The LABoratory for the GOVernance of the City as a 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
Presentazione progetto #100Celle Smart Home
On Friday, September 22nd, the presentation of the Project “#100celle Smart Home” will take place at Fusolab 2.0 (Viale della Bella Villa), from 6.00 PM. The event will be held as follows: Presentation of the Project “#100celle Smart Home”; Question time; Collection of individual statements. The project aims at reducing final electrical and thermal energy consumption of domestic consumers, through a growth path towards energy awareness. In order to achieve these goals, the development of a replicable model of Smart Home has been proposed, being able to monitor energy consumption as well as the degree of comfort and security in residential buildings that is going to be sent to a higher level ICT platform. Analysis and aggregation activities will provide a series of feedback to the single user and the community. In this regard, it is planned to install wireless sensors and actuators kit on a number of houses, managed by the Energy Box, a hardware device connected to the network for the transmission of data collected on the ICT platform , i.e. Aggregator. The Smart Home Network system will provide the following services to end users: consumption information and benchmarking analysis; feedback on user behavior; diagnostics and alarms in case […]
The civic buy-back of the Commons
The Italian scene of activism for the commons increasingly often sees local communities getting organized and starting real estate negotiations with public or private owners to transfer the property of important pieces of real estate in communities’ hands. A recent post on this blog presented the case of the Innesto Community Coop in Val Cavallina, Lombardia. The community coop launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy back from a public authority “La Casa del Pescatore”. This is considered a critical facility for the local community for this is the place where many community activities take place. At the same time this facility is the means through which the micro-economic activities that guarantee the economic sustainability and therefore the social impact produced by the community coop are run. There at least two similar experiences in Italy. They are carried out in Rome by the Co-Roma project and in Milan by Macao. There might be more cases and we would be happy to discuss this kind of commons-based real estate transactions on our blog more and more if our readers know of similar cases. We have seen this happening also abroad in difficult contexts like in New York City with the REIC and in Germany with the Mietzhauser Sindakat. We will focus here on […]
The Rise of Community Land Trust in Europe
Granby Community Land Trust (Credits © Ronnie Hughes) In most European countries long-term housing affordability and neighbourhood revitalisation are emerging as crucial concerns in the current housing political and policy agenda. Local authorities in several European cities have started to recognise the importance of supporting and funding collaborative housing projects as a strategy to meet the unsatisfied demand of social housing accommodation and to reinforce community empowerment. In particular, the Community Land Trust model has started to draw the attention of local and national authorities, for it is capable of both ensuring housing affordability and promoting urban regeneration. As already described in a previous article, Community Land Trust is a membership-based, non-profit organisation chartered to hold and manage land in trust for the benefit of a given community. The main feature of the CLT model is the possibility to realise a split in the ownership of land and improvements. The CLT retains title to the land and permanently removes it from the market, while entering into long-term agreements with prospective low- or moderate-income residents, who become the owners of the improvements. In addition, the existence of a tripartite board of directors, which includes representatives of residents, members of the CLT community, and members […]
A new guidebook for community involvement in heritage management
“Heritage is only relevant, when it is relevant for the people”. The Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC), founded in 1993, gathers 280 cities hosting sites included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Its aims are “to favor the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, to encourage co-operation and the exchange of information and expertise on matters of conservation and management as well as to develop a sense of solidarity among its member cities”. OWHC has 8 Regional Secretariats, besides the General Secretariat in Québec. Since the ever increasing importance of the connection of local communities with cultural heritage, the Northwest Europe and North-America Regional Secretariat, based in Germany, has published the guidebook “Community Involvement in Heritage Management”, in cooperation with the Joint Project European Union / Council of Europe COMUS and EUROCITIES. The guidebook, consisting of a theoretical background and case-studies, provides practical exemples in the following areas: Promotion & valorisation of Urban Heritage, Supporting owners in safeguarding their Urban Heritage, Use of Urban Heritage for community and cultural development, Participative development of actions, management plans, guidelines, policies for Urban Heritage. In order to increase citizens involvement and connection with urban cultural heritage, the guidebook identifies three major objectives: Recognise, […]
Sharing and cooperative practices for local sustainable development: the urban village communities in Seoul. The case of the Sungmisan Village.
