Commoning property in the City: The on-going work of making and remaking

Anna Kruzynski

I explore three sites that I was involved in commoning in a post-industrial working class neighbourhood in Montreal: a garden on a city-owned plot of land, a mural on a stock-corporation-owned viaduct and a community-owned industrial building “expropriated” from a capitalist developer after a 10-year grassroots campaign. In each of these sites new property relations were forged, ones where a commoning-community manages the space and benefits from how the space has been shaped. Each community is engaged in a continuous process of making and re-making as it is confronted with powerful forces that seek to enclose or uncommon the property it has taken responsibility for. Commoning is thus always about struggle-negotiation, and a commons is more durable if its commoning-community is able to adapt to changing contexts, to push-back against exploitative and oppressive forces, to build on historical commons and traditions and to make strategic yet ethical choices about enrolling a diversity of actors into its midst.

Suggested citation

Kruzynski, A. 2020. "Commoning property in the City: The on-going work of making and remaking." In Kelly Dombroski & J.K. Gibson-Graham, Handbook of Diverse Economies (pp. 283-291), Edward Elgar Publishing.