The LABoratory for the GOVernance of the Commons (“LabGov“) is a place of experimentation in all respects. However, instead of alembics and tubes you can find students, scholars, experts, entrepreneurs, policymakers, activists discussing, imagining, practicing the future shapes that social, economic, democratic and legal institutions may take.
The Commons Post
An Informal Settlement as a Community Land Trust. The case of San Juan, Puerto Rico
Photograph Line AlgoedLabGov has already talked about CLT (here and here) but this time is different. Fideicomiso de la Tierra, the name of the CLT that we examine today, is the first Informal Settlement Community Land Trust in the world. Created in a participatory way by government, residents and technical professionals, it was born with the purpose to preserve and develop informal communities along the Martín Peña Canal, a polluted canal around which a community of nearly 30,000 people lives – San Juan is in fact the most densely populated area in Puerto Rico The CLT today works to solve land title problems in the Martin Peña Canal District, to avoid involuntary displacement of residents, to acquire and maintain properties for the community’s benefit and to facilitate residents’ involvement. It follows some precise guiding principles, such as the promotion of the residents’ participation in decision-making, the encouragement of equality, safety and access to basic services and the improvement of public spaces and transportation. The main goal remains the housing development and affordability, and for this reason the CLT cannot resell the land and it can only sell or rent housing for the members’ benefit. The CLT is an active actor in […]
Tech for All in Detroit: Grand Circus’ Work to Open up the Job Market
Can everyone be a private driver? The opinion of the EU Advocate General Szpunar.
Last May Advocate General Szpunar gave his first opinion about the right qualification of the service provided by Uber. Uber is a peer-to-peer mobile ride-sharing platform which has received tremendous attention in recent years. Anyone having a smartphone equipped with the Uber application (i.e. the App) can get a ride in the cities where the App takes place. Thanks to GPS technologies, the App recognises the location of the user, then finds available drivers who are nearby. It notifies the acceptance to the user and displays the driver’s profile. It also estimates the price of the ride, according to the destination of the user, automatically charged to the bank card which the user is required to enter when signing up. In order to improve the service, the App has a ratings function too, both for drivers and passengers. Uber has launched many services during the time, but the service going by the name UberPop is the one that has raised the most heated debates. This App allows nonprofessional private drivers to transport passengers using their own vehicles, arising concerns in many European countries where licenses or authorisation are required. In 2014, indeed, a professional organisation representing taxi drivers in the […]
Commons Matter: IASC Conference – Utrecht, July 2017
Official Event Video by Utrecht University to present the 2017 IASC Conference taking place in Utrecht. The global XVI Biennial Conference, ‘Practicing the commons: Self-governance, cooperation, and institutional change’ of The International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) is taking place this week in the historical city centre of Utrecht, from the 10th to the 14th of July, 2017. The conference represents a very important opportunity for the consolidation of the study of the commons, bringing together scholars, young researchers, public and private actors, and professionals from all over the world, who will learn, exchange ideas, and debate on innovative practices of management and governance of the commons. Engaged in the achievement of the social and institutional regeneration of the commons, LabGov is doing research on innovative governance models and it will participate in the 2017 IASC Conference in Utrecht. Elena De Nictolis (LUISS University) together with the co-founders of LabGov, Christian Iaione (LUISS University) and Sheila Foster (Georgetown University) will present the “1st Co-Cities report on Urban (Commons) Transitions”, introducing the work that LabGov has carried on and sharing their experiences acquired on the field through the design of regulatory frameworks like the Bologna Regulation on Civic […]
The Mondeggi Bene Comune Initiative
Fighting to regain access of abandoned public lands, the Mondeggi Bene Comune initiative was born in 2013, out of the Florence Committee for Land as a Common Good (Terra bene Comune Firenze) in order to defend the principles of commoning on agricultural lands on the specific site of the Mondeggi farm, a 200 hectares territory situated in the Florence metropolitan region. Ever since 2013, Mondeggi Bene Comune gathers a diverse network of organic producers, farmers, professors, architects, students and active citizens who want to oppose the selling out of public heritage in favor of private investors, and propose an alternative, participatory community management of these abandoned spaces, one that recognizes the value of such lands as common goods, and one that ensures complete openness and participation by the community. The initiative is continuing its fight to be recognized by the institutions as a worthy and beneficial example of civic management of common resources, and block the ratification of the notice of sale. Mondeggi Bene Comune has the potential to foster a democratic dialogue between public institutions and active citizens, as long as it develops a framework for a participatory and open community management of common resources. In order to mobilize […]
Good Practice in Genoa: a step forward the experimentation of sharing economy
