12. Case Study: Bologna Regulation for the Urban Commons

The Bologna Regulation is based on a change in the Italian constitution allowing engaged citizens to claim urban resources as commons, and to declare an interest in their care and management. After an evaluation procedure, an “accord” is signed with the city specifying how the city will support the initiative with an appropriate mix of resources and specifying a joint “public-commons” management. In Bologna itself, dozens of projects have been carried out, and more than 140 other Italian cities have followed suit. This regulation is radical in giving citizens direct power to emit policy proposals and transform the city and its infrastructure, as a enabler for this. The key is the reversal of logic: the citizenry initiates and proposes, the city enables and supports.