About The Commons

The Case Study of Mondeggi

Chiara Angiolini    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



Studies on commons management have attempted to outline alternatives to private property that are founded upon and shaped by the community they affect. The Mondeggi “farm without owners” case tells the story of a property of approximately 200 hectares in size. The property is now owned by a local public authority (Provincia di Firenze). By means of a committee-based governing model, the local community aims to promote inclusive management of the farm while creating jobs, fostering the spread of “farmers’ expertise”, and promoting biodiversity. This study considers the economic sustainability of this good management model as well as the legal mechanisms which clearly define an open community that does not exercise exclusive rights over the goods it manages. It also examines the crucial relationship between those who enjoy and manage a certain good and those who formally own it. This project represents an excellent case study for examining common goods as well as the opportunities offered and risks posed by open, inclusive horizontal good management approaches that bear in mind the financial needs of community members. As far as the relationship with public institutions is concerned, the “farm without owners” allows the management committee and local community to work hand in hand while pursuing common, sustainable goals.