There are the natural processes, flows and chains, making life possible for the components and communities of the ecosystem, forest or city alike. It is wise to diagnose and know them, because they give insight in the way the ecosystem has built up its resilience and diversity leading to understanding the state of it.
The main natural cycles are related to energy (flow), nutrients and water (cycles). And there are man-made processes related to the governance of the city, such as among others that of democracy, finance, strategy and policy.
They all relate to the core of public life, to resources, essentials and effects of decision making and city management. Cycles and flows are essential in every ecosystem.
- Water is the key source for life because all humans and communities need it. The cycle can be that of condensation – precipitation – collection – evaporation. But due to human and urban use the cycle has many variants.
- Energy is key in all what we do. The main cycle is that of energy (solar) – production – fixation (plants) – consumption. Also here there are refinements, but it is good to know that we, inhabitants of the earth are part of the empire of the sun. All life begins here.
- Nutrient movement includes that of carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, phosphorus, oxygen that continually recycle along with other mineral nutrients: production – allocation – consumption – decomposition. Due to our industrial process, the travels of nutrient can be complex and long before the cycle closes.
In the world of the public domain some processes emerge:
- Democracy cycle is the process from election and representation to decision making and evaluation. Every 4 or 6 years the cycle is round. It is also called the cycle of power.
- Strategy cycle is the process of from sensing of trends, developing strategy and policy plan and implement and monitor them related to desired public value.
- Policy cycle is the process from sensing of trends, developing strategy and policy plan and implement and monitor them related to desired public value.
- Creation is the process of from sensing of trends, developing strategy and policy plan and implement and monitor them related to desired public value.
- Delivery is the process of communicating with stakeholders and the acutal delivery of products and services.
- Finance cycle is the process of collecting and budgeting financial sources to make things possible. It is about financial engineering including taxing, budgetting and spending of money in the public domain.
- Multi-level governance is the process of connecting with higher and lower levels of society (from Europe to the street). It is a key process to travel across the borders of the different levels of the ecosystem.
- Ordering is the process of ordering my measuring numbers, dosages and structures of the ecosystem.
- Compliancy is the process of acting and working according the legislation and rules by checking, verifying, auditing, supervising, examining and measuring correctness.
- Correction is the process of prompt, immediate and accurate management of crises and disasters to bring society back into balance, i.e. recovery process. These can be related to biotic factors as diseases or abiotic factors as flooding. Compared to society we can speak of rebuilding and recovering from crises and disasters.
- Succession in case of getting out completely out of balance there is in nature loss and a path towards a next generation. There are no recovery processes in place and the system slides into a next system level.