The Co-Cities Open Book

The Co-Cities Open Book

The Co-Cities Open Book is the result of years of research and experimentations on the field to investigate new forms of collaborative city-making that are pushing urban areas towards new frontiers of participatory urban governance, inclusive economic growth and social innovation.

This open book has roots in our conceptualization of the ‘City as a Commons,’ the emerging academic field of urban commons studies, and the work developed in 5 years of remarkable urban experimentations in Italy and around the world. Structured around three main pillars, the Co-Cities open book will first provide scholars, practitioners and policy-makers with an overview of the theory and methodology of the Co-City with the “Co-Cities Protocol”.

The open book also presents the “Co-Cities report”, the results of an extensive research project in which we extracted from, and measured the existence of, Co-City design principles in a database of 400+ case studies in 130+ cities around the world. Ultimately, thanks to the Co-cities report we were able to create the first index able to measure how cities are implementing the right to the city through co-governance. Thus, the Co-Cities index serves as a fundamental tool for the international community in order to measure the implementation of some of the objectives that have been set by the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The last section of the book presents a collection, or annex, of articles of some of the most important researchers and practitioners studying the urban commons. These essays were conceived and offered as part of “The City as a Commons” conference, the first IASC (International Association for the Study of the Commons) conference on urban commons, co-chaired by Christian Iaione and Sheila Foster that took place in Bologna on November 6 and 7, 2015.

Download the Co-Cities Open Book today! 

A Merry Christmas List of Movies on…Cities!

A Merry Christmas List of Movies on…Cities!

LabGov wishes you a wonderful holiday season with a non-exhaustive list of movies and documentaries, old and new, that will make your holidays more entertaining!

The list below does not follow an order and is the result of various consultations with friends and colleagues, if you wish to send us some suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact us on FB or twitter!

1.”News From Home”, Chantal Akerman

#ethnography

 

2. “Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du commerce 1080 Bruxelles”, Chantal Akerman 

#gender

 

 

3. “Battersea Power Station: Selling an icon”

#energy

 

4. “Rush Hour”, Luciana Kaplan 

#transportation

 

5. “H2Omx”, José Cohen and Lorenzo Hagerman

#water

 

6. “Men on the bridge”, Aslı Özge

#workers

 

 

7. “Relatos salvajes”, Damián Szifrón

#resilience

 

8. Cesta ven (the way out), Petr Václav

#urbanexclusion #romapeople

 

9. “Dark Days”, Marc Singer

#homelessness

 

10. “Quand il a fallu partir”, Mehdi Meklat and Badrou

#demolition

https://info.arte.tv/fr/quand-il-fallu-partir

 

11. “Ekumenopolis”, Imre Azem

#urbandevelopment #housing

 

12. “West Beirut”, Ziad Doueiri

#civilwar

 

13. “City of God”, Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund

#informality

 

14. “Lost in Translation”, Sofia Coppola

#Tokyo

 

15. “Roma”, Alfonso Cuarón 

#MexicoCity

 

16. “Le mani sulla città”, Francesco Rosi 

#speculation

 

17. “25th Hour”, Spike Lee

#newyorkcity

 

 

18. “Old Boy”, Park Chan-wook

#scarycities #seoul

 

19. “Taxi Teheran”, Jafar Panahi

#transportation

The Co-Cities Recipe for Just and Inclusive Cities

The Co-Cities Recipe for Just and Inclusive Cities

This week LabGov will be releasing the first section of the Co-Cities Open Book, a publication that is the result of years of research and experimentations on the field to investigate new forms of collaborative city-making that is pushing urban areas towards new frontiers of participatory urban governance, inclusive economic growth and social innovation. .

This open book has roots in our conceptualization of the ‘City as a Commons,’ the emerging academic field of urban commons studies, and the work developed in 5 years of remarkable urban experimentations in Italy and around the world [1]. Structured around three main pillars, the Co-Cities open book will first provide scholars, practitioners and policy-makers with an overview of the theory and methodology of the Co-City with the “Co-Cities Protocol”.

The open book also presents the “Co-Cities report”, the results of an extensive research project in which we extracted from, and measured the existence of, Co-City design principles in a database of 400+ case studies in 130+ cities around the world. Ultimately, thanks to the Co-cities report we were able to create the first index able to measure how cities are implementing the right to the city through co-governance. Thus, the Co-Cities index serves as a fundamental tool for the international community in order to measure the implementation of some of the objectives that have been set by the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

 

The last section of the book presents a collection, or annex, of articles of some of the most important researchers and practitioners studying the urban commons. These essays were conceived and offered as part of “The City as a Commons” conference, the first IASC (International Association for the Study of the Commons) conference on urban commons, co-chaired by Christian Iaione and Sheila Foster that took place in Bologna on November 6 and 7, 2015.

