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Commons lab, Antwerp

Commons Lab Antwerp can be viewed as the spider in the web of a multitude of initiatives in Antwerp carried out by citizens, government, businesses and knowledge institutions. The collective focuses on involvement within a broad theme and a sense of urgency, with the key question: to whom does the city belong, and how can we all manage the city together?

Commons Lab Antwerp was founded in 2018 as a citizen collective, but can draw on strong commitment from the previous initiative 'Antwerpen aan 't woord'. Commons Lab propagates the idea of the 'commons' within a fragmented multitude of initiatives, goals, visions and actions: from a divided to a shared city. Therefore, the city lab challenges the people of Antwerp to regard the city as a common good and to actively care for it from this perspective.

In the meantime, the portfolio of the city lab counts a wide range of projects and strategies, of which 'Garden Streets' is one of the better known ones. The tuinstraten.be website can be viewed as a common; it collects and shares information and experiences from various actors and serves as a 'manual' for people to get started. Commons Lab also launched a project relating to school streets in Antwerp.
From an experimental perspective a change in culture is fostered in which the street is a shared responsibility, with regard to its management, ownership and the choices and agreements made. And what started from the bottom up is being picked up by urban policy: facilitating opportunities for all to rise above a business as usual approach, at the democratic, social, economic and ecological level.

theme
management, biodiversity, energy, housing, mobility, water, care, production
innovative aspects
financing, , ownership, good citizenship, solidarity, cultural change
scale
street, district


slideshow
Initiatives of Commons Lab in the spotlight
Commons Lab has been involved in several experiments, pilot projects and collaborations since its inception in 2018. The commons humanise and increase the sustainability of domains such as care, mobility, food, housing, social relations, economy, energy, consumption and designing the public space.

The Commons Lab network
imageThe Commons Lab network
A wide range of actors and organisations, both top-down and bottom-up, are rapidly forming a coalition to carry the Commons lba initiative forward.


The Commons Lab network


photo: Commons Lab Antwerpen, Antwerpen

Commons
videoCommons
According to Koen Wijnants, commons consist of three aspects: a group of people, the collective use of shared resources and a shared framework of agreements.


Commons

According to Koen Wijnants, commons consist of three aspects: a group of people, the collective use of shared resources and a shared framework of agreements.



photo: Commons Lab Antwerpen, 2020

Civic economy: the third pillar of a future-oriented economy
articleCivic economy: the third pillar of a future-oriented economy
Koen Wynants, co-founder of Commons Lab, and Dirk Holemans, coordinator of the think tank Oikos, wrote an article on the role of citizens' initiatives in light of the pandemic.


Civic economy: the third pillar of a future-oriented economy


photo: Koen Wynants, Dirk Holemans, 2020