City as Commons
= conference, and book (subtitle)
* Book: Common Space. The City as Commons. STAVROS STAVRIDES. University of Chicagro / Zed Books, 2016
"How often do we consider the availability of shared, public space in our daily lives? Governmental efforts in place—such as anti-homeless spikes, slanted bus benches, and timed sprinklers—are all designed to discourage use of already severely limited public areas. How we interact with space in a modern context, particularly in urban settings, can feel increasingly governed and blocked off from common everyday encounters.
With Common Space, activist and architect Stavros Stavrides calls for a reconceiving of public and private space in the modern age. Stavrides appeals for a new understanding of common space not only as something that can be governed and open to all, but as an essential aspect of our world that expresses, encourages, and exemplifies new forms of social relations and shared experiences. He shows how these spaces are created, through a fascinating global examination of social housing, self-built urban settlements, street peddlers, and public art and graffiti. The first book to explicitly tackle the notion of the city as commons, Common Space, offers an insightful study into the links between space and social relations, revealing the hidden emancipatory potential within our urban worlds."
‘Stavrides was one of the first to open my eyes to the importance of the urban commons. His writings are exciting, a valuable reference for urban activists around the world. He is right: the city is the place where we can and should truly reinvent the commons.’
– Lieven De Cauter, co-editor of Art and Activism in the Age of Globalization 
= conference in Bologna, November 6 and 7, 2015
"Inspired by the recently implemented Bologna Regulation on Collaboration for the Care and Regeneration of the Urban Commons, as well as by other commons-based experiments in cities around Italy by the LabGov project (e.g. Co-Mantova, Co-Battipaglia and Co-Palermo), the 1st IASC Thematic Conference on the Urban Commons will bring together leading scholars, researchers, policymakers, practitioners and social innovators to take stock of the developments in the interdisciplinary study of the urban commons and related questions of urban governance. Although the urban commons has increasingly appeared as a topic of scholarly inquiry, there has yet to be sustained attention to the research questions, methodologies, and disciplinary approaches necessary to more fully conceptualize and develop the idea of the “urban commons” and the new challenges and facets it introduces into the ongoing study of the commons in diverse fields. The conference will seek to better understand the idea of urban commons at different scales, under what circumstances and contexts urban commons emerge, what contributes to their durability and effectiveness, and what undermines them. The conference will stress the importance of an “urban commons narrative” for urban infrastructure, urban welfare, and urban development. Additionally, the conference will focus on questions of urban governance and will explore different frameworks for governing common urban resources, and the city, in a collaborative manner."