Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy in Washington DC hosts the main US-based research center focusing on the management of urban commons. Under the direction of Professor Sheila Foster and in partnership with the original LabGov Italy, LabGov Georgetown is a living, experimental laboratory aimed at implementing and refining the Co-City Methodology. It co-runs the LabGov Co-Cities Project, an international research project that, by mapping and collecting data from local experiments involved in shared resource governance all around the world, aims to develop a prototype of an institutionalized process through which the city can be managed as a commons. The interdisciplinary and internationally-focused laboratory of co-governance gathers scholars and practitioners interested in broadening our understanding of the urban commons and testing cutting-edge “commoning” projects.
On the US field, LabGov Georgetown is working on a series of projects:
The Harlem E-Project (NYC)
Known as A Novel Architecture for Secure Energy Efficient Community-Edge-Clouds with Application in Harlem (SEEC Harlem), the Harlem project brings together residents and public/private local stakeholders in a co-design process with the main goal of ensuring fast access to high quality digital resources, including broadband internet, so as to close the digital divide experienced by urban communities in Harlem. In addition to a community-owned edge cloud infrastructure, the project will develop low cost KVM (Keyboard, Video, and Mouse) systems to be used by different community members for testing and improving the system’s usability.
NYCx Co-Lab Project (NYC)
Directed by LabGov’s collaborator Jose Serrano-McClain of the NYC Office of Technology and Innovation, the NYCx Co-Lab Project is a pioneering municipal program working towards the transformation of urban spaces into hubs for tech research, testing and development of smart solutions to real-world problems.
Civic Imagination: The Urban Commons (NYC)
This new course offered at the New School’s University Transdisciplinary Graduate Lab investigates the urban commons. Originating from a collaboration between its two instructors, Professors Eduardo Staszowski and Nidhi Srinivas of the New School’s Transdisciplinary Lab, and Sheila Foster and Christian Iaione (Directors of LabGov Georgetown and LabGov Italy), this class enables students and faculty to apply an interdisciplinary lens to study Design, Management, Architecture, Organizational Change, Urban Planning, and Public Policy. The Urban Design Lab brought together academics, policy makers, and politicians who partnered up to document and re-shape interactions in the urban commons located around 14th St. in Manhattan.
Co-City Baton Rouge (BTR, Louisiana)
LabGov Georgetown and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at NYU (Marron) have partnered with Build Baton Rouge (BBR) to develop the Co-City Baton Rouge Project, which applies the Co-City methodology to the Plank Road Corridor of Baton Rouge in order to bring about an economic revitalization of the area. Co-City Baton Rouge is creating and implementing innovative institutions to transform the Plank Road Corridor into a community of opportunity. By focusing on neighborhood scale governance innovation, the outcome of the project is centered on the needs and interests of the Corridor’s residents.