Don’t miss the publications of the Co-Cities Open Book sections on our website and social media pages in the coming weeks. A complete version of the open book, downloadable from our website, will be available at the beginning of January on our website.

 

 

[1] The theoretical background and literature of this project, and the conceptual pillars of the Co-City are based on the analytical framework developed in the following publications: Sheila Foster, The City as an Ecological Space: Social Capital and Urban Land Use, 82 Notre Dame L. Rev. 527 (2006-2007); Sheila Foster, Collective action and the Urban Commons, 58 Notre Dame L. Rev 57; Christian Iaione, Governing the Urban Commons, 1 It. J. pub. l. 170 (2015); Christian Iaione, The CO-city, 75 The American Journal of Economics and sociology, 2 (2016); Sheila Foster & Christian Iaione, The City as a Commons, 34 yale l. & pol’y rev 81 (2016); Christian Iaione, The Law and Policy of Pooling in the city, Fordham Urban Law Journal 34:2 (2016) and Sheila Foster & Christian Iaione, Ostrom in the City: design principles for the urban commons, The Nature of cities, https://www.thenatureofcities.com/2017/08/20/ostrom-city-design-principles-urban-commons/. (20 August 2017).

Amsterdam, a Commons City?!

Amsterdam, a Commons City?!

In imitation of the city of Ghent, Amsterdam has expressed the intention to become a commons city. This happened during the annual Urban Management Conference of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (November 2018).

Stan Majoor, director of the Urban Management programme, was asked to explain the title of the conference ‘The selforganising city: confronting the commons’, since it contains a light critical note. Majoor warned for misuse of the term commons; not all civic initiatives become all of a sudden commoning practices. As a knowledge institution, the AUAS would like to play a role as knowledge partner in this ‘commons movement’ by facilitating, researching, monitoring and being part of commons cases in the city.

To learn from our southern neighboring city Ghent, we had invited Michel Bauwens as key note speaker. He is the author of the Commons Transition Plan of Ghent. In this document he describes the many initiatives in Ghent with a collaborative character and explores how Ghent could become a co-city; which policy changes and instruments are necessary?

The alderman Rutger Groot Wassink (Social work, diversity and democracy for the Green Party) was invited to react on Bauwens’ story. He was very clear from the start: he wants to support the commons in the city of Amsterdam; working together with knowledge institutions and other partners. He understands that you can not create commons as a municipality, but that you should rely on the bottom up initiatives in society. He is willing to facilitate four local commons experiments to learn what a local government should (not) do to strengthen these activities. This new, third way of governance might add new values to the city. Finally he stated that he would like to learn more from Ghent and other European cities.

The lively plenary session ended with many people on stage who subscribe the intention of supporting Amsterdam as a Commons City, among which Municipality Amsterdam, de Waag, Commons Network, Coöpolis en the AUAS.

During the several interactive working sessions the commons practices in Amsterdam were critically discussed. In the session LabGov at Plein 40-45 we played the new unique, Amsterdam made Game of Commons with the 30 participants. An exercise to move from thinking/acting based on individual interests to common interest. After taking into account some small changes, the game will be very suitable to play in different settings with all kinds of stakeholders.

Thanks to this conference the knowledge and discussion about commons and its opportunities have certainly grown in Amsterdam.

For an (Dutch) impression of the conference, watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNa12HSU8uA&feature=youtu.be

Practice what you preach

We do not only talk about commons in Amsterdam. In some neighborhoods it is also already happening. At Plein ’40-’45 in the NorthWest of Amsterdam a group of citizens, (social) entrepreneurs, municipal employees and AUAS teachers, researchers and students are trying to design a new way of collaboration. Two years ago we started here the first LabGov pilot. During the last few months for example each Tuesday morning approximately 30 AUAS students Public Administration gathered in the Town Hall, located at Plein ’40-’45 to work on the project Open Plaza: How to make the lower part of the Town Hall a common place? They have interviewed many people and organisations in the neighborhood and designed new ways of involving the neighborhood in this project.

Local network

Thanks to the successful Urban Management Conference on Urban Commons, AUAS and local partners like the municipality of Amsterdam, De Waag and Commons Network are researching the possibilities of mapping the commons initiatives in the city and setting up a local network of commons practices and stakeholders, where people can ask for support and advise.

