Conference 2019

a new economic paradigm for a complex social map

International Symposium & Artistic Programme
Catanzaro Lido, Italy
11-12 October 2019


innovate heritage 2019 locandina

Cultural Commons and Urban Dynamics

Cities are being intensively reshaped by unexpected dynamics: on one hand the rise and growth of the digital economy has deeply modified the relationship between the urban fabric and its resident community, overcoming the conventional hierarchy based upon manufacturing priorities; on the other hand contemporary society appears to be discovering new labour conditions and ways of making things, crafting new synergies and connections.

A new urban framework is emerging due to the growing interest for the commons, whose practice calls the institutional public and private statutes into doubt. The conventional taxonomy based upon the legal geography of spaces is being disturbed by the new social flows within the urban fabric and the related loss of territorial hierarchies: urban commons and their shared enjoyment generate cultural values and different orders.

A new type of society requires renewed (infra)structures to face its needs and desires. The existing institutional forms are being transformed by informal and bottom-up outbursts. Although digital social networks are getting momentum in replacing public places, the city is still extremely crucial for the exercise of democracy, representation and cultural rights, resisting the growing processes of privatisation. The form and fertility of the commons are the result of such times of social upheaval.

The conference aims at offering a multi-disciplinary view of such issues. Economists, architects, urbanists, sociologists, designers, political scientists and creative artists will examine the impact and the implications of cultural commons on the transformations of the city, from both theoretical and operational perspectives. Urban and cultural commons represent the manifold perspective of artistic creativity, social innovation, need for quality of life.

The themes treated will deal with the multi-faceted implications of the emerging commons, both from a theoretical and an operational perspective. We observe a society in which priorities of individual and social values are being redefined; new institutional strategies are needed; technology could play a crucial role in the design of effective actions; unexpected forms of creativity manifest, not without generating new conflicts and inequalities. In the hypothesis of an emerging paradigm, new interpretative frameworks are needed, aimed at supporting a still fragile but potentially radical change.

Key note speakers
Maurizio Carta (Politecnico Palermo, Italy)
Emma Galli (La Sapienza Roma, Italy)
Manfred Holler (Hamburg University, Germany)
Arjo Klamer (Erasmus Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
Martina Löw (TU Berlin, Germany)

Topics of the conference include but are not limited to:

  • art and culture in the urban fabric
  • politics, bureaucracy and society
  • urban experience between tools and desires (smart cities, urban commons)
  • social impact of the arts

Target audience: Economists, urbanists, jurists, architects, philosophers, historians, sociologists, designers, artists, heritage professionals, political scientists

Keywords: Commons, Tangible heritage, intangible heritage, archives, arts & culture, social dynamics, complex society, collective action, urban dynamics

UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity
Cultural Commons and Cultural CommunitiesCommunitites

Scientific Committee
Caterina Benincasa (D), Lia Fassari (I), Emma Galli (I), Arjo Klamer (NL), Martina Löw (D), Danila Longo (I), Emanuela Macrì (I), Valeria Morea (NL), Michele Trimarchi (I)


Open Call for Papers & Open Call for Artists

Deadline for Applications: July 31st, 2019

The conference welcomes submissions from young researchers, doctoral student and artists to present their work at the intersection of the arts and heritage within the context of urban commons.


Participation fee

Doctoral Students: 120€
Young Researchers: 150€

Fees include access to the two-day conference, with lunch and coffee breaks throughout. Fees do not cover travel and accommodation costs. To register, please send an email to and transfer the participation fee to:

Tools for Culture
IBAN: IT68 Z020 0805 2160 0010 4799 289
Object: **Name, Surname** , Cultural Commons Conference



Dipartimento di Diritto, Economia e Sociologia
Università di Catanzaro Magna Graecia

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In cooperation with

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European Journal of Creative Practices in Cities and Landscapes