Legal action as collective agency to protect climate

Climate is our largest common and climate change is the grand challenge of our time. However, this is still inadequately understood and climate change policies prioritise private economic interests at the expense of common good.
This paper explores legal action contributing towards contestation of current climate
change policies and the underlying power relations asking the question: How can legal action contribute to better understanding of climate as a common? It thereby brings the largely omitted ontological question of the private property right to pollute to the forefront and conceptualizes the legal action as collective agency in challenging this right to cause public harm. Moreover, legal action is seen as defending the precautionary principle and intergenerational justice, both of which are currently neglected central questions of climate change policies.
The study focuses on lawsuits against governments and corporations in EU that have a
potentially precedence-setting nature.

Urban commons and privatisation of public spaces. What is new with the Next Generation EU?

The paper is a constitutional law research on urban commons (Foster 2011), as ways to self-organise to make spaces accessible, thus claiming resources for social rights, struggle against exclusion (Stavrides 2016) and claiming democratic institutions (Micciarelli 2018).
In the legal context of European Union, the issue is linked to austerity, that forced States to use (and sell) their property as profitable assets instead of public interest goods (Italy, DLgs 85/2010). Hence, commons are central in experiences of public audit institutions on debt (Fattorelli 2014).
In the pandemic context, Recovery Fund (RF) (Reg. 2021/241) seems to reverse this trend. However, it rather seems in continuity with the past (Salmoni 2021), referring to the stability pact (Somma 2021) and promoting 'enabling reforms' that favour competition law over public function.
The study makes the case for a structural change, with the expansion of the EU budget and the direct intervention of EU institutions.

How inhabitants of a city can take part in the definition and the “co-gestion” of public policies regarding commons patterns

My paper will focus on the legal mechanisms that would allow the inhabitants of a city to participate in the definition and management of public policies applicable to the city or their neighbourhoods in urban areas. How communities of inhabitants and actors can organise themselves to co-construct and co-manage these policies with the public authorities (or manage without). Using example of Marseilles, I will look at the obstacles and levers. The paper will also try to see how the existing system can be improved from other European examples.

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.

Commons as a “traditional-disruptive” model on territory management and service of public economic interest provision

Human geographical territories that do not serve capital, have been long abandoned by state and market, that contemplate them as research objects, or product stock placing sites, at best. Shrinking rural communities find their own solutions to self-resolve commonalities by the recovery of classical communal institutions in innovative ways that, in addition, meet EU acquis, and challenge the neoliberal scheme for goods and services provision. They do not only contribute with intelligent formulas by acomplishing the human sostenibility and environmental protection, but show how commons practices are solution when facing the long critic by capitalism to public systems on the principle of budget stability. Both the cases of forest conservation and profit by settlers, and the access to the Internet, should serve as examples on how commons might become, at short term, a key solution for highly regulated sectors, such as environmental policies and Services of public economic interest.