Financing the Cooperative City

»Rotaprint archi­tec­tur­al mon­u­ment. There is no prof­it to be made here«—so a ban­ner of the ExRo­taprint ini­tia­tive from 2007. The rea­son: a fight of the non-prof­it GmbH ExRo­taprint for the rights of use of land and build­ings that has been going on for years, repeat­ed­ly bro­ken promis­es and dubi­ous nego­ti­a­tions between the own­er of the land—the Liegen­schafts­fond Berlin—and inter­na­tion­al real estate com­pa­nies despite already promised and almost com­plet­ed han­dover. After long nego­ti­a­tions and mas­sive resis­tance the vic­to­ry comes for the gGmbH. With the help of Stiftung trias and Stiftung Edith Mary­on, the site is pur­chased in late sum­mer 2007 and a 99-year ground lease agree­ment is signed with ExRo­taprint gGmbH. This makes the gGmbH the own­er of the build­ings and sole­ly respon­si­ble for the project devel­op­ment. The pos­si­ble spec­u­la­tive spi­ral has been inter­rupt­ed. Since then, the entire com­plex has been man­aged and run accord­ing to non-prof­it prin­ci­ples with the aim of secur­ing het­ero­ge­neous uses and afford­able rents in the long term. The project is described as a “social sculp­ture”, which is at the same time firm­ly anchored in the neigh­bor­hood and active­ly engaged in urban the­o­ry dis­course in order to con­tin­u­ous­ly expand the basis of its work. © Mar­tin Eberle

The book and action research project Fund­ing the Coop­er­a­tive City. Com­mu­ni­ty Finance and the Econ­o­my of Civic Spaces describes numer­ous case stud­ies from across Europe, which tell of how local com­mu­ni­ty finance can be set up. A wide vari­ety of groups that have devel­oped new mod­els for devel­op­ing and oper­at­ing non-com­mer­cial spaces for their neigh­bor­hoods are pre­sent­ed and dis­cussed. None of this is easy, as many inter­views and dis­cus­sion notes reveal. But it is pos­si­ble: through the for­ma­tion of sol­i­dar­i­ty net­works, neigh­bor­ly com­mit­ment, a will­ing­ness to exper­i­ment, and admin­is­tra­tive and often finan­cial sup­port from the respec­tive communities.


Open Her­itage


Lev­ente Polyák, Daniela Pat­ti, founders, Eutropi­an GmbH; Yil­maz Vuru­cu, Baha­nur Nasya, Xsen­trikarts, Eutropi­an; Andrea Giu­liano, Jorge Mos­quera, Sophie Bod, Ste­fano Pat­ti, Eleono­ra Rugiero, Julia Baudi­er, Eutropi­an team


Since 2018



Färgfab­riken is an exhi­bi­tion space for art, archi­tec­ture and urban plan­ning in Stock­holm, which has exist­ed since 1995 and is the result of a col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Asso­ci­a­tion of Swedish Archi­tects (Sven­s­ka Arkitek­ters Riks­för­bund), Alcro-Beck­ers, ColArt and a group of artists and inde­pen­dent archi­tects. © Yil­maz Vuru­cu, xsentrikarts
Casci­na Roc­cafran­ca, Turin. The for­mer farm was pur­chased with the help of Euro­pean funds and trans­formed into a mul­ti­func­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty cen­ter, man­aged by both pub­lic and civ­il soci­ety actors. What makes this insti­tu­tion spe­cial is the close col­lab­o­ra­tion that has devel­oped between the munic­i­pal­i­ty of Turin and mem­bers of the non-prof­it asso­ci­a­tions and groups rep­re­sent­ed in Casci­na. © Casci­na Roccafranca
Stará Tržni­ca, Bratisla­va. The Old Mar­ket Hall in the cen­ter of Bratisla­va had stood emp­ty for years. This changed in 2013, when a non-prof­it civ­il soci­ety asso­ci­a­tion took over the build­ing from the munic­i­pal­i­ty. Togeth­er with exter­nal experts, a mul­ti-func­tion­al pro­gram was devel­oped for the hall. Today, in addi­tion to a week­ly mar­ket, cul­tur­al events, con­certs and oth­er events are also held here, where­by the prof­its do not go into the pock­ets of the oper­a­tors, but into the ren­o­va­tion and preser­va­tion of the build­ing. © Boris Nemeth
ExRo­taprint © Eutropian