The Nidiaci Garden of Florence, an Oasis of Commoning in a Busy City

By David Bollier, David Bollier blog

The beautiful city of Florence, Italy, is nearly overwhelmed by throngs of tourists much of the year, which leads one to wonder:  How can residents live and enjoy the city for themselves? One fascinating answer can be seen in the lovely Nidiaci garden and park. It is a commons dedicated to children that is managed by the residents of the diverse Oltrarno neighborhood and the San Frediano district. The City still legally owns the land, but it has more or less ceded management of the garden to residents who demanded the right to common. The Nidiaci garden lies behind the apse of the Carmine church, an historic site of the Renaissance.  It is an area with lots of tourism, nightlife and gentrification. When I visited the garden recently, mothers were playing with their toddlers and six-year-olds were playing on swings and racing about: the usual playground stuff. But what makes...

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