4 Initiatives That Empower Collaborative Decision-Making
Cities have been caught in the middle of a clash: They are stuck competing for business investments while, simultaneously, seeking to meet the needs of their inhabitants through access to public goods and social services. For this reason, there is no surprise in seeing two opposite trends growing globally: On the one hand, the commodification of cities — where public spaces are sold to private buyers at the expense of citizens fenced out by these transactions; on the other hand, and likely in reaction to this privatization, there is a growing trend where cities are turning into ecosystems for collaboration, cooperation, and sharing.
These examples demonstrate why urban commons are so important for a sharing city. When there are more urban commons, more residents can directly experience the effectiveness and empowerment of sharing practices. They cultivate the skills needed to create a sharing city by commoning over smaller urban resources, like parks, and becoming more familiar with working together and sharpening their capacities to govern the whole city as a commons. These communities show how — with the right mix of commoning — all cities could become sharing cities. —Ryan Conway and Marco Quaglia