Commoning in the practice of urban governance. An experience from OBRAS project


  • Andrea Boeri University of Bologna
  • Danila Longo University of Bologna
  • Martina Massari University of Bologna
  • Rossella Roversi University of Bologna
  • Francesca Sabatini 'Mediterranean' University of Reggio Calabria



urban commons, urban governance, co-project, strategies of urban re-activation, human and urban capital


The complexity of the contemporary urban scenario, now in constant revolution, calls for new forms of governance: able to combine the stances of institutional actors, civil society and the entrepreneurial world; commoning, born as a form of bottom-up re-appropriation of neglected spaces, has now become a multi-scalar, shared practice, which inspired the approach of the OBRAS project analysed here. In the first section the literary review frames the research context, with reference to urban commoning practices for the re-activation of places, and its relation with urban governance; in the second section, the methodology and physical context of the workshops, Bologna and Bogotá, are introduced. The methodology and results of the project are presented in the third section: the multi-scalar, cross-cutting and shared practices adopted and the meta-project solutions produced. The fourth section summarizes the OBRAS experience, with results, limits and future developments of the project.


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Author Biographies

Andrea Boeri, University of Bologna

Full Professor in Technology for Architecture, he is the Dean of the Department of Architecture and Coordinator of many research groups. He deals with sustainable renovation of the built environment, technological innovation for energy efficiency, smart and resilient cities to tackle the challenges of climate change.

Danila Longo, University of Bologna

Associate Professor in Technology for Architecture at the Department of Architecture, she is the UNIBO referee on the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP). She is a Member of the Scientific Committee of the Institute of Advanced Studies of UNIBO and the University Group on Energy and of EERA-JPI on smart cities. She deals with technologies for resilient cities.

Martina Massari, University of Bologna

Architect and PhD, she is a Researcher for the European Project H2020 – Regeneration and Optimisation of Cultural Heritage in Creative and Knowledge Cities; she is an Adjunct Professor of the Urban Planning Technology module at the Department of Architecture. Her research interests bridge social innovation practices and urban planning.

Rossella Roversi, University of Bologna

Architect and PhD in Urban and Architectural Project, she is an Adjunct Professor of the Laboratory of Architectural Constructions and Researcher at the Department of Architecture for the European Project H2020 – Regeneration and Optimisation of Cultural Heritage in Creative and Knowledge Cities. The research topics she deals with are urban regeneration, the requalification of buildings, climate change and environmental sustainability.

Francesca Sabatini, 'Mediterranean' University of Reggio Calabria

PhD Candidate at DARTE – Department of Architecture and Territory, she is a Project Manager and Economic Analyst at ArtFiles (Roma), where she focuses on cultural projects, cultural economics research and develops strategic actions for culture in the field of growth hacking.


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The open space and the vegetation that reappropriates it, among the regenerated buildings (credit: E. Al Smaily, C. Amato, C. Ciambellotti, O. Kararmaz, A. Leonìdou, D. Manzo, A. Miecchi, Y. Ouyang, A. Rosa and J. Wilches, 2019). AGATHÓN 08 | 2020




How to Cite

Boeri, A., Longo, D., Massari, M., Roversi, R. and Sabatini, F. (2020) “Commoning in the practice of urban governance. An experience from OBRAS project”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 8(online), pp. 180–187. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/8172020.