Dwelling the commons to preserve the right to the city

Ensuring access to affordable housing is a main issue for worldwide urban policies. Despite variegated strategies, public housing, cyclically recaptured by the market, is unable to provide shelters for the increasing precarious urban population. The main issue is the transformation of housing property into a commodity devoted to provide
real estate and financial incomes.
In this contribution, I will present Community Land Trust as it was created by the civil rights movement through a long process of “legal bricolage” seeking to ensure access to land for African American communities, and as it was then consolidated by urban movements contesting Robert Moses’s New York Regeneration Plan.
I will discuss how CLT – actually spreading both in common and civil law traditions as a way to contrast speculation and financial gentrification – can be understood as a commons since it reverses exclusivity and distributes powers and utilities among a whole, present and future, urban community.