Urban Commons research workshop

This two-day research event, hosted and supported by London Metropolitan University together with the Urban Commons Research Collective, will bring together researchers across the arts, humanities and social sciences working on urban commons. 

The event has two parts. 

Thursday 23 June

The public launch of the forthcoming Urban Commons Handbook, authored by the Urban Commons Research Collective and published by dpr-barcelona. The handbook reflects on different aspects of the urban commons and presents examples of urban commoning in Europe. 

Friday 24 June

A one-day workshop open to researchers at any career stage, which we imagine as a space of sharing and thinking together about the urban commons. The workshop will include a guest talk, a set of small-group discussions around different aspects of the urban commons and a debate around future research trajectories in the field.

More details

The events will explore the urban commons as a means of generating social processes that can maintain, reproduce and reinvent our lives in times of uncertainty. Contemporary interpretations of the commons posit a political goal, a process of concrete governance of collective resources and a potential form of social organisation. In this frame, the commons offer a relevant proposal to generate processes of social reproduction and ecological repair when our collective capacity to repair is in crisis. The idea of the commons also serves as a frame to understand these as political processes and to imagine how we may organise our lives together based on principles of care and collaboration.

In this context, cities have been a critical space of experimentation. The urban commons transform cities around the globe through projects and practices that challenge capitalist accumulation, extraction and enclosure. Together, they give shape to a political proposal that requires the invention of new kinds of institutions, new kinds of spaces and new kinds of actors in charge of their production and reproduction. Understanding the urban commons as open organisational systems for collective management —fostered by radical democratic governance models — allows us to tackle urgent issues, such as climate change and social inequality, from a point of view that is both constructive and relational.

This workshop has been imagined as an opportunity to bring together a diverse community of researchers who would like to think together about the urban commons.

We encourage researchers at any career stage and in any disciplinary field to join us for a collective reflection on the meaning and transformative potential of the commons in urban contexts. Proposed contributions might engage with the topic by addressing one or more of the themes discussed in the handbook: common economies, ecologies, infrastructures, knowledges, socialities, localities and governance.

A white and black drawing of the busy street from above

Image: Drawing by Alex Axinte, initially published in Kilobase Bucharest A-Z (2020)

To attend this event, please register via Eventbrite.

An event by

Urban Commons Research Collective:

In collaboration with:
Hosted and supported by:
In partnership with:

Read more about the workshop

To participate to the workshop, please send the following to Beatrice De Carli no later than Friday, 6 May 2022:

  • A title and abstract for a presentation addressing the urban commons, perhaps through one or more of the proposed  themes: economies, ecologies, infrastructures, knowledges, socialities, localities and governance (300 words).
  • A brief bio, including affiliations and where you are currently based (100 words).
  • A personal statement explaining your motivation to attend the workshop (300 words).
  • A financial support request, if you wish to be allocated a bursary. Please note that we cannot guarantee financial support in advance, as demand might be greater than the availability of support. 
  • Friday 6 May – Deadline for applications
  • Friday 13 May – Notification of acceptance
  • Thursday 23 June – Book launch: Urban Commons Handbook
  • Friday 24 June – Urban Commons research workshop

We have established several bursaries (£150) to support workshop participants who are not already funded by their own institution. Please specify in your application if you wish to be allocated one.