The notion of “commons” unites open resources of any kind: natural, cultural, spatial, material and immaterial - of which ownership and access is shared. These common resources need to be maintained, as do the collection of practices that govern and preserve them. Yet Georgia‘s rapid shift to a neoliberal political system in the 1990s resulted in a new understanding of these commons - resources that are open for commodification and individualization. As finite resources, these commons need to be sustained, nurtured and managed by communities and professionals. Architects, urbanists and state institutions have a fundamental role to play in the reclamation of the commons - no more so than in Tbilisi. The second edition of the Tbilisi Architecture Biennial, which is conceived under the name What Do We Have in Common proposes to take a closer look at the notion of commonness in our increasingly individualized and fragmented societies. After the dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union, several barely recognized countries were added to the world map. These newly born “post-socialist” states had to undergo an inevitable but painful transformation from planned to a market economy - economic transition that has been expressed in both the city‘s cultural norms and its urban fabric. A “collectively” organized society became increasingly individualized, the planned urban spaces turned into more fragmented and divided ones.
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