Can we solve the two challenges of long term sustainability of the land and of people’s increasingly uncertain financial futures in one go? The Land Commons for Life project aims to connect the rural with the urban in a completely new way. By combining the idea of land banks with long term financial instruments for citizens, the sustainability of the land can go hand in hand with people’s life plans.
Baldios in Portugal. Obştea in Romania. Meenten in the Netherlands. Pastoral commons in Great Britain. Allmende in Germany (and Switzerland, and Austria). Community land trusts and cooperative farming practices everywhere. Communal ownership of the land is alive and kicking all across the European continent. So much as there are land commons in Europe, so little is the public appraisal of them, especially in urban contexts.
In this project, solutions that apply the notion of the commons related to land ownership and use will be paired with the financial challenges of city dwellers. The questions we address are: What different land practices can we identify? What legal and financial models are employed? How are citizens engaged and made co-owner of the land? The first step will be to inventory different models across Europe, both old and new.
As a potential next step, the Chamber of Commons will organise a number of work sessions geared towards designing solutions that combine both ingredients: securing the long term of both the land and the modern citizen-consumer. The research and design will be conducted in collaboration with other actors in the field. Get in touch if you have ideas or want to know of upcoming events well ahead.