This book explores contemporary urban experiences connected to practices of sharing and collaboration. Part of a growing discussion on the cultural meaning and the politics of urban commons, it uses examples from Europe and Latin America to support the view that a world of mutual support and urban solidarity is emerging today in, against, and beyond existing societies of inequality. In such a world, people experience the potentialities of emancipation activated by concrete forms of space commoning. By focusing on concrete collective experiences of urban space appropriation and participatory design experiments this book traces differing, but potentially compatible, trajectories through which common space (or space-as-commons) becomes an important factor in social change. In the everydayness of self-organized neighborhoods, in the struggles for justice in occupied public spaces, in the emergence of “territories in resistance,” and in dissident artistic practices of collaborative creation, collective inventiveness produces fragments of an emancipated society.
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Formally, all Bon Pastor is “public.” Its lands and the houses built
upon them legally belong to the City Council, their construction
was financed with public money, and the residents only pay the
rent. But in practice, the neighborhood had been neglected by the
public authorities who were in charge, and the neighbors were
forced to take care of the space, both public and private. This
self-organization was mostly illegal, since formally it was the City
Council who had to refurbish and maintain the houses; since it
didn’t, the residents felt legitimated