Urban commons

‘Municipal authorities and residents share the same interests. We tend to forget that sometimes. If they come together for a common purpose, we can achieve the best, most liveable places possible. We’re sure of it.’


Big changes start at the bottom. History has proven this time and time again. Revolutions issue forth from the people, from among ordinary individuals. And yet this isn’t where the decision-making involving changes to the city takes place. Solid, innovative and inspiring ideas tend to vanish into long-winded policy memos, never to be heard from again – and that is a waste of opportunity.

The Natural City believes that the ultimate place to live and work can be created by engaging in a dialogue with area residents. What are their dreams, needs and ideas? Designing an ideal situation can help determine how best to incorporate all these aspects. During such a process of transformation, it is essential to be able to envision the effects various options will have on public spaces. This makes it possible to literally see the potential value of a number of spatial plans. It’s a highly effective tool.

We are currently living in a world where most things are commodified. Most aspects of our cities belong to someone or something. There is a movement that challenges the commodification of our cities and works on alternatives. These alternatives are based on Peer 2 Peer philosophy and tries to build a post-capitalistic society. With the possibilities that technology has to offer we can shape this P2P society. Rethinking decision-making processes about urban issues is one theme within this philosophy. How can we re-organize the way we design our cities in order to create more Urban Commons? Our strategy consists in the de-commodification of our urban landscape and taking the responsibility of our living environment.

When bottom-up meets top-down, an initiative will truly take flight. It doesn’t matter whether it first started at the bottom or the top. So think outside the constraints of policy papers as well. The Natural City can help give shape to your vision.

Key players