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Governing the Urban Commons

Italian Journal of Public Law, 2015, Vol. 7, Issue 1, p. 170

Second Thematic Conference of the IASC on “Design and Dynamics of Institutions for Collective Action: A Tribute to Prof. Elinor Ostrom”, 29 November-1 December 2012

53 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2015 Last revised: 17 Aug 2017

Christian Iaione

Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi; LUISS LabGov - LABoratory for the GOVernance of the commons

Date Written: November 29, 2012


Where does a person go if she lives in a city, she is not lucky enough to have got a garden and she needs going into a natural environment and taking advantage of all services that a green space can provide as running, reading a book on the lawn and outdoors, breathing on average cleanest air? How can that person enhance her own thirst for social relations and meet new and different people rich in cultures and experiences she has not got? Where can she cultivate her own sense of belonging to a community, increase her identity with her own abilities and passions and take part in her traditions? What are the infrastructure and services that increase the quality of urban life and make people lives' worth to be lived and free to move around? What are the facilities and services that let people share or cultivate lifestyles more consistent with their own individual sensibility and with whoever lives in the same space? From a real estate point of view, what determines the economic or simply aesthetic value of a community? All these questions have a single identical answer: it is the urban commons, and that is urban spaces and services of common interest.

Keywords: urban commons, governance of the commons, local government, Ostrom, urban governance, collaborative governance, polycentric governance, horizontal subsidiarity, citizen engagement, citizen empowerment

Suggested Citation

Iaione, Christian, Governing the Urban Commons (November 29, 2012). Italian Journal of Public Law, 2015, Vol. 7, Issue 1, p. 170. Available at SSRN: or

Christian Iaione (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi ( email )

via Parigi 44

LUISS LabGov - LABoratory for the GOVernance of the commons ( email )

Viale Gorizia 17
Rome, Roma 00198

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