5. Property

Take Back Property: Commoning

Chapter 5 of Take Back the Economy explores how different forms of property can be the basis for commoning.

Generally, 'property' is equated with private property owned by individuals. But property can also be collectively-owned private property, state owned property and open access property.  And property might be land and housing but it can also include cultural resources such as language and music; social resources such as health and educational systems; knowledge resources such as Indigenous ecological knowledge, and scientific and technological advancements; and biophysical resources such as air, sunlight and ecological communities.

Taking back property means treating all forms of property (and resources) as commons which are managed with a view to the long-term future of people and the planet.

Taking Back Property, Chapter 5 Tool

You might find the Chapter 5 Template useful when using this tool.


Extra Resources

If you are teaching Take Back the Economy, you will find materials and extra resources (including films) for this Chapter in the Lectures 9 and 10 section on Teaching TBTE in Hong Kong

Katherine Gibson, one of the authors of Take Back the Economy, has interviewed Kelly Dombroski about processes of commoning in the context of the post-earthquake recovery in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. Abby Mellick Lopes, who runs a Design Studio at UTS (University of Technology Sydney) on the Cooling the Commons project, describes this video as "a brilliant companion piece to the chapter in Take Back the Economy."

Professor Nicholas Blomley from Simon Fraser University has adapted the time-property geography tool from Chapter 5 (see pp. 133-135) so students can produce their own time-property geographies.

The authors of Take Back the Economy have written about how the atmosphere becomes a commons when it is well-managed. They use three examples to illustrate a well-managed atmospheric commons. This 2016 chapter (in an edited collection by Ash Amin and Philip Howell) can be accessed here.

Katherine Gibson and Stephen Healy are co-researchers in the Cooling the Commons research project.