Archive: News Story

  • The Co-City: From the Tragedy to the Comedy of the Urban Commons

    When the ecologist Garret Hardin wrote his much celebrated essay in 1968, “The Tragedy of the Commons”, no one would have imagined that the concept of the commons would apply to the built environment. Yet today, the “urban commons” is increasingly embraced by scholars, activists, citymakers, policymakers, and politicians. These urban commons can include a range of resources in cities—including parks, community gardens, streets, neighborhood infrastructure, vacant lots, and abandoned buildings. The urban commons also include the intangible aspects of city living, such as culture and heritage. Characterizing these resources as urban commons re-imagines the city as a collection of shared resources and its residents as potential collaborators in generating, utilizing, and managing these resources.

    Category: News Story

  • Ostrom in the City: Design Principles for the Urban Commons

    Elinor Ostrom’s groundbreaking research established that it is possible to collaboratively manage common pool resources, or commons, for economic and environmental sustainability. She identified the conditions or principles which increase the likelihood of long-term, collective governance of shared resources. Although these principles have been widely studied and applied to a range of common pool resources, including natural and digital commons, there has not been a serious effort to apply them to the urban commons. Can the Ostrom design principles be applied to cities to rethink the governance of cities and the management of their resources? We think they cannot be simply adapted to the city context without significant modification.

    Category: News Story