Komunal Urbanism Social Charter
From the Pulska Grupa, a group of architects and urban planner from Pula, Croatia, who are quite focused on the commons
DECLARATION OF KOMUNAL
We imagine city is a collective space which belongs to all those who live in it, who have the right to find there the conditions for their political, social, economic and ecological fulfillment at the same time assuming duties of solidarity. This concept of the city is blocked by capitalist dialectic based on difference in public and private good. From these two poles State and Market emerge as the only two subjects. We want to escape this dialectic, not to focus on eventual "third subject", but on a group of collective subjectivities and the common that they produce. We understand common as non material value produced through differences, communications and social experience. Only if these common values manage to escape being captured by the capitalist public-private dialectic they keep their non material value open and they have potential to become productive, to become a mean of production.
We call Komunal the land where common value transfers from non material to material value. This common territory exists outside current forms of city exploitations based on property and land speculation. It bases its general values in the field of access, use, activity or care. Word Komunal was traditionally used for natural resources which were managed by self-organized users. This kind of space managing is more and more frequent in abandoned spaces in the city where different autonomous zones are emerging. Although these zone exist today on the social margin we consider them a potential places for appearance of new utopias.
Komunal, common territory, autonomous zone, place of new utopias could be developed into a new concept of the city guided by 4 principles:
1) RIGHT TO MOBILITY: Communication, in any possible sense is the basic mean of contemporary production. Precondition for equal communication possibilities is free Mobility. Cities should become places of social mobility instead of places of gated communities and ghettos. Countries should become territories of global mobility and possibilities instead of divided territories secured with borders. All persons have equal right to access potential benefits that city offers. Right to mobility is not merely a right to access what already exists in the city, but a right to occupy and use space, and create new spaces. Only when this is achieved we can start planning our spaces as autonomous points connected into free global network.
2) FLEXIBILITY OF ORGANIZING: Current flexible working conditions didn't create more freedom, but on the contrary - more uncertainty and precarity. This happened because flexibility wasn't introduced in other social relations so the institutions remained bureaucratized as before. Spaces which practice flexible activity and use in cities are currently mostly criminalized because they don't follow official administrative urbanism which is based on long term projections. Recognitions of these flexible activities could become the first step in building freedom from todays urbanism. This could be a start of the process where full participation in planning would become possible.
3) RE-APPROPRIATION OF TOOLS: Territories in which we live are combined out of three different layers - layer of physical space, layer of social networks and layer of information flows. Some of the tools for producing in these spheres are already re-appropriated but to develop territories according to our own way of life we need to re-appropriate tools of production in all three spheres simultaneously. This means re-appropriating the tools for constructing our own physical space so that we can develop self-construction, re-appropriating the tools for constructing our own social networks so that we can develop self-organization, and re-appropriating the tools to maintain open source communication, so that we can develop self-valorization.
4) CITY OF MANY ECOLOGIES: Basic thesis of ecology is that more diverse the system is, more stable it is. This thesis can extend to other spheres which are not considered as part of ecology yet - mental ecology can express human subjectivities, social ecology can build new social relations, environmental ecology can develop diverse form of life, ecology of knowledge can avoid ignorance, ecology of temporality can introduce different conceptions of time, ecology of recognition can overcome social classification, ecology of trans-scales can connect local and global scales, ecology of productivities can lead to recognitions of many different forms of production which are already visible today,...
Komunal, imagined like this, doesn’t have a form but a matrix, founded on common set of values. We want to implement these values in existing cities where we live and act, but also on new territories, new settlements and new places. We hope that, by doing this, we will manage to exit current capitalist blocking of social development. (http://cartografiaciudadana.net/index.php/Pula)