The idea for the Global Urban Commons emerged at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Urban Summit at the Bellagio Study Center in July 2007. This gathering of government officials, finance experts, academicians, NGO heads, and other thought leaders explored new approaches to solving 21st century urban challenges. Century of the City: No Time to Lose (2009) by Neal R. Peirce and Curtis W. Johnson with Farley M. Peters documents the outcomes from that Summit.

In August 2013, The Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR), and the Economist Intelligence Unit hosted “The Future of Transforming Cities,” at the Bellagio Center as part of the Foundation’s “Visionaries Unbound Series.” Bringing together twenty thought leaders to explore urban futures, the participants called again for the creation of a Global Urban Commons to champion ideas for better city and international data exchanges.

For more information about this initiative:

In March 2014, Penn IUR hosted fifty international researchers for  the Sustainable Urbanization: Place Matters Summit at the University of Pennsylvania. Researchers noted that urban-focused research tends to be narrowly focused by academic specialization, or limited by the geography of existing networks or resource capacities. Participants agreed that a meta-network could help connect research streams, increase the opportunities for collaboration and partnerships and offer a supportive platform, helping researchers translate their work more quickly into actionable strategies for, and with, practitioners.

For PDFs of the summit program and final report please see the links below:

The Global Urban Commons has a directory of more than two hundred organizations. A world map that highlights the organizations and provided links to their websites is located here: Organizations 

To join the Global Urban Commons please fill out the form here: Join. Please include a contact email to learn more about the GUC and receive updates as the GUC community grows.