Commons lab, Antwerp
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.
management, biodiversity, energy, housing, mobility, water, care, production
ownership, financing, organisational form, good citizenship, solidarity, cultural change
photo: Commons Lab Antwerpen, Antwerpen
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