I want to give you two quotes from Alexander's latest book, The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth. As these quotas shows, the 15 properties are the basic transformations shaping the Earth. Ever since the Big Bang and throughout human history these properties have transformed every element of the universe into living structure, until industrial revolution and most essentially the rise of Modernism in the last century.
There might be other planets in the universe where this happened too, but probably it happened for the first time at Earth in the last century, this during a time span of soon 14 billion years that have now passed since the beginning of the universe.
As Alexander has shown in the "Nature of Order"-series, wholeness can only be achieved through these 15 transformations. Any system not achieving wholeness is doomed to collapse. This is why they are essential to a new permanent culture, and MUST again be brought to life: http://permaculturenews.org/2012/08/10/permaculture-nature-civilization/
Morphogenesis then occurs by the repeated application of the fifteen transformations on the centers in a configuration. We call them transformations from now on, not properties, because each one is expressed as an instruction -- an action of transformation -- which can be applied to a configuration, then giving a concrete geometric result, thus transforming the overall wholeness. Each transformation can be applied to any centers in a given configuration, and thus transforming the configuration in a huge number of different ways. The fundamental and important generic idea at the core of what follows is that taking these actions continuously extends the wholeness of a structure. - Christopher Alexander, The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth, page 430-431
Here are the fifteen properties, now expressed as fifteen transformations that generate life. These provide the active juice with which a living system provides the range of possibilities with which we may work. EVERY LIVING SYSTEM USES THESE TRANSFORMATIONS. They are the active elements which go to work. - Christopher Alexander, The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth, page 431If anarchy, with that I mean self-organization, shall work, this system must generate wholeness, if not it will collapse, just like any other mechanical system. The fifteen transformations on the other hand, unfolds themselves through morphogenesis, like any living system. Without them a new permanent culture cannot grow!