American Sociological Association

DIY Urbanism and the Lens of the Commons: Observations from Spain

A growing body of literature has been explicitly concerned with a range of microspatial practices that are currently reshaping urban spaces under the valuable denominator of “DIY urbanism.” However, there is still much work to be done if we are to take into consideration DIY urbanism's primary source and output: the commons. As such, Spanish DIY collectives have taken an explicit interest in building and reclaiming the urban commonwealth through participatory DIY interventionism. Therefore, this article assesses Spanish DIY urbanism through the lens of the commons and asks how the vocabulary of the latter might help us to further understand the DIY practice. In so doing, DIY urbanism will be put forward as “a field of possibilities” through three key features that inform commons theorizing: threshold spatiality, value, and legitimacy.


Louis Volont





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