The City as a Commons


November 6-7, 2015, Bologna, Italy

Abstract Submission Guidelines

conference co-chairs

Sheila Foster – Fordham University School of Law – (LabGov – USA)

Christian Iaione – UniMarconi and LUISS Guido Carli – (LabGov – Italy/Europe)

Call for papers

submission deadline: August 10th, 2015


How can city squares, urban green spaces, cultural heritage, abandoned buildings, roads and other urban infrastructure, services or other resources and goods be governed as commons? Can cities be conceived as institutions for collective action and therefore run as commons?

Inspired by the recently implemented Bologna Regulation on Collaboration for the Care and Regeneration of the Urban Commons, as well as by other commons-based experiments in cities around Italy by the LabGov project (e.g. Co-Mantova, Co-Battipaglia and Co-Palermo), the 1st IASC Thematic Conference on the Urban Commons will bring together leading scholars, researchers, policymakers, practitioners and social innovators to take stock of the developments in the interdisciplinary study of the urban commons and related questions of urban governance. Although the urban commons has increasingly appeared as a topic of scholarly inquiry, there has yet to be sustained attention to the
research questions, methodologies, and disciplinary approaches necessary to more fully conceptualize and develop the idea of the “urban commons” and the new challenges and facets it introduces into the ongoing study of the commons in diverse fields.

The conference will seek to better understand the idea of urban commons at different scales, under what circumstances and contexts urban commons emerge, what contributes to their durability and effectiveness, and what undermines them. The conference will stress the importance of an “urban commons narrative” for urban infrastructure, urban welfare, and urban development. Additionally, the conference will focus on questions of urban governance and will explore different frameworks for governing common urban resources, and the city, in a collaborative manner.


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