Seminar » 09 November 2016 in Zagreb, Croatia

"Urban Commons - Commoning the City" Seminar in Zagreb

Green European Foundation, in partnership with the Institute for Political Ecology, organised a seminar about the Commons on the 9th of November in Zagreb, Croatia.

Commons as a concept and practice entered into mainstream after Elinor Ostrom received in 2009 Nobel Award in Economics for empirically proving that communities can sustainably manage natural resources without direct influence of the state and the market. Concept of commons was extended for also human-made resources and even immaterial resources and for different contexts including the urban. More radical and critical approaches of commons emerged especially in the context of various urban social movements fighting against privatisation, commodification and commercialisation of cities. Practices of self-governance and community governance of urban resources were introduced or reintroduced in cities all around Europe. In Athens there is a network of solidarity commoning practices providing food, housing and even health service to people who are left behind after years of austerity politics. In Bologna the local government even adopted regulation so communities can engage in collaboration to produce and regenerate urban commons. In Barcelona citizen platform called “Barcelona in Common” won the local elections and is trying to establish framework for urban commons governance in different sectors.

This seminar presented examples of urban commoning in cities of Madrid, Berlin, Maribor, Belgrade and Zagreb. It provided forum for exchange on various inspirational urban commons practices as well as confrontational tactics against the enclosure of the urban commons and privatisation of the urban public goods. Seminar aimed to tackle the debate among participants on how can urban commons and self-governance models be enhanced, supported and protected in cities of the region.


  • 10h00 - 10h30 Introduction to theory of the commons - Tomislav Tomašević (Institute for Political Ecology)
  • 10h30 - 11h30 Urban commons practices in Madrid and Berlin - Lucia Lois (El Patio Maravillas) and Marco Clausen (Nachbar¬schafts¬akademie)
  • 11h30 - 12h00 Discussion
  • 12:h0 - 12h45 Lunch 
  • 12h45 - 13h45 Commoning the city in Belgrade and Maribor - Iva Ćukić (Ministarstvo prostora) and Matic Primc (Iniciativa mestni zbor)
  • 13h45 - 15h30 - Discussion
  • 15h30 - 16h00 - Break
  • 16h00 - 17h30 - How to enhance the urban commons in local context? (open roundtable) - Iva Marčetić, Mislav Žitko, Alma Midžić, Teodor Celakoski, Emina Višnić, Enes Ćerimagić, Dušica Radojčić, Nikola Zdunić, Cvjeta Bišćević, Svibor Jančić 

This event is a part of our transnational project "Reclaim the Commons", which revives the debate around the commons as a fundamental part of the Green political ideology across Europe.

VENUE: Cinema Müller (Kino Europa), Varšavska ul. 3, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia

DATE: 9th of November, 10h00 - 17h30

This event was open to public and free of charge.

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