CLTS Working Papers, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Of urban commons
Abstract: Last summer visitors to the Oslo opera house were met with
the following announcement: “Here comes the “Opera Commons” explaining:
“Operaallmenningen”, the Opera Commons, “will be a multi-functional meeting
place for cultural events, recreational activities and people passing
through.” The choice of “allmenning” (commons) to designate a place that is
available to citizens of Oslo and their visitors as a “meeting place for
cultural events” and “recreational activities” may be part of an
international trend idolizing “the commons”. This trend one may observe
both in academia and in some political circles. The trend deserves some
reflection in its own right. Why is there currently a need for this term?
The established theory of the commons does not have much to say about urban
reality in its own right. However, the theory is well developed to
understand some problems of collective action as these appear in urban
development. The link between land tenure and structure of land use
decisions is well known. We shall use the theory of the commons to comment
on the link between tenure and form of commons that may appear and the
problems of governing urban commons in various forms.
Keywords: Urban commons; common pool goods; social dilemmas; Oslo; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: H40; R10; Z18; (follow links to similar papers)
23 pages, February 18, 2016
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