Funding an Economy of Civic Spaces in the Cooperative City through Community Finance

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* Book: Funding the Cooperative City: Community Finance and the Economy of Civic Spaces. Edited by Daniela Patti & Levente Polyák (Eutropian Research and Action), July 2017


explores experiments in community-led urban development in European cities ; focuses on the post-welfare transition of today’s European societies


"Funding the Cooperative City explores experiments in community-led urban development in European cities. This book is based on a series of workshops (Rotterdam, Berlin and Paris in 2014; Budapest, Madrid, Rome, Rotterdam, Bratislava, Prague and Warsaw in 2016), site visits, interviews and research into the new financial and economic models of community-run spaces.

Funding the Cooperative City focuses on the post-welfare transition of today’s European societies: with austerity measures and the financialisation of real estate stocks and urban services, the gradual withdrawal of the state and municipal administrations from providing certain facilities and maintaining certain spaces have prompted citizen initiatives and professional groups to organise their own services and venues. The self-organisation of new spaces of work, culture and social welfare was made possible by various socio-economic circumstances: unemployment, solidarity networks, changing real estate prices and ownership patters created opportunities for stepping out of the regular dynamisms of real estate development. In some cases, cooperative ownership structures exclude the possibility of real estate speculation, in others, new welfare services are integrated in local economic tissues, relying on unused resources and capacities. The new cooperative development processes also witnessed the emergence of new types of investors, operating along principles of ethics or sustainability, or working on moving properties off the market.

Edited by the founders of the European community planning organisation Eutropian, Funding the Cooperative City aims at introducing and contextualising innovative practices among citizen initiatives, socially engaged private practices, financial institutions as well as municipalities when it comes to inventing new ways to enable, finance and govern community-run spaces. By looking at the economic contexts in which these initiatives unfold and the social challenges to which they give answers, as well as by analysing the ownership, management and economic models and urban impacts of the presented projects, the book highlights new urban development tendencies and emerging actors in contemporary European societies.

This collection brings together protagonists from various cities to help shaping a new European culture of urban development based on community-driven initiatives, civic economic models and cooperative ownership; its goal is to highlight the importance, the values and capacities of citizen-run spaces and services to all actors in the field of urban development and management, to give them tools to facilitate and strengthen these initiatives, and to inspire new commitments and frameworks enabling similar experiments to unfold."


With contributions from Tiago Mota Saraiva (Alteliermob, Lisbon), Hanna Szemző (Metropolitan Research Institute, Budapest), Jan Mazur (Stará Tržnica, Bratislava), Brian Boyer (Brickstarter, Helsinki), Carmen Lozano Bright (Goteo, Madrid), Alexandre Laing (Bulb in Town, Paris), Lizzy Daish (Shuffle Festival), Carlos Muñoz Sanchez (LaFabrika detodalavida, Los Saintos de Maimona), Christian Grauvogel (Mörchenpark e.V., Berlin), Massimo Marinacci (Banca Etica, Rome), Miguel Ángel Martinez Polo (Coop 57, Madrid), Rolf Novy-Huy (Stiftung trias, Hattingen), Ulrich Kriese (Stiftung Edith Maryon, Basel), Daniela Brahm and Les Schliesser (ExRotaprint, Berlin), Laurence Beuchat (Geneva), Michał Augustyn (Wymiennik, Warsaw), Martin Leskovjan (Paralelní polis, Prague), Bea Varnai (UrbaMonde, Paris), Marc Neelen (Stad in de Maak, Rotterdam), Júlia Bársony (Müszi, Budapest), Viktória Rozgonyi-Kulcsár (Jurányi Ház, Budapest), Francesco Montagna and Maura Teofili (Carrozzerie n.o.t., Rome), Martine Zoeteman (De Besturing, The Hague), Annet van Otterloo (Afrikaanderwijk Coöperatie, Rotterdam), Hans Karssenberg and Jeroen Laven (ZoHo, Rotterdam), Tamina Lolev (Nod makerspace, Bucharest), Mauro Baioni (Pordenone), Miguel Correia de Brito (BIP/ZIP programme, Lisbon), Ulrich Möbius (Peißnitzhaus, Halle/Saale), Stefania de Masi (Cascina Roccafranca, Turin), Mauro Gil-Fournier (Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas, Madrid)

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