The Belgian city of Ghent has requested a Commons Transition Plan. On the basis of research carried out by Belgian transitions theorist Michel Bauwens and project manager Yurek Onzia, the city will become a testing ground for putting participatory democracy principles into action. The city's already highly engaged public participated in extensive ‘commons’ research and have created many co-ownership and co-management initiatives to be implemented in the coming years.
From food, to health, to inclusion, to finance, Ghent will be testing commons models and learning along the way. While the potential sustainability benefits of such commons models are promising, whether or not they function in practice is unclear. If Ghent were to successfully ratchet up civic ownership and management of government and goods, could the model be applied elsewhere? What hindrances might exist to this type of system organisation in places with alternate histories and cultures? Considering commons models’ foundation in individual stakes, could this system of governance be scaled to include global resources?
Read about the rise of collaborative commons here.