The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 31: Commoning property in the city: the ongoing work of making and remaking

Anna Kruzynski

Abstract

This chapter explores three sites of 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 ten-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.

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