On the Commons / Commons Magazine


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On the Commons is a network of citizens and organizations working toward a commons-based society. The commons refers to the natural and socially-created commons belonging to all of us that — when used wisely and fairly — will benefit everyone, including future generations.

Save the Planet, Starting on Your Own Block

Local efforts are the backbone of global green activism.

Ideas & Initiatives from On The Commons


Join a public art project to recognize the Great Lakes as a commons.

A Multitude of Wonderful Things We Share…

But rarely think about.

On Waiting and Writing

A conversation with poet Juliet Patterson.

Commons in the News

Oregon Blazes a Trail to End Student Debt

Innovative bill gets banks out of student loans.

Connecticut Moves Toward Commons-Based Land Use Plan

A new approach factors in community contributions to land values.

4 Circles of Judaism Honor the Commons

Open space, the Sabbath, sabbaticals, Jubilee.

Tea Party Targets Libraries

Even a $1 year tax hike to maintain services is too much for them.

Life in the Green Lane

Protected bike lanes reclaim our streets as commons.


“Everyone has to take responsibility for the commons.”

—Thomas L. Friedman, NY Times columnist

“The mark of a world-class city is having iconic, safe, beautiful public spaces for people to enjoy, to congregate, to rest, to take in the beauty of the city.”

—Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City Transportation Commissioner

Connections, Community and the Pursuit of the Commons

Why public life and good places matter.

Civil Disobedience As Law Enforcement

Applying the Public Trust Doctrine to climate change.


Laurie Cirivello

People-powered journalist puts the local back into news.

Only Congress Can End 40 Years of Insanity

The government’s approach to medical marijuana is a tragedy in three acts.


Andreas Weber

His enlivenment theory is a commons breakthrough.

Create Your Own Commons

How a bench transformed a suburban neighborhood.

Commons-Based Ideas to Support Artists

New ways to pay the piper (and the painter, poet and performer).

On the Commons Work

An Update from the Field

Learn more about the co-creative work we undertake to protect and promote the commons today.

Thank Your Local Placemaker

A way to appreciate those who brighten our communities.

Grow the commons movement. Become a sustainer today.


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