. With all respect for the variety of existing surveys and indexes, commercially driven or non-commercial supported and subsidised, business or governmental oriented, policy or science driven, it came into mind to start with those used for studying forests ecosystems. Because of the complexity of forest these methods are relatively advanced, used with cutting-edge technology and in their holistic approach and interconnectivity sophisticated.
Assuming that the laws of nature rule everywhere – the opposite has not been scientifically proven – it is therefor fair to conclude that these forest methods and techniques are directly applicable in city diagnosis. They might generate new contextual insights or create new perspectives – I expect this to be an understatement.
The simple starting point in forest research is that it all starts with the measurement triangle. In essence one can measure three characteristics of the components – in our approach the City Components – and continu with advanced (cross)ratio’s from there:
Production: weight, dosage, biomass (literally) and importance, power and influence (figuratively).
Remote sensing and forests has always been a good marriage, particular if data collection and analysis is combined with field work. They have inspired many scientist for the accuracy and data density. And also in cities is the combination of eagle and street views delivering significant results. The grid is an effective medium to present mathematical results of simple counting and weighting, as well as for advanced pattern matching or factor analysis.
In the Ecosystem City® we use and present the results of the mentioned measurement triangle in grids. More elegantly said the city canvas, in eagle or in the city from above view. We created two additional levels – alliance and governance – to improve overview and insight in involved organisations related to specific public issues. The city canvas (eagle view) has five basic levels, which can be combined in all forms:
Alliance, 2*2 (top involved organisation)
Governance, 4*4 (organisation and governance).
Production, 8*8 (weight on the ‘chess-board’).
Population, 32*32 (numbers).
Architecture 32*(>)64 (transects).
An example of a combination canvas. It displays how the most involved organisations related to the economic development in a specific region, interact. It lead to the Quadruple Helix:
“Strong economic development needs cooperation between government (Imperial Blue*), business (Flame*), education (Vibrant Yellow*) and science (Lime Green*). Of course new accents in the future are there to be discovered (Snow White*). This collaboration is conceptual considered as helix, being a set of DNA-connections, but in real life it shows itself more like a puzzle.”
The colour of the city is Pantone®PoppyRed. The flower poppy is linked to the City of Ypres, ‘capital’ of World War I, city of peace. The poppy has worldwide become the symbol of remembrance.
Nature is the functional component representing the natural environment as organism, surrounding the city and its life in it, but also being of high and essential value on itself. The colour is Pantone® Forest Green. An obvious association.
The citizen as metaphor of civil society is one of the basic functional components of the city. It concerns groups and communities of citizens – being the inhabitants of a city, especially being entitled to its privileges or franchises – and which are linked by common interests and collective activity. It has a wide range of organisational forms, from acting individuals (Thunberg), action groups to organised demonstrations to forms of a more institutional character. The associated colour is Pantone®Terra Cotta. Were it not humans – it is estimated somewhere around the year 3000 BC – that invented and developed this craftsmanship of terra cotta (“baked earth”).
Politics is a functional component concerning ‘a set of activities associated with the governance of a country or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to members of a group’ (Hague et al., 2013). It emerges in political organisations represented as well as in dialogue steered decision making. It refers in essence to the representation of ideas for achieving and exercising positions of governance-organized control over a human community. Machiavelli described politics as the world of ‘power and influence’. The colour is Pantone®Violet Tulip. Violet is the colour at the beginning of the visible spectrum, at the place where ideas become tangible and show themselves. And of course there are flowers for voters during election time.
Elected council is a functional component being the formal representation of the people in all kind of government matters. It is based – within democracy – on the process of voting and election of the representatives by the people. The elected council formally takes charge of the representative democracy. It steers and controls the governing council. It represents the connection between citizens and government in a democratic governing system. The colour is Pantone®Royal Purple, because the elected councils are regarded as the highest governmental institutions in a democracy. Purple is the colour between ‘red’ of citizen and ‘blue’ of government.
Government council is a functional component by which a state, region, city or community is controlled. Government in fact is in charge of the public governance of society and the natural environment. It serves its citizens and companies. It can be the (elected) governing council with its management such as a municipality, region, province or specific organisation. The colour is Pantone®Imperial Blue. It links with the Latin imperium, meaning ‘rule over large territories’.
Mandated government is a functional component concerning the executive and performing domain of government, most of the time without an elected but a mandate structure in governance. The involved organisations serve the state, province, region or municipality directly and indirectly. They have a mandate to act related to government responsibilities Agencies and parastatals are part of this function. The colour is Pantone ®Process Blue, due the the nature of its character, to carry out and process tasks from government perspective.
Business in the widest sense is a functional component concerning the making, producing and trading of goods and foods. The involved organisations are businesses and entrepreneurial undertakings in the widest range, most of the time profit oriented. The colour is Pantone® Flame, associated with the fire, sometimes literally but most of the time figuratively, in the process of creation, craft, production and delivery.
Non-governmental (NGO) is a functional component concerning task-oriented and driven by common interest. Its organisations perform in a wide variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to governments, advocate and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.They are most of the time non-profit or not-for-profit. The colour is Pantone® Carrot Curl. The association is easily found in the rooting principles of the functions and organisations.
Education is a functional component concerning the facilitating of learning and the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and related research. The colour is Pantone® Vibrant Yellow.The association is that sharing new light in learning leads to positive vibrance of development.
