Mapping the Commons

Mapping the Commons is a collaborative cultural innovation project which brings together some of the unMonastery projects - Object Research and Design with local artisans by Rita and Antonio, Walking Ethnographies by Lucia, Community Video by Maria, unGuide by Katalin, in collaboration with Open Tech School by Kei and possibly David’s project - with numerous existing initiatives and organisations in Matera (Casa Netural, OSM, Il Vagabondo, Agri-Neutral, the university of Basilicata, sociologist Emanuela Vita). Its first prototype focuses on the Piccianello neighborhood of Matera. As the result of the information we have gathered and relationships we have developed through our projects in Matera in the last 2 months, we have devised several strategies for addressing challenges and sharing ideas; collecting and retelling stories; gathering knowledge and recording the history of Matera.

Mapping The Commons is a long-term plan to develop economic, social, cultural and environmental sustainability practices in Matera that leverage current local initiatives and build on existing knowledge and relationships. While we continue to gather information and refine the map of the cultural commons, we will begin to explore more deeply two areas of focus that have emerged from our conversations and interactions with people and organizations in Matera: tourism and local artisans/traditional practices.

CURRENT accomplishments:

  • Research on Global Sustainable Tourism Council guidelines and indicators and the possibility for Matera to join the network (Katalin)
  • Set up Sustainable Tourism Working group (Maria and Rita) first meeting April 16, next meeting May 6- initiate google group
  • Develop project identity for external communication- eg name, style, etc (Kei, Lucia)
  • Coordinate with Casa Netural on mapping empty spaces project (Maria, Lucia)
  • Mapping sessions (Kei) First workshop: introduce 3 mapping technologies for plotting and uploading media - including sound, text, and video - to specific locations Second workshop: a follow-up to upload data gathered on one or several maps and layer participants’ media
  • Communication: taking charge of direct communication with university, creating Facebook group, social drinks event for university (and its students) in Piccianello, and group mailing list for communication (Katalin).
  • Gather information about permits to display things in public for unGuides, a new tourist route focusing on the Piccianello (unGuides: (Rita)
  • Working with Emmanuele Curti and Sylvana Kuhtz to develop a written industrial history of the area Working with university, Il vagabondo, Casa Netural, OSM group, Emanuela Vita, to develop further possibilities (ALL)
  • Discussions with local artisans (Rita and Antonio)
  • Community engagement videos in Piccianello- focus on Unused spaces with Casa Neutral, Food/Market with MariaTeresa, Work, Artisanal practices with Rita and Antonio, and Tourism (Maria)
  • Walking ethnographies with residents (Lucia)

DEVELOPING the project further: Website (Kei, with content by Lucia, Maria and Katalin)

  • Schedule meetings with more collaborators eg. TILT
  • Generate name and cohesive project description(s)
  • Confirm “Piccianello Day” schedule in connection to the Piccianello conference (organised by the university) taking place at the end of May (day, participants, locations, activities)
  • Satellite unMonastery hub in empty space in Picianello market (Rita) Develop idea w/ Emanuela for mapping the relationship between women, traditions and public space in Piccianello (Lucia, Maria)
  • Develop idea to train local mappers with Il Vagabondo using Ramblr (Lucia, Il Vagabondo)
  • Involve Marc and Elf to offer the implementation of Open Energy Monitors for local businesses (hotels, etc) in order to develop measurable sustainable tourism practices
  • Work with the Walking the line project which focuses on the area of Piccanello
  • Develop commons mapping toolkit so that this model can be transferred to other neighbourhoods (all)

Although the projects will be decided and implemented by the group we now are beginning to form, some possible outcomes could be:

  • -The integration of the Piccianello into the tourist routes currently focusing on the Sassi, deepening the understanding of the city with its complex history and complicated relationship to the Sassi (by visitors and inhabitants alike), fabricating new narratives pointing towards possible futures
  • -Utilise unused building(s) into shared communal spaces to nurture intergenerational relations, and provide an off-line interface for people to meet, share expertise, skills, resources and ideas
  • -Develop online platform for continuing collaboration between local initiatives and the gathering of information, which then can be expanded to other parts of the city
  • -Maintain relationship with their global equivalent (e.g. Global Sustainable Tourism Council)
  • -Develop new traditions and bring into view existing hidden ones
  • - a commons mapping toolkit that can be used by residents and local organisations for other neighbourhoods
1 Like

Love this

Excellent work, Maria! Is this the whole Piccianello Project or one of its parts?

sharing the love

The commons project idea was the result of a few planning meetings and this write-up a collaboration. I am just the posting agent. We are initially focusing on Piccianello area of Matera as that maps nicely on to local initiatives already in motion but we hope it will expand to other parts of Matera.

Got it

Looks nice and organic. I have a good feeling about this.

Maybe convert this post into a project?

Hi Maria,

good write-up, thank you! I wanted to ask if you’d be up for creating an Edgeryders group called Mapping the Commons to support the collaboration around it, both in Matera but possibly in other places if others get excited about it? Something like the one Kei has set  up for Open Tech School Matera. Resoning: with solid documentation and updates on the project it is much easier for others to jump on board and help because they understand what is needed, what has already been done and how they can make themselves useful. Without taking too much hand holding to get up to speed…

Please help o find Piccianello event updates!

During last Thursday community call we spoke about the Piccianello event with @Dorotea and @Auli. Yesterday the event happened. I would like to contribute to the update on this event, but the only part I have been actively involved in is Kung Fu School program which I can write about.

@Katalin and @Lucia we coordinating the event, if I get it right - @Lucia was out point of contact with the rest of the event. Let me know if you have another thread on ER to tell Piciannello event story or is it this one?

Hi @mariabyck and co.! Just wanted to congratulate you for the project, I came across your website and find it very useful as an overview of your work in Matera. It’s the kind of tool that has a lot of potential to unify projects and also seems to have a low threshold for others’ participating.

Looking forward to see it growing! Curious, what software did you end up using for mapping? I remember there was talks of integrating with OSM?

Just saw this!

Hey, thanks @Noemi.

The website’s using Mapbox, which mainly relies on OSM data but allows for more styling. The website needs more work that I haven’t had time for in past days, but I’m trying to see about using/ expanding tools already built from projects listed on this thread.

As it develops, I think we would love to see it be useful to other projects.

Partners in Florence

The Near Future of Education System in Florence is doing some interesting projects you might be interested in following:

"The students at ISIA Design Florence, a famous italian Design University which faced closure due to financial cuts, have decided to experiment on the Near Future Design of their own education system, to abandon the state of crisis through the design of a commons-based, peer-to-peer, emergent, permeable model.

This model will be started by founding a Foundation operating under wirearchical organizational models, through a crowd-funding campaign, by forming a wide network of international cooperants and by establishing a network of partnerships to access the funds for its implementation."


Thank you, @Bezdomny , it is really interesting!

MMM means Mapping

Mapa Mundi Multitudinorum

Mapping of Mappings of Mappings.

Call it however you like, but also please refer to this research further explained at

late response

I was not getting updates on posts to this thread so did not see all your wonderful ideas and support for mapping the commons. @nadia I like your idea of creating a edgeryders project. I will speak with others about it.

@noemi, Kei is mainly responsible for the website and yes I think she did use OSM and I used mapbox, and are still trying to integrate ramblr for Lucia´s projects. @kei, @katalin, @lucia