Nowadays there is a renewed interest in commons among citizens. A booming number of new citizens’ collectivities in a wide variety of sectors are set up around the world. Initiatives ranging from sustainable energy to care, infrastructure, and nature conservation: citizens are building new institutions through self-governance and cooperation.
Along with this booming number of commons, the scientific attention on the development of commons is growing rapidly. A global platform where citizen initiatives and scholars come together seems more important than ever, therefore, with great pleasure Utrecht University presents the largest conference on Commons, ‘the XVI Biennial IASC-Conference’ (July 10-14 , 2017).
Leading up to the conference we would like to give you a bit of a foretaste on some of the finest speakers at this conference. Today we introduce you
Sofia Croso Mazzuco – Unused public spaces can launch grassroot community and urban development
The innumerable underused public spaces in cities worldwide can become places where people collaborate to create alternative service provision and development, a researcher in the UK says. Where that occurs, city dwellers find they have a new community resource they can all use – an “urban commons” – that can in turn help city governments to better support their citizens as cities become more and more complex, the research shows.
While David Cameron’s 2011 “Big Society” agenda for the UK failed, grassroot projects based on regeneration of public spaces can, with appropriate government support, build urban commons that ultimately achieve the goals of that agenda – including empowering communities, encouraging government-plus-community generation of services, and promotion of individual action for community development, the research suggests.
For more information, attend the presentation in Utrecht on Wednesday July 12, 2017, 09:00 to 10:30, at UCK-Domplein, Room 1.15 (first floor) or contact Sofia Croso Mazzuco (firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 7 490 389 959)
About the XVI Biennial IASC-Conference
At the XVI Biennial IASC-Conference ´Practicing the commons´ (10- 14 July) you will find various ways to engage in societal and academic debates on commons. The intention of this conference is to not only facilitate the exchange of scholarship between researchers working on commons (working and living across the globe), but also to bring to the fore the interaction with practitioners of commons, hence the title of the conference ‘Practicing the commons’.
The conference has an international character with over 700 registered participants representing over 65 countries. The keynote speakers are prof. dr. Saskia Sassen, prof. dr. Jane Humphries, and prof. dr. Juan Camilo Cárdenas. The event hosts various workshops, over 120 academic sessions, 14 practitioners’ labs, 4 round tables and 3 clinics.