Media is a diverse functional component. Media can be defined as the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, that reach or influence people widely. It exists of profit organisations focused on media distribution as well social media as phenomenon. The colour of this component is Pantone® Sand, because it is present everywhere. Sand forms the basics for construction and production of goods and foods, like the news is. It can be fruitful (soil) but also harmful (desert storm). You can make beautiful and precious glass from it, at the same time it can disturb you engine from working properly.
Art & Culture is the functional component which represents the authentic expression of feelings and perceptions in the broadest sense as well as the conservation of heritage. The involved organisations are diverse, numerous and include artistic collectives and groups as well as musea, libraries and heritage organisations. They all tell us where we come from, our history, human origin, artefacts, identity and even existential reflection. The colour is Pantone® Pastel Yellow, and ode to the thousand colour palet of yellow, used by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer in his 1665 painting the Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Sport & Leisure is a diverse functional component. It is about a way of life, of meeting, expression, health, recreation and traveling. It is a complete industry with many organisations involved. A world embedded in society, but with stakes on its own, influential with sometimes huge impacts. It is the platform for expression, competition and joy, characterized by a wide range of organisations. The colour is Pantone® Leather Brown, associated with the first football used in early games as well a the first leather suitcase used for travelling.
Care & Cure is the functional component concerning care and cure for people. The related organisations are hospitals and the wide diversity of organisations and include the financial world behind them, that of insurers and investors. The colour is Pantone® Rose Quartz, one of the colours of the year 2016. In layman’s terms, this colour it is baby pink. Pantone’s team of experts about this colour: “Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.”
Science is the functional component that can be defined as a systematic enterprise that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable and verifiable explanations and predictions about the universe. This component has the colour Pantone®Lime Green, being associated with sharing new fresh light on the depths of the universe of nature.
Research is the functional component that can be defined as a systematic monitoring and research related to developments in society and nature. The related organisations build and organise knowledge by analysing, monitoring and advising governments, most of the time from a politically independent position or point of view. They are there in a variety of organisations. This component has the colour Pantone®Beveled Glass, being associated with the breaking index of glass, a reflective prisma.
Religion & Thought is the functional component concerning spiritual and belief and its organisations and institutions. Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviours and practices, morals, world views, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. Thought on the other hand encompasses an aim-oriented flow of ideas and associations that can lead to a reality-oriented conclusion. The colour is Pantone® Quiet Gray, linked with quietness and its associations and synonyms like peacefulness, peace and quiet, restfulness, calmness, tranquillity and serenity.
Finance is the functional component which enables the flow of money. It can be carried out or taken care for by organisations related to their own business. But in particular this component consists of specifically there is financial institutions with financing as main function, i.e. accepting deposits from the public, creating credit, lending and investing, performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Banks and investors belong to this component. The colour is Pantone®Silver. The association is clear. Silver was with copper and gold occurring in the elemental form in nature and was probably used as the first primitive form of money as opposed to simple bartering.
The Judiciary is the functional component which interprets and applies the law in a country, state or an international community. Courts belong to this component. The colour is Pantone®Taupe Gray,associated with the taupe, the mole, digging in laws and regulations to find justice.
* The Pantone Color Matching System is largely a standardised color reproduction system. By doing so, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match for paper as well texture. The PMS was developed by Pantone LLC (Carlstadt, NJ, USA), which was acquired in 2007 by X-Rite, Inc. (Grand Rapids, MI, USA).
Hague, R. and M. Harrop ( 2013) Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan International Higher Education.
The system world and the living world can be integrated in an optimal coherent situation. Individuals, organisations and natural ecosystems live in harmony with their governing systems vice versa. Or they can be completely separated. No interaction, no connection, no coherent situation. Individuals, organisations and natural ecosystems live separated from their governing systems. The so called system world does not address the needs and wills in the living world.
The system world is the world of election, governance, rules and regulation, taxes, performance, services. It is a relevant component (on the highest level) of the City Ecosystem and therefore part of the City Codex. The chosen colour is Pantone®Jet Black, because of the association with the mineraloid Jet, which has an organic origin, being derived from decayingwood under extreme pressure. So the colour has it roots in the living world but because of its structure is now symbolising the system world.
The living world is the world of daily life, work and love. The world of personal and public values and lifestyles. The chosen colour Pantone®SnowWhite symbolises the virginity, dynamics, creativity, self expression, consciousness in the living world. What is stronger than seeing one’s own footprints in the purity of the driven snow. Proof of life in its simplest form.
For those who just made the turn to ‘going green’. In my head I am ready to go too. Feeling surrounded by an infrastructure I cannot change, but maybe I can influence a tiny bit by purchasing and consuming food and energy with more care and being mobile with ‘policy’. So doing my best. To express this feeling I designed a new mascot, Eqoui.
Equoi has been designed from the ground up, inspired by the pawn, the lowest and at the same time the most honourable ranked piece on the chess board, at least in my personal view. My father taught me: “We are all equal, but sometimes do have different responsibilities. Equal we are.” My mother added to that: “You are not more than any other.” So here I am, Equoi, the pawn that is going green.
“A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings. Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate. Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally. A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront – it is an omnipresent hue around the world. A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.”
Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone® Color Institute
What to wish for in 2020? Pantone® has chosen PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue as the color of the year 2020. This color is about “instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”
This color of the year initiative “has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.” The color is always carefully chosen by the Pantone Color Institute and is formally based on research related to the latest trends and developments in society.
Executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, about this color: