Alternatives to Housing Through Urban Commoning

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* Article: Housing Commons: Alternatives to Housing Through Urban Commoning. By Paschalis ArvanitidisZacharias Valiantzas. Sens Public, 2024.



"Our research has gone through a wide range of initiatives and organizational forms in the production of “common” built space, referred to as housing commons all over the globe. In our analysis we define a housing resource as a commons, based on the aspects and degrees of self-organization and de-commodification, but we also lay down a framework for understanding and analyzing housing commons as a social institution of alternative housing provision. We state that Lefebvre’s concept of right to the city is then expanded in the use-values and re-appropriation of spaces of everyday life in the cities, including housing and re-using of empty spaces through practices of urban commoning and the active role that urban actors (neighborhood and citizen initiatives, urban movements) play.

3With this paper we aim to clarify the nuances in the housing commoning nexus and view the housing commons ideals as a capable alternative in providing adequate housing and living in present times. These are seen as an institution of alternative housing provision, organized by a solid community of housing commoners, unified by the values of solidarity and the practice of de-commodification and self-organization. The theoretical framework of the right to the city through urban commoning helps us reflect the everyday actions of urban and housing commoners in a wider scale, where there can be a possible acceptance for the need towards a society for productive use of (idle) housing resources and adequate living conditions for urban dwellers."