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Launch Symposium: The Urban Commons of Culture, Past & Present!

We are delighted to invite you to the launch of the The Urban Commons of Culture, Past & Present, our new online platform for reflection and exchange on how culture and creativity can thrive in cities in an open and inclusive way.

Commons are a hot topic, often presented as the ultimate solution for the challenges of our day and age. Whether we talk about social inequality, housing shortage, food scarcity, climate change, or access to arts and culture, the general idea seems to be that if we could only take matters back from in our own hands, away from greedy corporations and ineffective governments, the world would be a better and more inclusive place. But how does shared ownership and self-organisation work? What do institutions for collective action in culture and the creative industries look like in practice? Who is in and who is out? How do their organisational cultures, with norms and rules, evolve over time? What (local) governance and market structures support or hinder them?  And ultimately, in what ways do they shape the success and resilience of urban culture and creativity?

We cannot promise to deliver on all of these questions, but on April 4th we’d like to make start with the following three themes:

1. Consumption, Production, and the Common Good – on social status and cultural capital in an age of precarity

2. Institutional Diversity  – on the relations between markets, governments, and institutions for collective action, and the potential to upscale

3. Agency, Inclusion, and Responsibility – on commons as a process, a set of social relations


The launch will take place on Wednesday April 4 at from 1 PM to c. 5 PM at  A-Lab (Overhoeksplein 2, 1031 Amsterdam).

Confirmed speakers:

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett (Chair in Urban and Regional Planning and professor of public policy at the Price School, recent book The Sum of Small Things. A Theory of the Aspirational Class)

Tim Verlaan (assistant professor, Urban History, University of Amsterdam, recent book De ruimtemakers. Projectontwikkelaars en de Nederlandse binnenstad 1950-1980)

Roel Griffioen, (journalist/PhD researcher, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Ghent University, recent book De Frontlinie: Bestaansonzekerheid en gentrificatie in de Creatieve Stad)

And a panel discussion with representatives from local arts, culture, and creative industries, chaired by Marielle Hendriks of De Boekmanstichting,.

You can register for the event here (free of charge). More information on the programme will follow shortly.

We hope to see you there!
The Urban Commons of Culture team,

Amanda Brandellero
Marc Bosch i Matas
Rosa Koetsenruiter
Robert Kloosterman
Claartje Rasterhoff

The platform and the event are sponsored by the Research Priority Area’s Centre of Urban Studies and the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity of the University of Amsterdam.

More information click here >>

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