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Ghent (/ˈɡɛnt/; Dutch: Gent pronounced [ɣɛnt]; French: Gand [ɡɑ̃]; German: Gent [ˈgɛnt]) is a city and a municipality in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province and after Antwerp the largest municipality of Belgium. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Leie and in the Late Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe, with some 50,000 people in 1300. It is a port and university city.

The municipality comprises the city of Ghent proper and the surrounding towns of Afsnee, Desteldonk, Drongen, Gentbrugge, Ledeberg, Mariakerke, Mendonk, Oostakker, Sint-Amandsberg, Sint-Denijs-Westrem, Sint-Kruis-Winkel, Wondelgem and Zwijnaarde. With 240,191 inhabitants in the beginning of 2009, Ghent is Belgium’s second largest municipality by number of inhabitants. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,205 km2 (465 sq mi) and has a total population of 594,582 as of 1 January 2008, which ranks it as the fourth most populous in Belgium. The current mayor of Ghent, Daniël Termont, leads a coalition of the Socialistische Partij Anders, Groen and Open VLD.

The ten-day-long Ghent Festival (Gentse Feesten in Dutch) is held every year and attended by about 1–1.5 million visitors.


adding page because of Michel Bauwens in Ghent 2017

how is different from the FLOK Society project in Ecuador in 2014 …. First, here, the public authorities were very supportive and motivated ,and promised a follow up. Second, intensive contact with commoners as two-way street (in Ecuador, I had to mobilize them with great effort). Third, FLOK focused on knowledge commons, and I had to subvert the project to add the ‘material conditions’ for them, but here in Ghent, we went straight to all commons, material and immaterial. Part one explains, why the city and the commons (not yet as a commons) now ?; second part, what is happening in other European cities; third, our analysis of the local situation, its gaps and strenghts; part 4, how can the city authorities react to the new social demands of the commoners; this part had 18 integrated proposals

our Commons Transition Plan is now officially out, and available via the Ghent city site,

but first here a overview article:

The city of Ghent asked the renowned thinker Michel Bauwens transition to the world’s first urban “commons” transition plan to draw from. This plan will provide a major boost to the already rampant civil initiatives of Ghent. Is another city where possible governance and citizen each partner?


jon fb share

I spent a few days in Ghent last year, and saw plenty of evidence of this. Even more now, apparently


Michel fb share

analysis of the commons’ experience in Ghent, by Dirk Holemans:

What is still missing, however, in Ghent and elsewhere, is the ‘maker city’ model of the commons, namely a production model based on open design.

The aim however was not just to map projects, as the research question was twofold and of a political nature. It first looked at the potentially new facilitating and regulating relationship between the local Ghent government and citizens to enhance the development of commons initiatives. It then asked if cities can be actors in social, economic, and institutional change at a time when nation-states are no longer capable of regulating the transnational economy. Can networks of cities be part of a new transnational governance model?


ghent – taking the commons to heart – by @ecodenker dec 2017

The Belgian city of Ghent plays host to a broad range of projects and initiatives around the commons. But it *has yet to adopt a model which really places a commons-focused approach and logic at the core of its institutions and processes.

What is still missing, however, in Ghent and elsewhere, is the ‘maker city’ model of the commons, namely a production model based on open design.

even more.. what is missing.. is a *letting go of money/measuring transactions et al.. aka: what is missing is .. common ing

Second, cities can more consciously manage the way they cooperate. There are already examples in the field of climate policy or the regulation of Uber, but *this can be taken much further..International coalitions of cities should be true institutions for translocal and global cooperation..t

*ie: facil 7 bn daily curiosities (via 2 convos).. make money/war et al irrelevant (via gershenfeld sel)

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

The city is then no longer a territory which needs politicians behaving as managers; it is, first and foremost, a living community of creative citizens

However, more cooperation is necessary to develop the counter-current needed.

If the new wave of citizen movements is to acquire real power, then it will have to organise itself translocally from the beginning, .. t..whereby coalitions of cities with clear political and economic objectives take the lead.

let’s make the objectives deep/simple/open enough for 7bn.. to leap to equity... from the get go.. ie: maté basic needs via 2 convos


Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) tweeted at 6:54 AM – 7 Oct 2018 :
RT @AlterUK21: #Ghent is an “alt-city” – opening its planning and resources to the decision-making of citizens: (


Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) tweeted at 4:37 AM – 26 May 2019 :
this wonderful project with learning expeditions around urban commons and commons policy is coming to belgium: ghent and brussels are on the agenda: (


oct 2019 – michel fb share:

Update: Ghent Commons Transition Plan is dead and buried

dear friends,

perhaps you are familiar with the potato tower phenomena, i.e. thousands of people posting pictures about how they are growing potatoes in a ‘tower fashion’ but never updating it when the project fails , as it seems it does.

it means we should always tell the truth, also when things don’t work out for our idealistic commons plans.

Unfortunately, I have to communicate that the Commons Transition Plan we crafted for the city of Ghent, is dead and buried. The new coalition under liberal leadership, but with the Greens in the coalition, has not made any progress at all, and I have not even been able to have the city nominate one single representative to respond to a invitation by the city of Barcelona for an important conference, after nine months of efforts.

Citizens continue their efforts in their millions, in difficult and precaroius circumstances, but the reality of politics is that it is extremely difficult still to find traction, and real support for this civic actions. We have the ear of a few politicians, but lacking real and sustained pressure from the commoners themselves, progress is slow and marginal.

As Roosevelt said to the unions during the New Deal: ‘make me do it’



common ing

commons transition

flok society

1 yr to try commons et al.. a nother way