Manual Common Space: The City as Commons (In Common)

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A growing number of public intellectuals, as well as civic and social movements have been charging public institutions with commodification of collective resources ranging from open squares, parks, abandoned buildings, vacant lots, and roads to digital infrastructures and networks, while reclaiming access to urban space and assets and control over the decision-making process about the management and evolution of the city for a broader class of residents. It has been a long path towards the right to the city Lefebvre , recently re-emerged in the international political scene Harvey , and often conceived as broader theoretical and ideal framework of urban justice and democracy Ooman , where the empowerment of citizens to shape their living space by expanding access to collective resources find place as the concept of urban commons.

Stavros Stavrides’ new book Common Space: The City as Commons

By arguing that there is a common stake in resources shared among city inhabitants like open-access urban spaces and goods they experiment with alternative policies and legal tools, designed for making such resources available also for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups of inhabitants. The pluralistic conception of the commons provide us with a well-founded framework for making our urban metropolitan environment more inclusive, democratic, and collaborative. Ultimately, we theorize the cultural shift from single, isolated commons to the city itself as commons, which means that the commons should be a leading way of thinking how to govern the city.

Despite the vast literature on natural resource commons, we found the urban commons to lack an adequate understanding and took up the challenge of shedding light on what are the peculiarities of common-pool resources located in complex, congested, and heavily regulated urban areas and how they can be successfully managed through new forms of democratic experimentalism.

Common Space: The City as Commons, Stavrides

In this way, LabGov practices and advocates for the transitions from urban commons intervention to a more just and democratic governance of the city as commons. From this multi-year research project known as Co-Cities LabGov extracted a methodology aimed at serving as guidance for urban policy makers, researchers, and urban communities involved in co-governance experiences. It focuses on urban commons transitions, including patterns, processes and public policies where local communities committed to sustainable urban growth and fair resource management play a key role in partnership with other political, economic and institutional actors.

The concept of the Co-City situates the city as an infrastructure enabling cooperation, sharing, and participatory decision to peer production, supported by open data and guided by principles of distributive justice. A Co-City is based on urban collaborative, polycentric governance of a variety of urban physical, environmental, cultural, knowledge and digital resources, which managed or co-owned through contractual or institutionalized public-community or public-private-community partnerships the so-c commons.

faasurrinuaro.tk The Co-Cities research project and protocol five design principles setting up conditions and factors necessary to rethink the city as commons: the inclusive space where various initiatives of collective action for the urban commons emerge, relate and become sustainable. LabGov believes that the Co-City methodological approach will constitute an effective tool to design and stimulate processes of urban justice and democracy for cities in Least Developed Countries too.

It represents an original and proactive approach to implement and monitor the achievements of global policies such as the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals especially the goal 11 for inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities, and the sub-goals aiming at fostering participatory and representative decision-making and effective public, public-private and civil society partnership The Co-City approach being experimental and adaptable to different types of social and geographical contexts, can contribute to cities prosperity enhancing the capacity of local authorities and leveraging value of collaboration with local communities.

The Co-City Protocol, which identifies the necessary conditions for the establishment of a polycentric governance of networked urban assets, is composed of the 5 design principles, the co-city cycle the and the tools. The five design principles are the necessary conditions that, at different level, allow the transition from urban commons projects to co-governance.

Design Principles

This dimension refers to the presence of a multi-stakeholder scheme where the community organized or not emerges and partner up with public institutions and the private sector in the management of the urban commons. Open access to technological and digital urban infrastructure and data is an enabling driver of cooperation and co-creation of urban commons.

The Co-City process or policy cycle is made of 6 phases:. This first phase deals with localizing urban commons and activating local actors scholars, experts, practitioners through dialogue interactions.


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Consistent with the principles above, we have defined some of the recurring governance mechanisms that contribute to the collaborative management of the urban commons. These tools, grouped into 4 categories:. They form around the collaborative economy and support the efforts of those city residents who partner with further stakeholders to cooperate for the general interest.

CFP: The City as a Commons (Pavia, 2-4 Sep 19)

Reflecting the tech justice principle, digital means can help tackle inequalities and promote a broader access to urban goods and services enhancing social engagement and participation. The observation and analysis of more than policies and projects enabling co-creation, co- production, and co-governance of urban assets and services in more than cities www.

This study is an effort to contribute to the current urban studies debate on the way to conceptualize the What are relations between commons and politics?


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  • The Three Elements Of The Commons: Pooled Resources, Community, And Commoning;
  • In the last few years, the commons have enriched themselves with their entry into political institutions at the level of states, large cities or regions, whether in Bolivia, Ecuador, Spain, Britain, France, Italy, and Between and around million cubic meters of new constructions have been created in Italy.

    Following the crash of the real estate market in , this construction boom resulted in the presence of an enormous amount of unfinished and unused building in the Is anything good emerging from these multiple crises? About the Book In recent years, urban uprisings, insurrections, riots, and occupations have been an expression of the rage and desperation of our time.

    Collective Governance

    So too have they expressed the joy of reclaiming collective life and a different way of composing a world held in common. At the root of these rebellious moments lies thresholds—the spaces to be crossed from cities of domination and exploitation to a common world of liberation. Towards the City of Thresholds is a pioneering and ingenious study of these new forms of socialization and uses of space—self-managed and communal—that passionately reveals cities as the sites of manifest social antagonism as well as spatialities of emancipation.

    Activist and architect Stavros Stavrides describes the powerful reinvention of politics and social relations stirring everywhere in our urban world and analyzes the theoretical underpinnings present in these metropolitan spaces and how they might be bridged to expand the commons. About the Author Stavros Stavrides is an architect and professor teaching at the National Technical University of Athens on housing and public space design as well as on the meaning of metropolitan experience.

    Urban Commons: Hacking the City For All

    In addition to Towards the City of Thresholds, he has published six books and numerous articles.