[CITAMS] Journal of Peer Production #11: CITY

Mathieu O'Neil mathieu.oneil at anu.edu.au
Mon Mar 12 20:24:39 EDT 2018

[Apologies for multiple posts]

The new special issue of the Journal of Peer Production on CITY is published!


It showcases a wide variety of case studies in cities from different geographies of the Global North and Global South namely Barcelona, Berlin, Brisbane, Brussels, Ciudad Juárez, Dhaka, Genoa, London, Melbourne, Milan, New York, Paris, Rosario.

Some of those case studies focus more on peer production technologies and others more on the social and political processes on the ground, all with different research methodologies and approaches. They invite us to reflect  on various forms of peer production of knowledge and representation of the city as a commons, where technology should be considered as both a tool (infrastructure) and a contested space. They look at challenges of governance focusing on citizen-driven models of peer production in the city where local governments are called to be in dialogue and build synergies with different stakeholder communities. They use participatory and collaborative methods to collect their data following co-creative research approaches. They are transdisciplinary as much as interdisciplinary in both the methodological and theoretical approaches taken by contributors who merge together urban studies, architecture, informatics, political and social sciences, and ethnography to name a few. The authors collaborated directly - as activists or through their research with other activists, communities and/or stakeholders- giving voice to all those involved in the making and sharing of those projects.

In numbers, there are eight case study research papers which have been peer-reviewed and revised through the particularly transparent review process of JoPP (i.e. for each of the peer-reviewed papers the originally submitted version, the reviews and the final feedback of reviewers on the revised version are made public) and four experimental contributions that have been reviewed by the special issue editors. The experimental pieces follow a less rigorous and more playful format, an interview with commentary, a dialogue, a call for participation, and an open-ended online article. They all invite us, the readers, to follow up their stories in dedicated online venues, or even in face-to-face meetings, and participate in the form of peer production that they advocate for.

Along similar endeavours opening up to possibility and hope in the midst of uncertainty, these twelve stories of peer production, most of them positive and encouraging, document and analyse different forms of citizen engagement and participation. They are good examples of situated action that can provide inspiration and eventually help to build tools, toolkits, best practices, patterns, and methodologies. As editors, we learned a great deal while putting together these contributions, all different in style, context, and methodology. We hope that they will prove inspiring and empowering for all readers as well to engage as citizens-activists, co-creators, insurgent architects, who appropriate and contextualise urban technologies and materialities to serve local collective needs.

The editors,

Nicholas, Penny, Panayotis

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