The platform of Open Source Urbanism aims to open designs of various urban initiatives in order to allow citizens change urban environments themselves accordingly to their needs and desires. The platform presumes active participation of urban activists and innovators co-creating urban projects via non-hierarchical peer mechanisms. Citizens can contribute to the common knowledge co-production in different ways: as peers by joining Do-It-Yourself urban initiatives, as sensors by digitalizing urban projects in order to open their design for everyone, or as OSU-ambassadors by organizing peers on city-level.
OSU-platform is a design research experiment on the phase of alpha-test. If you're interested in participation, please write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no unambiguous definition of Open Source Urbanism due to the novelty of the concept. Karin Bradley perceives it as the open source co-production of urban commons, and thus part of the CBPP movement. She argues that “open source urbanism embodies a critique of both government and privately led urban development and is advancing a form of post-capitalist urban development that may, however, be supported by the public sector” (Bradley, 2015). The results of this practice are 'spatial commons' that are designed and managed collaboratively by citizens in order to satisfy their needs, not to produce profits. By using Open Source Innovation such designs could be copied and further developed in other places. In the same manner, Baibarac and Petrescu (2017) argue that application of open source technologies and commoning in community-driven urban design may help to achieve a radical urban transformation so that “new civic, cultural and economic practices, involving ethical, ecological and equitable uses of urban resources, can emerge”. They say that “commoning projects can broadly range from urban gardening, the rehabilitation of community parks and the reactivation of public space through cultural practices, to developing alternative participatory democratic practices, collaborative and sharing forms of economy, peer-to-peer production and open-source technology”. Due to the specific goal of their proposition in achieving greater social resilience, they use the term 'open source resilience' which we perceive as a subset of open source urbanism practice.
We define Open Source Urbanism as citizen-driven commons-based peer production of open urban design, aimed at urban transformation and innovation. The concept of Open Source Urbanism is a grassroots community practice that can be assisted by an online-platform for urban design documentation co-production. OSU shapes new sociotechnical relations in cities because various citizen interventions are already turning public spaces into 'techno-material artifacts' that are designed and maintained by their users. Online platforms play a crucial role in such relations offering tools for communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing among the geographically distributed members of a community.