In Seoul the village movement is exploding as a form for a sustainable local development and a model for commons-based services for the neighborhood. To solve problems like poverty, imbalance between the poor and the rich and between the rural and the urban, as well as social injustice, social exclusion and marginalization, the Seoul Metropolitan Government bet on the “urban community village”, a community-driven form of development, and created the Village Community Movement (VCM) and the Seoul Community Support Centre (SCSC) to provide important initiatives on alternative ways to promote sustainable development, not only in economic and environmental terms, but overall in social and relational terms. The village is considered by the government a new framework for rebuilding the entire country and the VCM and the SCSC are the tool used to develop local capacity through citizen participation (Park, 2013). Stressing the autonomous decision making and the strength of local networks they seek to facilitate community participation. They can be considered a form of community building based on participatory, bottom-up and multi-sector approaches that aim to involve local people to solve common problems using a system of interaction and interrelation that fuels the social life (Wolfram, 2017). The belief that […]
A Call for best policies and practices by EUCANET
EUCANET, the European Agencies Network for citizenship, inclusion, involvement and empowerment of communities through the urban transformation process, is launching a call for best policies and practices. EUCANET is co-founded by the Europe for Citizens Programme and it involves five partners from four countries: Urban Center Metropolitano Torino and Urban Center Bologna from Italy, City of Marseille from France, city of Skopje from Macedonia and Cluj Metropolitan Area Intercommunity Development Association from Romania. In this first phase the EUCANET partnership is starting with an exploration of the ongoing projects, experiences, practices and/or policies related to citizenship, inclusion, involvement and empowerment of communities through the urban transformation process. This Call for best policies and practices is open to all the local authorities, institutions, profit and no-profit organizations located in a EU Member State, that are interested in showing and sharing their experiences on the urban field. The results of this outreach will be published on EUCANET project website. Furthermore a selection of the best policies and practices will have the chance to be published on the second EUCANET E-Book. The submission deadline is fixed on 30 September 2017. The very interesting feature of this call is that it’s focused on policies, instead […]
Towards the transportation reform: a chance for a more integrated and sustainable urban mobility system?
The advent of online platforms and new technologies is breaking down traditional axes of both social interaction and commercial power, shifting the structure of traditional services. The platform revolution is radically transforming an array of many sectors, like transportation, accommodations and personal services. It can be considered as a pervasive innovation, which facilitates direct interactions between users and gives rise to the emergence of different needs related to data- driven trends. Services provided are often more convenient – because of the lower costs – and flexible than traditional ones. An emblematic example falls, as well, in the field of transportation. The technical feasibility provides innovative solutions to the challenges of life, especially in crowded urban areas. Thanks to GPS-based navigation combined with real-time traffic information and mobile platforms, individuals are able to optimize their routing and schedule choices. In addiction, new methods of payment are changing the collection of user fees too. Sharing economy firms, therefore, represent a reaction against the frictions of urban life exploiting such exacerbation, in order to fulfill demand for appropriate services. Furthermore, technological progress has led the development of apps for taxi service (such as MyTaxi), but it has also allowed to flourish a […]
In Poland the 4th International Conference on Urban and Regional Economics
The conference “Contemporary Urban Policy – European Perspective” will take place at the University of Economics in Katowice, 12-13 October 2017, thanks to the organization of the Department of Spatial and Environmental Economics. The focus will be on urban policy, urban governance and collaborative planning. The meeting will bring together academics, policymakers and practitioners to better understand the ideas of participatory approach to urban development and discuss new concepts such as urban commons, cooperative cities and sharing cities. The meeting will be also an opportunity to integrate academics and discuss future research projects in the field of urban and regional studies. There are 7 conference themes to which researchers interested in exchanging ideas and results on urban studies are invited to participate: Urban policy – theory and practice Collaborative planning in cities Urban and metropolitan governance Urban Commons and city as a commons Sharing economy, circular economy, and urban development Urban regeneration strategies, tools, and projects Urban laboratories and experimental economics in urban studies The call for paper will be open until August 30 to collect abstract on these themes. To submit an abstract it is possible to use the conference website: www.ue.katowice.pl/ure. All reviewed and accepted papers will be […]
Omnia Sunt Communia
Omnia Sunt Communia. On the Commons and the Transformation to Postcapitalism is a new book written by Massimo De Angelis, a professor of political economy at the University of East London and founder and editor of the web journal The Commoner. The expression “omnia sunt communia” means “all things in common” and is a Latin expression, taken by the Bible. The quote is attributed to German rebel leader Thomas Müntzer during the massive peasant revolt of central Europe beginning in 1526. The slogan (and the book) calls for new ways of constituting human societies where enclosure, imprisonment, slavery, and war are no longer the means of production and reproduction. In his book, Massimo De Angelis falls within the framework of rethinking capitalism, a field where Paul Mason and his “PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future” play a crucial role if only out of the term “postcapitalism” that indicates the movement in charge of “creating something more dynamic that exists, at first, almost unseen within the old system, but which will break through, reshaping the economy around new values and behaviours”. So, in one of the worst crisis in the history of capitalism that is primarily economic and social but also […]
A crowdfunding campaign for the acquisition of the Casa del Pescatore “Bene Comune”
Credits: picture from http://www.innesto.org On the sides of the Endine Lake there is a real estate called “la Casa del Pescatore”, one of the access points to the Cavallina Valley providing services to tourists wanting to visit the area. The Casa has been managed for 16 years by a social cooperative, L’Innesto, on behalf of the Mountain Community of Laghi Bergamaschi: since 2001 the Cooperative has been offering the possibility of enjoying the lake in a sustainable way, and has participated to the local development practices and to the touristic acceptance in the area. On June 21st, 2017 the Province of Bergamo communicated to the social cooperative L’Innesto the publication of an alienation announcement referred to the Casa del Pescatore. The local government has offered to the cooperative the right of first refusal (to be exercised within August, 19th) at the entry price of 865K euros. The Innesto cooperative is of course well interested to the civic acquisition of this common good, in order to be able to carry on with the activities through all these years have allowed a sustainable fruition of the lake by the valley community and its hosts. The cooperative’s own financial sources, however, do not allow the accomplishment of the process of acquisition as prescribed […]