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.
It is also part of a process of experimentation. Many of the ideas are new: urban collaborative governance, sharing cities, platform cooperativism, open money, the new political contract between citizens and the state, and so on. Therefore, you the reader are in a special position. Urban commoning is not a finished book, completed and to be followed like a recipe. It is a book with only the first chapter half written. You and urban commons advocates are in a place to propose new innovations and formulations. You the readers should go through each of the proposals with scrutiny and discernment. You may agree with some proposals and disagree with others. If you have suggestions for improvements for any work, let the author(s) know, or write and develop your own versions. (All the authors emails and contact information is in the biography section at the very end of this reader.)
Therefore, in this experiment in pathmaking, you the reader, as advocate, policy maker, social innovator, social entrepreneur, community development worker, writer/scholar, and citizen, play a fundamental role in this journey. It is through you that an urban commons will be created in different cities around the world. It is through you that many of these ideas and proposals will be tested, adopted, discarded or refined. It is through you that urban commoning will transition from embryonic social practices into mature and powerful approaches that can reshape our cities.