Architects of the “Silent Revolution”: Empowering Local Communities through Commons-Based Resilience Strategies

Bertolino, Nadia (2021) Architects of the “Silent Revolution”: Empowering Local Communities through Commons-Based Resilience Strategies. In: New Geographies: Commons. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. ISBN 9781934510810

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Self-organised communities are more and more often actors of urban change. Through awareness of social, political, and economic dynamics, community-led initiatives of urban commoning are challenging market-driven modes of spatial production. These initiatives represent a contemporary “silent revolution” aimed at producing socially sustainable and resilient ways of living by addressing the needs and aspirations of groups that would not currently sit at institutional negotiation tables. Drawing on the creative use of resources, a horizontal decisional structure, and the flexible use of space, urban commons can offer one possible and non-commodified response to today’s environmental and social challenges. This speculative essay questions how architects can support and eventually empower grassroots groups to tackle social and environmental challenges through commoning practices. The four case studies discussed outline a wide range of scenarios and suggest four possible responses to this question. More broadly, this essay aims to intervene in the public debate around the role of architects in radically sustainable urban transformations, introducing and discussing architects’ contributions to a selection of actual case studies that have been chosen for their agendas and radical approaches to sustainability issues. They demonstrate how at least part of today’s architectural practice has indeed shifted towards new directions where communications, negotiation, and knowledge-sharing skills are the foundational principles of a new way to (co )design and (co )produce places.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: urban commons, community empowerment, local resilience
Subjects: K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2021 07:47
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 13:30

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