Last June 9th 2017 the City of Genoa freely undersigned an agreement on the Tourists Tax with Airbnb Ireland, the famous platform that connects people having extra space to rent (i.e. Hosts) with people (i.e. Guests) who need it for a short-term accommodation (i.e. Listing). The agreement introduces a participatory model for the management of resources coming from the tax. This experience makes Genoa an unique example in Italy of effective collaboration and dialogue with a platform, promoted in absence of any statutory requirement. This policy has been recognized as a “Good Practice” by the European program Urbact: namely, it has been the only one selected among 270 projects coming from 219 cities of 29 European Countries. Genoa represents a pioneering model for the other European cities in terms of sustainable urban development in the tourist sector, one of the main source of income for the whole Region. It is currently managing – as the Lead partner – the “Interactive Cities” network, which explores the impact of digital tools on governance, and the way digital, social media and user generated content can improve it. In this perspective, the agreement itself may be considered the last step of a longer participatory […]
Cultural heritage as a commons, a new call by MIUR
A new call for projects connecting cultural heritage and society has been launched by MIUR, the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research, within the European Structural Funds framework, more precisely within the National Operational Programme “Education” 2014-2020: “Avviso pubblico per il potenziamento dell’educazione al patrimonio culturale, artistico e paesaggistico”. 80 millions € are being made available by the Ministry in order to enhance and foster the education in cultural heritage among students of both primary and secondary schools, in order to raise awareness about its value as a common good and its potential in developing democracy. Education and dissemination activities turn out to be crucial to promote a better understanding of the relationship between cultural heritage and local communities. To highlight the importance of this purpose, also in the view of the European Year of Cultural Heritage of 2018, the Ministry refers to the UN Human Rights Declaration of 1948, and namely to its article 27: “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”. And, of course, to the Faro Convention of 2005, Council of Europe Framework Convention on the […]
Perugia Summer School 2017
The University of Perugia’s Department of Law is hosting the 2017 Summer School, from June 28th to July 1st. The school is organized by the PHD Program in Legal Science, coordinated by the Director Prof. Tamara Pitch and with the scientific supervision of Prof. Maria Rosaria Marella. The program is entirely focused on the theme of inequalities, which will be approached by scholars and researches from a variety of diverse point of view: from the equality of distribution to human rights, from environmental justice to criminal law. Prof. Christian Iaione, LabGov’s co-founder, is going to attend the Summer School with a lecture on Social Inequalities and urban segregation, on June 29th at 5.30 PM. The full program of the Summer School is available at this link. Dal 28 giugno al 1 luglio l’Università di Perugia ospiterà la 2017 Summer School, organizzata dal PHD Program in Legal Science, a tema inequalities. Il programma completo è disponibile a questo link.
4IWSE – The 4th International Workshop on the Sharing Economy took place in Lund
June 15th and 16th 2017 the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) of the Lund University (Sweden) hosted the 4th International Workshop on the Sharing Economy. A great venue for the European network of researchers working on the topic of the collaborative and sharing economy. In two days 95 participants attended the workshop, organized in 10 multidisciplinary sessions, 3 very valuable keynotes speeches, 1 academic discussion and 1 stakeholders debate. The workshop was opened by professor Oksana Mont of the Lund University who welcomed the participants and introduced the first keynote speaker: professor Julian Agyeman of the TUFTS University (Medford-Boston, MA) author, with Duncan McLaren, of the book “Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities”. Agyeman started from the concept of just sustainability – to explain how the reinvention and the revival of sharing in our cities could enhance equity, rebuild community and cut resource use; and he presented the “sharing paradigm” proposed in the book: a paradigm which recognizes the shift from socio-cultural sharing practices to (inter)mediated ones as the central transition in contemporary cities, and also highlights a second spectrum from communal/intrinsic to commercial/extrinsic models. The book in fact explores more cultural then commercial, […]
Can Wi-Fi Community save the world?
In today’s connected world, access to the internet should be an essential service, like water or electricity. And just like water and electricity, it should be available to everyone, regardless of circumstance. Building entirely new networks, cities, supported by internet service providers and mobile carriers is good but it would be better if you are able to leverage already existing networks, like all the private residential Wi-Fi networks that are already spread throughout the city. Imagine turning every home currently connected to the internet into a mini Wi-Fi hotspot serving the public, so that anytime a subscriber walked past a participating home network their phones would automatically connect to that Wi-Fi network, thereby lessening their own data charges and significantly reducing the strain on mobile carrier networks. All this is made possible by home subscribers giving up a small, likely unused, percentage of their Wi-Fi to make it available for public use. This kind of initiative started a couple of years ago in Spain, where Martin Varsavsky founded a company (Fon) with the mission of blanketing the world with Wi-Fi. Now Fon is an international company, supported by some of the world’s most important telcos (Google, Microsoft, British Telecom and […]