What are urban commons?
Urban commons are public spaces or spaces of public interest that, through the direct care and management from the communities, challenge the traditional mechanisms of public authorities and market, providing new social and cultural responses.
These experiences were born from the reactivation of abandoned or underused spaces, which trigger sharing economies, artistic research, social innovation and redefinition of welfare forms. They develop in cooperative and fluid spaces, which have their own identity but are open to exchange and contamination, stimulating the appearance of new organizations, projects, practices, and forms of expression.
Why have they been created?
We live in outdated cities, full of urban voids, with spaces lacking function and care, cities that cannot provide answers to an increasingly complex, individualistic and unequal life.
Among the causes for this situation are the progressive decline of the function of space and public service, the reduction of resources, and the gradual apathy and disregard of citizens towards these “common” spaces. For all these reasons, increasing groups of active citizens have started to take action at providing themselves and local communities at large with affordable and non-market access to goods and services.
What do they tell us?
The stories included in gE.CO Museum show the existence of alternatives that are creative, inclusive, and resist market logic and top-down politics. Spaces for cooperation, where it is possible to experiment with active citizenship and new forms of political action, and create public infrastructures. Places generating a strong social, cultural and financial impact for those who are part of them and for the communities they involve.