The U!REKA Lab: Urban Commons


The U!REKA Lab: Urban Commons is a joint project of the U!REKA partner universities in Amsterdam, Ghent, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Lisbon and Ostrava. Established in 2019, this international and interdisciplinary blended learning and research project deals with urban commons and focuses on different co-creation initiatives and potentials in these cities.

Current and future activities

As part of the Lab, local student groups from the participating institutions are studying the theoretical framework of urban commons, as well as the practices in different urban commons initiatives and common spaces by examining their orientation, aims, structures and ways of working. These forms of community-based urban co-creation are addressed through visual, artistic and ethnographic approaches, such as documentary and creative videography, (actor) photography and mappings.


The agenda of the U!REKA Lab: Urban Commons involves participatory methods and aims at including the actors and local commoners in a co-creative process of knowledge creation. The overall goal is to compare different approaches and concrete examples in each country and form a more holistic view on what urban commons and commoning could mean in the cities of the future: from social life and culture, to mobility, elderly care, climate change and housing. This lead to common exhibitions, presentations and publications (a book on the lab will be published in 2024). As a best-practice example for challenge-based collaborative education the Lab contributes to the development of common seminars and study programmes and the educational agenda of the U!REKA SHIFT European university network.

During the different phases of the U!REKA Lab: Urban Commons, students and staff exchange through the work on a common topic and research agenda; participants meet online and live, during summer schools and Blended Intensive Programs, as well as in the annual U!REKA conferences in order to facilitate an ongoing knowledge exchange.

The U!REKA Lab: Urban Commons is financed by the U!REKA partner universities, the DAAD national co-funding programme and the European Union as part of the U!REKA SHIFT European University.

U!REKA Lab: Urban Commons Partners

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS), Hoogeschool Gent (HoGent), Metropolia University of Applied Sciences Helsinki, Polit├ęcnico de Lisboa, (IPL), Technical University of Ostrava (VSB), University of Ostrava