COMMONING THE CITY - the Stockholm 2013 Conference, held on April 11 at the Architecture Museum in Stockholm has opened numerous questions and perspectives on urban commons and actively involved over 150 participants. By bringing together professionals from the fields of urban theory, architecture, digital culture, film, literature and social sciences, as well as hands-on practitioners and policy makers, the conference investigated what role the commons can have in shaping the cities¹ future. 

Download the conference programme here


The conference presentations, lectures and discussions are filmed and can be found here, published under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

You can see the talks and get a feel of the atmosphere by watching:

The Tales of Skeppsholmen by Pernilla Glaser and Jacob Gunther (introductory fiction story) 

Doing it for the Common by Fritz Haeg (artist, Los Angeles)

From Do-it-Yourself to Do-it-Together by Fredrik Åslund (Skapa Allmänningar/Create Commons, Linköping)

Running the City in Common by Pier Paolo Fanesi (Grottammare Municipality)

Friendship is a Commons by Dougald Hine (writer, Stockholm)

From Digital to Urban Commons by Alex Haché (sociologist, Barcelona) and Marcell Mars (internet activist and researcher, Zagreb)

Beyond Ownership - Governing the Wealth of Urban Commons by Saki Bailey (scholar in law, Turin)

Commoned Future - Inventing Open Institutions and Spaces of Sharing by Stavros Stavrides (architect and theoretician, Athens)

The team is currently working on the follow-up publication, expected to be ready in September. If you would like to contribute to the ongoing Glossary of (Urban) Commons or send us your feedback, please write to:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



If we look beyond the state and private property driven developments, which have dominated the urban landscape throughout Europe during the last fifty years, we encounter a rich tradition of cities and communities formed on the principles of the commons. Having been out of the picture for quite a while, the commons is regaining momentum in the international debate on and around spatial and social justice, the use of natural resources, and digital cultures. Both through practice and exploration, the concept of commons enters the contemporary city.


COMMONING THE CITY is an exploratory journey into the field of urban commons. We would like to invite you to join the ongoing investigation of what urban commons is at present, how it translates to Stockholm in particular, and what its potentials are for the future of the cities around the world.

Through lectures, discussions and visioning sessions, COMMONING THE CITY will explore the theory and practice of urban commons in the context of Sweden, and beyond. By bringing together professionals from the fields of urban theory, architecture, digital culture, literature, law and social sciences as well as hands-on practitioners and policy makers, the conference will investigate what role the commons can have in shaping the cities' future. Which initiatives exist today in the Swedish context, and from what kind of urban landscape do they arise? In what ways is this situation related to global scenarios? What can we learn from recent events that shaped the digital revolution, and what historical grounds are there to fall back onto?

COMMONING THE CITY is organised by the participants of the post-master research programme In Search of Common Ground - Resources.12/Lab, at Mejan Arc, Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, in collaboration with STEALTH.unlimited. The conference is organized in collaboration with the Architecture Museum Stockholm, with financial support from Formas.

Time: April 11, 2013, 9-17
Location: The Architecture Museum Stockholm
Language: English 

Download the conference programme here

About Mejan Arc at the Royal Institute of Art / Kungl. Konsthögskolan
Mejan Arc is a forum for education on an advanced level in architecture and urban planning that investigates ongoing societal changes connected to an architectural and urban discourse. Mejan Arc offers one-year courses on advanced level in three disciplines:Resources/ Architecture, Architectural Conservation and Art & Architecture. The common goal of Mejan Arc is to engage in global urgencies by generating relevant and tangible projects, as well as creating professional networks that extend outside the academic realm. Projects that are initiated atMejan Arc often become independent platforms that continue to develop on their own.

Professor of Architecture Henrietta Palmer,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Public Relations Manager Anne Joki Jakobsson,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it