Author: Henkjan Laats
After applying Ostrom’s design principles, three cases of direct trade in Amsterdam show that they can be considered as (new) commons. Two cases -FoodCoopNoord and the Czaar Peterstraat- are locally embedded, while a third case -the Chocoladekaravaan- includes the transport of chocolate from Grenada to Amsterdam. They are all examples of transition economy. Because of their ethic character new challenges arise on aspects such as inclusiveness, quality of life and sustainability.
Taking into account their uniqueness, complexity and innovative character, blueprints will not work. Bottom-up initiatives are crucial. Furthermore, the studied commons show the importance of structure and trust. Although in two of the three cases authorities do not support the commons, it is suggested that a promotional role of authorities is essential for the increase of new commons.