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Managing the Urban Commons: What Space for Informal Livelihoods? What Role for Organizations of Informal Workers?

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Chen, Martha
Conference: Informality and Development: A Conference in Honor of Elinor Ostrom
Location: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Conf. Date: October 22-23
Date: 2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/10162
Sector: Urban Commons
Subject(s): informality
Abstract: "In this paper, I examine the management of two quite different types of 'urban commons' - public space and waste - drawing theoretically on the writings of Elinor Ostrom and other social scientists and empirically on my practical experience with organizations of street vendors and waste pickers. On a daily basis, in cities around the world, street vendors and waste pickers face being evicted from or denied access to the public resources that are critical to their livelihoods: public space from which to vend in the case of street vendors; waste (garbage or trash) to collect, sort and recycle in the case of waste pickers. This raises a key core question regarding how best to manage the urban commons: best for whom and for what uses?"

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