Urban commons and the Right to the city

Author: Manfredo Manfredini


The Journal of Public Space | Volume 4, No 4 | 2019



In the increasing cosmopolitan condition of our cities inclusionary urban commons are becoming more and more relevant as civic institutions for encounter, dialogue and collaboration. Their non-commodifiable asset experiences increasing issues of social inclusion, participation, privatisation and universal access. The papers included in this issue of The Journal of Public Space are focused on the development of the commons’ capacity firstly to contingently relate and articulate heterogeneous values and paradigms, personalities, spheres of thought and material and intangible elements; secondly to sustain equity, diversity, belonging by transforming conflicts in productive associations that counter conditions of antagonism to set up critically engaged agonistic ones (Connolly, 1995; Mouffe, 1999, 2008). They include analytical studies, critical appraisals and creative propositions—part of which documenting the City Space Architecture’s event at Freespace, the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale—which address the power of the inclusionary urban commons to support the constitution of free, open and participatory networks that enhance social, cultural and material production of urban communities by reclaiming, defending, maintaining, and taking care of the “coming together of strangers who work collaboratively […] despite their differences” (Williams, 2018: 17).