The gE.CO Living Lab is a platform that brings formal groups or informal communities of citizens – who manage fab-lab, hubs, incubators, co-creation spaces, social centers created in regenerated urban voids – together and supports their efforts in re-purposing generative commons settings.

The Generative Commons project is a consortium composed of experts in the field of generative commons. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Through the creation of a Generative Commons map, a digital toolkit, a legal toolkit as well as a database accompanied, the project plays an active role in assisting Urban Commons initiatives, providing them with frameworks and tools to succeed. The gE.CO survey is the largest and most comprehensive survey on Urban Commons in Europe.

How the gE.CO and Eutropian stories converged.

Whether it be the Cooperative City magazine, Open Heritage or other Eutropian projects, we’re at the forefront of promoting and supporting urban justice through inclusiveness.

We’ve been active in establishing partnerships between public institutions and local communities. Over the years, we’ve promoted new models of governance, ones that specifically base themselves on solidarity, inclusion, participation, social, economic and environmental sustainability.

So when Alessandra Quarta from the University of Turin launched the project and we were invited to come on board as partner and communications manager, we were more than happy to take on the task, given that the project aligned with our core values and mission. We have since, been busy supporting the research conducted through publicity and promotion, and utilizing a variety of methods to promote the project and help it reach it’s target group audience.

The generative commons project is a unique initiative. It connects local organizations from various countries: each organization faces issues and challenges unique to them, their municipality, cultural setting, local, regional and national ordinances. As such, a one-size-fits-all communication plan would have not worked for the project. Aside from the usual, ie: social media management, newsletter creation, website management etc. We know the impact effective storytelling can have, so we’ve also devised unique ways and methods of dissemination, including the following strategies:

A project as diverse and multifaceted as gE.CO requires the creation of specialized messages. Eutropian’s multimedia team created, as a result, videos that promoted the gE.CO Toolbox, as well as an animated campaign promoting the emergence and creation of the generative commons museum. View some of our specialized productions below:

Produced in-house by the Eutropian team, partner interview videos are a prime example of the customized publicity and promotions techniques we utilize. Watch selected interviews below:

Likewise, preparing and sending out the quarterly newslettters, managing the social media account and cross-promoting developments across a variety of partner accounts has been a gratifying experience, one that has also successfully displayed the community building and message dissemination capacity and capability of Eutropian.

Urban commons: the role of policy

Produced in partnership with Cooperative City, the Cooperative City in Quarantine episode on the Urban Commons served as an important publicity and dissemination tool, and helped gE.CO reach a wider audience.

Urban commons during COVID-19

A second webinar in November of 2020 focused on the role of public policy and the urban commons. The live broadcast dissected how city administrations  can promote the use of urban commons and community spaces through regulations and incentives.

What meaningful change will this project inspire?

The generative commons project is turning out to be a landmark initiative in mapping the commons throughout Europe, researching the legal frameworks that innovative practices can operate within, and providing a toolkit that can be utilized by similar initiatives.

The gE.CO digital platform provides an interactive map of citizens’ initiatives, as well as engaged public institutions. Displaying the best practices, recommendations as well as legal solutions to support the emergence of new generative commons, the project has the potential to start new discourse on the issue.

The Generative Commons Database has information about more than 200 generative commons around Europe

The Generative Commons Toolkit provides a compilation of open-source digital tools for initiatives, while the survey reveals some of the most idiosyncratic characteristic sand problems observed in most of these generative commons practices – such as those issues related with their own legal status and their legal recognition by part of public authorities as well as their legal ability to manage public assets (i.e old public buildings).

We’re more than proud to be at the forefront of this change and take part in the creation of such a valuable resource.

gE.CO is a 3-year research programme, started in February 2019 and funded by the European Union’s H2020 programme. Participating organisations: universita degli studi di torino, university of newcastle upon tyne, anoichto ergastirio athinas, community land trust bruxelles, universitat de barcelona, spazi indecisi, patrizia di monte / estonoesunsolar, eutropian gmbh.

For more information on the project, don’t be shy, reach out to project leader Yilmaz Vurucu.

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