The development of urban commons
In the closed framework of the Reinventer Paris architecture competition, defined by the selling of land at market price, how can the sharing of urban resources emerge? The developer and “startup” REI has accepted the principle of zero profit margins on 20% of the building’s area.
An open, urban commons environment
Neither piloted by the public sector nor by market logic, urban commons resources are generally organized by communities that define their own guidelines in order to achieve sustainable usage. In the case of the Wikibuilding, it means encouraging the emergence of a community that is capable of building its own rules for developing a knowledge base around collaborative urbanism. This base of knowledge will not be the property of the community and its professional network but instead it will be shared in order to develop inhabitants’ ability to act.
A sustainable, urban commons environment
The challenge for Wikibuilding is to create an urban dynamic that is long-lasting. In order to initiate this dynamic, a provisional budget of 1 million euros will be established, based on costs starting at 500€/m² (for those companies benefiting from the zero profit margins). This amount will allow, amongst other things, for the appointment of a “community manager” that manages, both physically and virtually online, the activities of the cluster. In the case that one company leaves, a new company will be able to enter the premises under the same conditions. A framework model as well as an economic system will be invented.
For me, the Wikibuilding could be a place for human development and the creation of values and services by the inhabitants themselves.
Director of Marketing Innovation and New Usages – Orange
Numerous regions do not succeed in balancing the public sector and market logic. If the model for shared urban resources as explored by Wikibuilding can succeed in finding financial stability, other projects can do the same. Open Source logic can accelerate the widespread diffusion of the model.
Making the model sustainable
1) The developers make no profit on the ground floor and the first floor. 2) The companies that benefit from a zero profit margin form a community that is committed to public service for the neighborhood. 3) If political powers encourage this model, for example by supporting lower real estate prices, guarantees similar to “Community Land Trusts” should be put in place so that the model can be sustained.
Created on 2% of the surface area of the Wikibuilding, the goal of the Living Lab IRL (In Real Life) will be to support discovery and to test innovations. At the heart of the Wikibuilding, an interest lies in moving easily from experiments into concrete applications by making full use of the 8,000m² that have been invested in by innovation-sensitive companies and inhabitants.