Commons is not something that just exists out there, nor is it something that is objectively present in certain resources or things. It is a relation of people with the conditions they describe as essential for their existence, collectively,” writes Stavros Stavrides, architect, activist, and author of Common Space: The City as Commons.

Stavrides understands the creation, development, and maintenance of commons as a social practice that radically challenges capitalist values and hierarchical forms of social organization. Constructed in this way, urban spaces differ both from private enclosures and from public space as we know it: common spaces are permanently inviting and continually in the making, spaces which are not simply shared but through which sharing itself is shaped.

This e-book, edited by Mathias Heyden, provides an introduction to Stavrides‘ thinking about the City as Commons. Occupied squares, self-managed facilities and autonomous neighborhoods in Greece and Latin America exemplify his theory of urban commoning, which, within the context of the global debates and struggles for social and economic justice, points in the direction of a truly emancipated society.

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