Right to the City: Public Space and Urbanism


This workshop brought together different aspects of the configuration of the city: Public Spaces & Urbanism, Housing, Tourism, Water & Energy and Culture. Understanding the Right to the City as a collective and bottom-up creation of a new paradigm can help to provide an alternative framework to re-think cities and human settlements on the basis of social justice, equity, democracy and sustainability.

The workshop discussed processes of commercialization and privatization of public and common goods and resources; how commons can create forms of democratic urban management; and how re-municipalization processes of urban infrastructures can be linked to the commons discourse.

The participants also considered the policy frameworks for commons that can be implemented, how spaces can be collectively used for the common good and what kind of legal and economic frameworks are needed to stabilize communing practices.

Suggestions from the participants included trans-local collaboration to develop perspectives on: urban rights, cultural ecosystems for integration within the city, commons-based housing plans, fighting gentrification and damaging tourism, among others. There was a clear emphasis on sharing examples and tools and promoting the connection of practitioners, researches, professionals, and citizens with project initiators and grassroots actors.

Participants drew from experiences including the redevelopment of brownfields and vacant properties, the creation of political platforms and public campaigning and engagement, and construction of community gardens and other spaces as learning environments for commoning.