Ostrom in the City: Design Principles for the Urban Commons – Sheila Foster, Washington, DC. Christian Iaione, Rome. The Nature of Cities, 20 August 2017

“Where we are able to identify a network of urban commons, or some degree of polycentricism in the governance of urban resources, we begin to see the transformation of the city into a commons—a collaborative space—supported and enabled by the state.”

The article “Ostrom in the City: Design Principles for the Urban Commons” by Sheila Foster, Washington, and Christian Iaione, published in The Nature of Cities, on 20 August 2017, investigates how designing the city as a commons can help in addressing urgent urban issues such as urban poverty, gentrification, climate change, and migration, among others. Authors take reference from Elinor Ostrom’s groundbreaking research about collaborative management of common pool resources, or commons, for economic and environmental sustainability adapting the Ostrom design principle to the urban context with the aim of rethinking the governance of cities and the management of their resources. Urban commons are different from natural resources and more traditional commons in important ways, so the adaptation of Ostrom’s theories to the urban context implied an extensive research. The study at the basis of the article surveyed 100+ cities around the world to extract from these examples a set of design principles that resulted distinctively different from those offered by Elinor Ostrom but kept the potentiality of paving the way towards a transition to more fair, inclusive, sustainable, resilient futures given existing patterns of urbanization and the contested nature of urban resources.

Read the full article here.