The purpose of this paper is to investigate a crucial question relating to institutional design in the public sector. After two centuries of Leviathan-like public institutions or Welfare State, do we still need full delegation of every public responsibility and/or exclusive monopoly of the power to manage public affairs? In particular, is there space for a collaborative/polycentric urban governance matrix? In the “sharing”, “peer to peer” “collaborative” age, there might be space for a new design of public institutions? Can urban assets and resources or the city as a whole be transformed into collaborative ecosystems that enable collective action for the commons?”. To investigate this question I chose the city, conceptualized as a commons, as an observation point. A large, developed urban city like Italy is a unique point of study. It is a large community of its own, and it is also developed of individual smaller communities that have their own networks.
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