The Co-City: Sharing, Collaborating, Cooperating, Commoning in the City
American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 75, No. 2 (March, 2016), p. 415.
44 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2015 Last revised: 17 Aug 2017
Date Written: December 22, 2015
The main purpose of this paper is to investigate if urban assets and resources or the city as a whole can be transformed into collaborative, cooperative, commoning institutional ecosystems that enable collective action for the commons. The new goal of public administrations, cooperatives, and even private ventures is and will increasingly be to create value with, not for, the entire community. A shift from closed, centralized public or private institutions or organizations towards co-owned, co-managed and co-producing institutions to govern, use, manage a certain urban resource as a commons, so that the community as a whole can catch the value. After a brief introduction of the theoretical framework, I propose five design principles of a “commons-based urban governance matrix,” and a methodological process to design such urban governance schemes. In the conclusion, I draw up a research agenda for future studies on commons-based urban governance.
The analytical framework in this paper relies on some crucial elements that are often lacking in the implementation of an urban governance scheme: organizational innovations inside the City administrative structures, a communication plan with a democratic digital platform as the central tool, and a bridging institution that works in order to spread commoning culture and practice. Finally, the need to rethink the role of cognitive institutions like schools and universities and policy makers is evident. Instead of acting like authorities or suppliers of expert knowledge, they should behave as facilitators, a role that is more in line with the urban governance scheme designed here.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation