The co-city process requires a lot of community-wide discussion and deliberation to come up with solutions, and a frank grappling with the elephants in the room.
Urban commons initiatives are booming in the Belgian city of Ghent, according to a new report. One of the researchers behind the study, Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation, says that “the ecosystem of commons-based initiatives in Ghent is quite exemplary precisely because it covers an ecosystem in an area that requires a lot of capital and has to overcome a lot of commons-antagonistic regulation.” So against the odds, approximately 500 urban commons projects have sprung up in the last decade.
The NEST experiment in Ghent confirms the relevance of digital commons for the urban commons. It illustrates that the key sequence is from practice to theory, not the other way around. It shows how creative spaces can be found between actors with views which are often claimed to be contradictory (non-profit versus private sector, commons versus authorities).
On a visit to Barcelona last week, I learned a great deal about the City’s pioneering role in developing “the city as a commons.”
Can we envision some sort of transnational polity that could leapfrog over the poorly functioning state systems that prevail today?
The disaster with Flint, Michigan’s drinking water, incited by political leaders more devoted to fiscal austerity than the common good, illuminates why it’s important to think of our cities as commons–human creations that belong to all residents, not just the wealthy and politically well-connected.
Anarchist anthropologist David Graeber argues in his recent book, The Utopia of Rules, that bureaucracy is the standard mechanism in contemporary life for coercing people to comply with the top-down priorities of institutions, especially corporations and government.
In cities and on the Web, distinctive shared spaces attract private capital, which erodes the very qualities that make them unique