Completed Project: The Berlin Urban Commons Series (2016-2017)

As part of our continuing work on urban commons, the Urban Research Group has developed an event series for 2016 & 2017. If you want to keep on the ball about our current events, please follow our facebook page.

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The Urban Research Group celebrates their book launch, June 2015. From left to right: Martin Schwegmann, Mary Dellenbaugh-Losse, Majken Bieniok, Agnes Müller & Markus Kip.

 

Goal of the Berlin Urban Commons Series

The Urban Research Group is pleased to present a continuation of their work about urban commons in the form of an event series, which will take place from October 2016 to December 2017 in Berlin. Topics addressed in the first round of events include urban citizenship, Bologna as a testing ground for commons in everyday life, the New Urban Agenda (Habitat III), urban mindfulness, place-making, and the touristification of urban commons. The events are open to the public and will be held in German and English. The series will be accompanied by a public relations strategy, with the goal of building a trans-sectoral Urban Commons Network made up of activists, practitioners, researchers and other interested parties. Finally, a practical, handbook-style publication in English will round off this cycle of events. A book release party is planned for  Summer 2018. A further round of events is planned.

 

Background

In 2013, the Urban Research Group organized a conference entitled “Urban Commons: Moving beyond State and Market,” publishing a collected work of the same name with selected works from the conference two years later. The collected volume appeared in the Bauwelt Fundamente series from the Birkhäuser publishing house. At the time of the conference, urban commons was a fairly new and undertheorized topic; the theoretical and practical contributions in the conference and collected work played an important role in closing this gap, as sales and citations of the book show.

Since 2013, urban commons has increasingly been the topic of discussions of both an academic and practical nature. These discussions form a promising backdrop for work across disciplines, between theory and practice, and between lived realities and academic research. The current spectrum of events and publications about this topic make it clear that new forms and concepts are needed with regard to economic activity, coexistence, and cooperation in cities. How will spaces be appropriated in the future? Which forms of participation are possible? How will resources be used and shared among a diverse range of users and groups? The discussions about urban commons present a fruitful starting point for working on these and other questions.

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