I explore three sites that I was involved in commoning in a post-industrial working class neighbourhood in Montreal: a garden on a city-owned plot of land, a mural on a stock-corporation-owned viaduct and a community-owned industrial building “expropriated” from a capitalist developer after a 10-year grassroots campaign. In each of these sites new property relations were forged, ones where a commoning-community manages the space and benefits from how the space has been shaped.
Asset Based Community Development or Asset-Based and Citizen-Led Development (ABCD) is being used in a range of development contexts. Some researchers have been quick to dismiss ABCD as part of the neoliberal project and an approach that perpetuates unequal power relations. This paper uses a diffracted power analysis to explore the possibilities associated with ABCD as well as the challenges.