Urban Green Commons for Socially Sustainable Cities and Communities


Stephan Barthel, Johan Colding, Anne Sofie Hiswåls, Peder Thalén and Päivi Turunen

In these times of global pandemics and climate crisis, social sustainability has become a crucial issue within diverse sectors and disciplines. This article aims to broaden the discussions on social sustainability in general, and in relation to community work within professional social work in particular. By means of a cross-disciplinary bricolage approach –with a focus on the commons – we aim to construct a holistic view of urban social sustainability. Beginning with the Anthropocene concept, which recognises the human impact on the Earth’s natural systems and hence highlights the need to include the natural environment as a determinant of good and fair living conditions for all, we remix arguments andexamples relating to social sustainability with environmental and spatial dimensions to develop an urban green commons. Our cross-disciplinary perspective extends beyond contemporary social policy by bringing together natural resource management, public health, and spiritual aspects of the commons. In order to fit the plurality of urban contexts across the planet, further critical deliberations are needed, focusing on social sustainability and collective action for sustainable change in each context.

For a full read of this essay, click here or on the picture to download the pdf file.


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