European network

Not only at local level the AUAS is trying to ask attention for the governance structure of commoning. Within the U!reka consortium, a European network of six Universities of Applied Sciences (Amsterdam, Ghent, Frankfurt, Oslo, Helsinki, Edinborough) will try to set up a joint programme with as a central theme: ‘Comparative Urban Commons’. In the following years the knowledge institutions will collaborate and exchange information and cases from their home-cities. In some cities ‘co-city’ is still an unknown concept. The research and joint programme will therefore include several stages of collaborative governance and civic participation. This spring AUAS will organise a first co-meeting in Amsterdam with these European colleagues and several Amsterdam commoners.

World Cities Culture Report 2018, openness and inclusivity for urban challenges

World Cities Culture Report 2018, openness and inclusivity for urban challenges

Culture is driving regeneration, creating the jobs of the future and diverting young people from crime. Culture makes us healthier, facilitates civic engagement and gives tourists a reason to visit. It continues to shape the heritage and identity of our cities. In short, culture addresses all the major city challenges we face today – it has moved definitively from niche to mainstream. (…) While there remain serious challenges in all our cities, there has never been a better moment to unlock the potential for culture to transform them. (Justine Simons, p.5)

“How do cities use culture to provide solutions to our contemporary urban challenges?”. This is the question underpinning the World Cities Culture Report, a compendium of the most innovative programmes, policies, key trends and infrastructure projects in culture developed by 35 cities[1] across the world. The Report is the annual document of the World Cities Culture Forum, a collaborative network made up of 38 members from local governments and cultural sector of leading cities around the world, whose activities are delivered by BOP Consulting, on behalf of the Greater London Authority and the members of the Forum. The network was founded in London in 2012 by eight cities (London, New York City, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, Istanbul, Sydney and Johannesburg) convened by the Mayor of London, for the purpose of “advancing the case for culture across all areas of urban policy” and “sharing ideas and knowledge about the role of culture in building sustainable cities”. Beyond the annual Summit and Report, the network provides themed symposia, regional summits, policy workshops, collaborative publications and a Knowledge exchange programme.

Two major trends emerge from the 2018 Report, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies: the “critical role for culture in addressing the inclusion of all citizens and a new definition of how, where and by whom culture is experienced”.

As for the first trend, there seems to be a shared commitment across the cities in increasing participation to “culture for all citizens”, by means of different tools and programmes, recognizing Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community”. The report thus contains some examples of urban practices in access and inclusion, among which the TURN Project in Tokyo, Kulturpass in Vienna, the Agreement to Promote Reading in Milan, Neighbourhood Lives and Memories in Lisbon and many others.

As for the second trend, that is the “opening out of culture”, we assist to a change in both cultural spaces, places and forms and in the approach to support programmes and policies at the urban level. For instance, the Culture Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, the Bronx Creative District in Bogotá, as well as the Opera Camion in Rome, the Cultural Hotspots in Toronto and so on. At the same time, new governance and policy solutions have been envisaged, such as the Cultural Matching Fund in Singapore, the Mayor’s Grant for Cultural Impact in New York, the Citizen participation shaping public art in Paris etc.

By providing “a city profile” containing data (45 indicators), trends and innovative programmes, the Report refers to more than 200 cultural programmes and practices (considered as the most innovative from the responding member cities), classified into 9 different categories:

  • Cultural Diversity and Representation
  • Cultural Access and Inclusion
  • Culture in the Outskirts
  • Citizen-Led Cultural Policies And Programmes
  • Making Space for Culture
  • Culture and Climate Change
  • 21st Century Cultural Infrastructure
  • 21st Century Cultural Event and Formats
  • 21st Century Cultural Governance and Strategy

 

Already in 2017, within the World Cities Culture Summit, the 27 participating cities signed the “Seoul Declaration”, with the following commitment: “To ensure that culture is a golden thread in all aspects of city policy (…); To make culture available to and empowering for all citizens (…); To generate and learn from evidence and research, in pursuit of an enlightened and progressive approach to policy development and implementation; To act as leaders in our field and to continue to collaborate in the face of shared challenges and shared opportunities (…)”.

A shift is ongoing in urban culture-related policy across the world, a valuable phenomenon as demonstrated in the Report, especially in a time where “The resilience of world cities resides in their capacity to envision a different future, one rooted in interdependency that reflects and supports all the people they represent. An open culture builds that capacity” (Richard Naylor, p.17).

 

[1] Amsterdam, Austin, Bogotá, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Chengdu, Dublin, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Lagos, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, Moscow, New York, Oslo, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Seoul, Shenzhen, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna, Warsaw, Zürich