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Magazine

Municipalist France!

It is, and always has been, difficult to sum up a complex country like France in a few words. As De Gaulle once put it, “How is it possible for anyone to govern a nation that has 246 different kinds of cheese?”. At a time…

Magazine

Marseille Spring! An interview with Alima el Bajnouni

Alima el Bajnouni is Vice-President of Commonspolis and an active member of several Marseille associations working for the right to the city, including “A City Center for All” and Babalex, which promotes Citizenship through the appropriation of Law. In this interview, she shares with us…

Magazine

Limits of municipalism. What can we learn from Operación Chamartín?

When the municipalist confluence Ahora Madrid won the municipal elections in 2015, they inherited a number of large and unfinished urban development projects, initiated by previous neoliberal-leaning city councils. The most important project was Operation Chamartín, which later became known as the Madrid Nuevo Norte…

Magazine

Pandemic as the last call for radical change of local housing situation

As noted by the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, Leilani Farha, during a session on the COVID-19 experience, “home has rarely been more of a life or death situation”. We were already facing a major housing crisis before this pandemic. An…

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Jackson rising: The struggle for economic democracy and black self-determination in Jackson, Mississippi

Ajamu Nangwaya
Kali Akuno

Mississippi is the poorest state in the U.S. with the highest percentage of Black people and a history of vicious racial terror. The concurrent Black resistance is the backdrop and context for the drama captured in the collection of essays that is Jackson Rising: The…

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Why COVID-19 might not change our cities as much as we expect

Iris Levin
Sharon Parkinson
Christian A. Nygaard

COVID-19 impacts provide an opportunity for our cities to shift to new ways of urban living. But only if we couple this opportunity with technology and deliberate collective action will sustained and equitable change happen. What is imperative, therefore, is that governments similarly couple technology…

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Grassroots group eyes Belgrade on route to toppling Serbian President

Sasa Dragojlo

A grassroots movement in the Serbian capital has its eye on 2022 local elections as the next turning point in a battle to bring down the country’s ruling Progressive Party and President Aleksandar Vucic. In power since 2012, the Progressives have been stung by an…

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Barcelona’s latest affordable housing tool: Seize empty apartments

Feargus O'Sullivan

Barcelona is deploying a new weapon in its quest to increase the city’s available rental housing: the power to force the sale of empty properties. The city’s housing department wrote to a number companies that collectively own 194 empty apartments, warning that if they haven’t…

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Cities of dignity: Urban transformations around the world

Giorgos Velegraki
Mabrouka M’Bare
Raphael Hoetmer
Ana Rodríguez

One of the main challenges that strategies for social-ecological transformation are facing today is the fact that a majority of the world population lives in cities, which can be considered structurally unsustainable spaces. It is thus crucial to discuss how cities can be transformed from…

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Interview with Ethan Earle about the Gilets Jaunes and French democracy

Ethan Earle
Axel Ruppert

New focus of protest has clearly emerged in France in these past years—bringing together Nuit Debout and the Gilets Jaunes, hospital and health care workers, pensioners and trade unionists, climate justice activists, Black Lives Matter activists. This locus has the attention of Macron, and of…

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Meet our friends from Commonspolis!

CommonsPolis is born from the interconnection of personal trajectories and collective and unique journeys in a time defined by the rise of civic resistance struggles. These struggles are rooted on the will to reform relations between citizens and democracy, power and politics upon new foundations.