Camilla Crea

«Navigating» biens communax, civic uses and urban commons

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In the Italian legal system civic uses have been intended in a residual and oppositional way, that is, as exceptions to individualist and liberal property regimes. Notwithstanding the tendency to dismiss them, that historically has been behind the relevant legislation, the category has experienced a ‘resilience’ process. Civic (and collective) uses are supposed to be articulated not only within a different assessment of property, but also within a correct construction of party autonomy in keeping with the values of the legal system. Starting with a historical-retrospective analysis and a comparison with the French experience of biens communaux, the essay addresses the suitability and limits of some legal concepts concerning collective domains: ‘primary legal order of original communities’ and ‘self-regulating capacity’. The aim is to analyze a possible virtuous use of these – pre-capitalist, indeed – models in the context of cooperative practice of inter-generational use, management and preservation of urban commons as emerging commons.


  • Party Autonomy
  • Urban Commons
  • Civic Uses
  • Biens Communaux
  • Principles-values
  • Primary Legal Order
  • Self-regulating Capacity
  • Constitutionally-oriented Interpretation


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