Spatial practices, commoning and the peer production of culture: Struggles and asprirations of grassroots groups in Eastern Milan

Bertolino, Nadia and Delsante, Ioanni (2018) Spatial practices, commoning and the peer production of culture: Struggles and asprirations of grassroots groups in Eastern Milan. Journal of Peer Production (11). ISSN 2213-5316

Spatial Practices, Commoning and the Peer Production of Culture_ Struggles and Aspirations of Grassroots Groups in Eastern Milan » The Journal of Peer Production.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview
Official URL:


This paper reports on a case study of the Milan-based collective Macao to examine whether its commoning practices and governance model allow for processes of cultural peer production and their degree of engagement and inclusiveness on various scales. In 2012, Macao occupied iconic spaces in Milan and became rapidly a significant urban movement that gathered a large number of members and supporters. The activists eventually settled in the former Slaughterhouse Exchange Building in the Molise-Calvairate-Ponti neighbourhood, an area characterised by a large number of abandoned and underused sites, inadequate provision of affordable housing and issues around the social integration of immigrants and ethnic minorities (Milan City Council, 2010; Caffa, 2016, 2017). Drawing on foundational studies on urban movements and the role of the creative sector in urban struggles, the paper first contextualises Macao within the broader framework of grass-roots initiatives in Italy since the 1970s before investigating the controversial relationship between the collective and the local community. The gaps we note between them provide a better understanding of the complexity of the actual social, economic and political struggles in Milan, and how ‘right-to-the-city’ aspirations are differently interpreted. By analysing Macao’s experience through the lens of the commons, the paper provides insights into whether its key features and governance aim at activating inclusive practices of cultural peer production. During two field work periods in February 2016 and April 2017, data were collected through mixed methods that included visual mapping, semi-structured interviews with representatives of Macao and local stakeholders and a multi-activity participatory session with a group of Molise-Calvairate-Ponti social housing tenants.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: urban movements, alter urbanisation, urban commons, cultural peer production, right to the city
Subjects: K100 Architecture
K200 Building
K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2020 14:57
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 11:21

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics