Article: Actors of Urban Change from an Urban Commons Perspective

Dellenbaugh, Mary & Martin Schwegmann. 2017. “Actors of Urban Change from an Urban Commons Perspective” in Actors of Urban Change: Urban Commons, Urban Change Talk Newspaper Issue 03.

If we assume that we all have a right to our cities, that means a right to access its spaces and use resources such as facilities for education, health, recreation, cultural exchange, and democratic participation, then it is important to develop a culture and way of governing these resources collectively. In order to develop cities more sustainably and meet the enormous challenges that we will face in the coming years, all the players in this scene must undergo significant changes. State mechanisms and institutions need to be adapted to the changing landscape of socio-economic dynamics. Markets need to be carefully put in place to unfold constructive potential. At the same time, we need concepts and ideas about how people outside the state and the market, i.e. the civil society, can work collaboratively to shape their environment. How can we develop sustainable and meaningful lifestyles that provide access to immediate and transcendent human needs, and which, in the end, also allow us to maintain pluralistic and cohesive societies? One concept has emerged as a possible answer to this question: commons. In this article, we look into the concept of commons, and specifically urban commons, both from a more theoretical point of view and as a recently rediscovered form of collective resource use.

Download the article here: Actors of Urban Change from an Urban Commons Perspective

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