In the name of ‘common’.Urban commons as a trick to redefine actors and their roles in the urban regenerationproject in the city of Turin.


  • Ianira Vassallo DIST - Politecnico di Torino




In the last twenty years, the urban commons' concept joined, in a very controversial way, the academic and professional debate on urban planning and city-making (Buchs & al., 2019). Inside this debate the “commoning practices” act to protect some part of the city from the market and the neoliberal forces that try to capture it (Harvey, 2012; Festa 2017). But what happens if these practices are promoted by the administrations? How do they change the roles of public and private actors and owners in the urban transformation project ?

In the last ten years, in Italy, we observed the emergence of specific experimental public policies that mix commoning practices with urban regeneration processes. In this framework the city of Turin could be an interesting case study to observe how ‘urban commons’ and the processes they trigger, become a new field of urban public policies (Ostrom, 1990; Dellenbaugh & al., 2020). In 2016, the City of Turin adopted the “Regolamento dei Beni Comuni” with the idea to use this administrative tool as an opportunity to define a local welfare policy (with an European funding ) by regenerate spaces managed in a shared way by different local subjects (NGO, active citizens, informal group, small enterprises) able to offer diversified public services and adhering to the demands coming from the different neighborhoods. Today we can affirm that, despite the premises, the revitalisation process of real estate has prevailed over the process of social inclusion and civic activism (Saporito,Vassallo, 2020) which is crucial to define an urban common. The paper will explore the possible misunderstanding linked to the idea of institutionalization of communing processes as a lost opportunity for the construction of an alternative model of transformation of the city that starts from the horizontal collaboration between municipality and local private and public actors.


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