Urban Public Spaces as Commons

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* Article: CHALLENGE OF NEW COMMONS – URBAN PUBLIC SPACES . Veronika Poklembovái, Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravskáii, Maroš Finkaiii.

URL = http://biogov.uclouvain.be/iasc/doc/full%20papers/Poklembova.pdf


"New commons are shared resources that have recently evolved or have been recognized as commons (Hess 2008). Urban commons, in this case urban public spaces, can be also put into this category. Urban public spaces are important parts of urban environment creating the framework for public life. There are many types of public spaces with different functions attracting various users. They often have contradicting requirements, but certain use level balancing between the two extremes of abandoned and overcrowded spaces is inevitable (Neuts 2011).

The question that raises here is – how to manage urban spaces sustainably and to preserve their quality in long term? Quality is related to the unique conditions of each space and so it is a result of search for its optimal use and design during the planning phase and represents a challenge for the management processes and practices to preserve it. Governing of shared resources involves making not simple decisions under uncertainty, in very complex and conflicting environments and contexts, but there are numerous examples of effective management of commons, mostly the traditional ones. Ostrom and her colleagues have identified a set of design principles associated with robust institutions that have successfully governed shared resources for generations (Dietz et al. 2002, Ostrom et al. 1999, 2008). But in contrast to traditional commons they do not necessarily apply to all new commons, including urban public spaces (Hess 2008). In this paper we are critically discussing with existing literature and case studies the applicability and relevance of the design principles for urban public spaces as urban commons. " (http://biogov.uclouvain.be/iasc/doc/full%20papers/Poklembova.pdf)