Workshop | Charging the Commons workshop at Placemaking Week Europe 2023

At the end of September 2023, we will participate in the 6th Annual Placemaking Week Europe festival (in Strasbourg, France). It is a European network that connects practitioners, academics, community leaders, market players and policy makers across the field of placemaking to advocate better public space policies and empower communities in creating/sustaining liveable environments.

The Charging the Commons research team organized a workshop within the theme Placemaking for Civic Engagement, under the title Becommoning” – a design framework for the initiation of new commons“. The session explored the initial phase of new commons initiatives, which we call “becommoning”. In this critical stage actors embark on a laborious, time-consuming and uncertain process in which they need to make important steps and (design) choices to evolve their common cause. So, the workshop explored the trajectory of “becommoning” from an integrated design perspective, drawn from a literature review and empirical inspections from real-life cases. Our further research activities – e.g. Situated Design to articulate community values, and the study of technology use to manage shared resources – were valuable additions to also expand the discussion during the workshop.

During the workshop, the team also presented a first iteration of the (Be)Commoning canvas – a framework that aims to provide insights for emergent resource communities and offer a useful tool for professional mediators / facilitators who can support commoners with an overarching guidance of becommoning.

The conference provided a fertile ground for interesting interchanges between scientific and practice-based insights, which will be incorporated in the next steps of the Charging the Commons research.