Learning Communities LO5980

Tue, 5 Mar 1996 06:37:44 -0500

Replying to LO5962 --

Joe asked:

>Is a neighborhood or a city an organization in the same sense as a private
>company is an organization? Is there a direct parallel between
>stimulating and taking advantage of creativity at all levels of an
>organization's hierarchy and constructively involving citizens in public
>policy formulation?

There are two people (one living, one not) who probably represent the
ultimate expertise re this question. One of them is Walter Bogan (the
living one). He got that way by many years of study, many years of
experience, several years in Washington running the Office of
Environmental Education (which no longer exists), etc. Walter has been
working for over 16 years to create what is known as a "Regional
Environmental Learning System". This concept involves a lot more than
mere environmental concerns of the type represented by EPA. If you want
to know more about this, try exploring the records at ERIC (Ohio State

The other one was Harold Lasswell. Harold recognized fully the difficulty
involving in "learning" what a city was and is. His proposed solution,
still ignored, is the creation of the "urban planetarium". If you dig
back into his writings in various journals in the 1960s/1970s, you can
find a lot on this concept. The idea can be summarized briefly as
follows: to provide, in a building, somewhat like an art museum, a trail
to walk which would present major displays of all kinds accompanied by
various learning assists, such as short videos, brief talks, etc. The
idea included enabling the voyager to experience, vicariously, the
highlights of the entire urban complex. In this way the individual could
gain both a knowledge and an appreciation of the urban region.

Too many people, he felt, had no real sense of the city, no allegiance to
this unseen, nonentity which came across as a set of streets filled with
cars threatening pedestrians, etc.

Regrettably the world is still wedded to grade-school size paper and small
computer screens. If you can't fit it into those spaces, forget it.

John Warfield



Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>