Designing the Commons: Places that Support Community Ownership
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This thesis explores how landscape architects can support community-owned placemaking in cities. Community ownership refers to models of non-commodified collective legal and psychological ownership, especially as applied to housing and home. Community ownership has the potential to increase community control and decrease economic displacement by extending ownership rights and providing affordable housing. Community ownership models have been theorized as commons and apply to multiple scales of housing, neighborhoods, and cities. Using commons theory, case study research, and other literature, this thesis proposes a framework in which housing and urban design can afford better settings for collective ownership to take place. The framework begins with two main goals for inclusive community ownership: lowered thresholds to belonging and agency to place-make. Next, commoning practices that work toward these goals in the context of urban mixed-use, community-owned housing are identified. Finally, a design toolkit for creating the types and characteristics of spaces that generally afford these seven commoning practices is proposed. The toolkit contains three overarching recommendations: to make places physically and emotionally connected; supportive of community life; and changeable over time. In conclusion, this thesis suggests an approach for landscape architects to partner with community-owned developments and apply this framework on a case-by-case basis throughout the lifecycle of a project.
- Landscape architecture