News & Events

[[CANCELLED]] Cosmopolis Lunch Seminar: Commons Josaphat. A concrete utopia in Brussels, Verena Lenna (KULeuven)

28 April 2016 , 28 April 2016 , Department of Geography, room F4.66, 12h00-14h00

Commons Josaphat is an initiative for/of urban transformation emerged at the end of 2012 started as a reflection on the Commons, as a broad definition for many kinds of resources.


Today practices and reflections are mostly articulated around the challenges and the potentials of the urban commons: those commons which are curated and continuously re-created in the urban/urbanised environments and which non exclusively cover and interweave a varied range of resources, from public space to cultural artefacts, from water to green systems. The belief that the city is a form of commons and that it is possible to manage urban resources as such is at the core of Commons Josaphat philosophy.

In particular, the activities focus on the vacant site of Josaphat: 24 hectares of land located in between Schaerbeek and Evere, representing an incredible potential for the future of Brussels Capital Region.

Commons Josaphat operates as a platform à geometrie variable, in other words through transforming and flexible constellations of citizens, community based organisations, associations. This modus operandi opens to a number of question concerning representation, fragmentation of the critique and efficacy of the actions, among others. Goal of the presentation would be to point out and trigger a reflection around some main challenges related to making of the Commons - as a concrete utopia – in particular looking at spontaneous initiatives of activation of civil society in the age of neoliberal capitalism.