Linz as »Commons City«

[german version]

Recently, StefanMz was skeptical about the inflationary use of the word Commons, so here is a similarly ambiguous case, which to me nevertheless seems very interesting:

The Austrian city of Linz has launched an initiative to become the first »open commons region« in Europe. The initiative is designed to stimulate the use of open-access and electronic dissemination of data, software, teaching and learning materials and other so called »Open Commons« (common good) stored content. Linz had previously taken pioneering steps to bring the citizens to the Internet. In 2005 the hot spot initiative started, which has been built 118 hotspots for free access to the Internet. In addition, for each citizen, web space and a personal e-mail inbox is available on the servers of the city – as well as programs for non-commercial publication of content on the Internet.

The article continues:

The open commons region Linz shall both serve public needs and bring economic stimulus. The initiative goes beyond the already existing »open source regions,« which already exist in Berlin, Nuremberg, Vienna and Stuttgart, because it emphasizes the commons in general at least as strong as free software. There are collaborations planned with other regions to use their experience.

Will the insight prevail, that Commons also means qualifying people to act as a community and to maintain and develop infrastructures in the long run? Or does  »Commons« only work as a quick fix being evidently clear and working by itself?

The initiative is intended to reduce costs, avoid dependency, promote local initiatives, strengthen the economy, create value, establish transparency and legal certainty. »Open Commons, the intangible common good of the 21 Century has become indispensable in our society. There are solid technical, economic, cultural and social reasons,« write the initiators. They rely on the participation of all social groups, and »it is expected that results will be available soon, which would conventionally not achievable«.

A case for longer-term observtion. Moreover, this initiative is also to be challenged and tested.

All quotes from [originally german]

Other reports here: ORF Futurezone, derStandard, Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, Die Zeit [all in german]


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