Finding common ground on the threshold: an experiment in critical urban learning

Cognetti, Francesca and De Carli, Beatrice (2024) Finding common ground on the threshold: an experiment in critical urban learning. Planning Theory. ISSN 1741-3052


The paper explores the role of academic institutions in urban commoning, which involves sharing and collaborating to manage common resources. Specifically, it analyses the impact of an experimental programme, Practices of Urban Inclusion, on fostering new forms of collaboration and cultures of sharing. The programme was co-designed and co-run by a network of four architecture and urban planning schools and three civil society organisations across four European countries. The paper mobilises the concept of 'threshold spaces' by Stavros Stavrides, to discuss if and how urban knowledge and learning can be co-produced and circulated ‘on the threshold’ between academic and civil society organisations. Practices of Urban Inclusion is thus seen as a threshold space that attempted to bring different subjectivities and forms of knowledge into connection by foregrounding experiential knowledge, fostering collaborative learning, and connecting temporalities. The paper reflects on the key characteristics of the programme and highlights some of its commoning and un-commoning outcomes. We suggest that conceptualising knowledge co-production through ideas of commoning and threshold spatiality allows for more nuanced understandings of the dynamics of academia-civil society collaborations.

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