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I´m very glad to contribute to policy reader “The City as Commons” with my australian collegue Jose Ramos, Neal Gorenflo of Shareable, Michael Bauwens of P2P Foundation and other usual suspects of open culture, the commons and sharing economy around the world.

The City as Commons: A Policy Reader, is a publication of the Commons Transition Coalition, Melbourne, Australia (2016). ISBN: 978-0-9953546-0-9

Editor: José Maria Ramos


[…] The City as a Commons the idea of urban commoning is an emerging body of ideas and practices, that have the potential to transform the ways in which we experience and shape our urban environments, and indeed world. This reader attempts to bring various dimensions of urban commoning into one place, in a format that is easy to digest, communicate and advocate for. The intent of the project is to provide a resource for urban commons advocates, which helps them (you) to articulate and strategize urban commons transformation projects in a variety of areas. It is by no means complete, as the urban commoning movement has only just begun, and the scope of this reader is limited to who has contributed. It is merely a step on the journey toward our cities as commons.

[…] What Is A Commons?
A simple definition of the commons is: that which we mutually depend on for our survival and well-being. When we consider this, there is much that is the commons. Our atmosphere, access to educational opportunities, public safety, social cohesion, the knowledge resources we need for our survival, the list is endless. But there is more to it than this. The idea of the commons has experienced a special and profound resurgence over the past few decades. Elinor Ostroms work, for which she won a Nobel Prize, was seminal in breaking the mental stranglehold of the dualism that characterized discussions on our commons. This dualism assumed that a shared resource must be managed by the state, or managed by private enterprise, or it was unmanageable. She showed otherwise, how people effectively manage their common resources as communities, outside of the state-market dualism. Scholar and advocate of the commons, David Bollier, provided this succinct definition for what a commons is:
 
–  A social system for the long-term stewardship of resources thatpreserves shared values and community identity.
 
–  A self-organized system by which communities manage resources (both depletable and replenishable) with minimal or no reliance on the Market or State.
 
– The wealth that we inherit or create together and must pass on,undiminished or enhanced, to our children. Our collectivewealth includes the gifts of nature, civic infrastructure, culturalworks and traditions, and knowledge.

A sector of the economy (and life!) that generates value in ways that are often taken for granted Ð and often jeopardized by the Market-State.

 
Peer to Peer (P2P) theorist Michel Bauwens has offered these four categories to explain some of the dimensions of the commons:

Bauwens P2P commons

Table of Contents

  • The City as Commons: a Policy Reader 1
  • Space 13 
  • Design and the City Commons 14
  • Active Transit: Putting People Back into the City & the City Back into Place 18 Repurposing Public Spaces in a City as a Commons: the Library  23
  • Heritage and City Commons  26
  • Value Exchange 32 
  • Sharing Cities: An Asset-based Approach to the Urban Commons 33 Community Currencies and City Commons 37
  • Time Banks and City Commoning  41
  • Construction Waste Transformation and City Commons 44
  • Production  47 
  • Platform Cooperatives for Democratic Cities  48 Coworking:
  • Challenges and Opportunities for a Prosperous and Fair New Economy  52
  • Orchards and the City as a Commons 57
  • Cosmo-localism and Urban Commoning 61
  • City Commons and Energy Demand 66
  • It´s Time to Create Chambers of Commons  71
  • Governance  76 
  • Sharing Cities: Governing the City as Commons  77
  • Devolved Commons Governance for Cities 80
  • Anticipatory Governance and the City as a Commons  86
  • A Civic Union  90
  • Land  96 
  • Tax Reform for a Commons-based City 97
  • Tax Delinquent Private Property and City Commons  102
  • Community Land Trusts 10 
  • The City as a Regional Commons  109 
  • Knowledge  113 
  • Open Data and City Commons  114 
  • Human Service Directory Data as a Commons  116
  • The Unseen City: Commons Oriented Cities and the Commons Beyond  120 
  • Culture  124 
  • Culture as Commons  125
  • Ubuntu as a Primer for City Commons  128
  • Cultural Intelligence (CQ) and the City as Commons 131
  • Accounts 137  
  • Bologna Celebrates One Year of a Bold Experiment in Urban Commoning  138 
  • Milano, New Practices to Booster Social Innovation  142
  • The Emergence of Assemblies of the Commons 144
  • History and Evolution of the Chamber of Commons Idea 150 
  • Big Blue Sky: Re-igniting the Art of Citizenship  160
  • Zaragoza Activa, an Ecosystem of Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation and Creativity 163
  • Authors A-Z  166

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