The Urban Commons Cookbook – Strategies and Insights for Creating and Maintaining Urban Commons

Together with Mary Dellenbaugh-Losse and Nicole de Vries we dived into an exploration of inspiring Urban Commons Projects and their success conditions. Although they are often not considered as important pillars of civic engagement, urban commons projects are crucial bricks in our urban landscapes. In particular in cities commoners have a huge potential for creating resilient spaces, resisting economic or political pressure. Therefore, researchers and also citizens are examining in different corners of Europe the potential or urban commons projects for city populations and for social innovation.

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M. Dellenbaugh-Losse, N.-E. Zimmermann, N. de Vries: The Urban Commons Cookbook, 2020

Which ingredients of a cooperative community project most help it succeed? What are urban commons and how do they fit into current activist and civil society debates? And what tools and methods do commoners need to strengthen their work? These are the three questions at the heart of The Urban Commons Cookbook, a handbook for those interested in starting, growing and supporting community-led projects.

Theory and Methods

These real-world experiences are supplemented with a clear and reader-friendly introduction to commons theory and a range of practical methods for starting a project, dealing with internal & external challenges, creating visibility and impact, and building trust and community.

A Practical Handbook

The Urban Commons Cookbook combines the theoretical framework (e. g. like set out here) with real-world insights, usable tips, and tested methods for creating and maintaining commons from real urban commons projects. The result is a practical handbook which can inform actors from the civil society and politics alike.

My contributions focused on connecting the all-too-often isolated discourses on urban commons and civic engagement and the content of the practice section of the book.