Jay Walljasper

Jay Walljasper, editor of OnTheCommons.org and author of All That We Share and The Great Neighborhood Book, writes widely about cities, community, sustainability and travel. On The Commons is a commons movement strategy center.

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011
On Wisconsin!
Giving everyday workers more power to determine their working conditions and increase their pay is a core goal of the commons movement. Without collective bargaining, which through history has been one of the most effective ways of people working together for their common good, we’ll have little hope of making any progress toward economic equity.
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Monday, January 24, 2011
The Commons Moment is Now
Social change is not something easily diagrammed on a chart. Sweeping transformations that rearrange the workings of an entire culture begin imperceptibly, quietly but steadily entering people’s minds until one day it seems the ideas were there all along. Even in our age of instantaneous information—when a scrap of information can zoom around the globe in mere seconds, people’s world views still evolve quite gradually.
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Saturday, December 25, 2010
All That We Share
Welcome to the commons. The term may be unfamiliar, but the idea has been around for centuries. The commons is a new use of an old word, meaning "what we share"-and it offers fresh hope for a saner, safer, more enjoyable future. The commons refers to a wealth of valuable assets that belong to everyone. These range from clean air to wildlife preserves; from the judicial system to the Internet. Some are bestowed to us by nature; others are the product of cooperative human creativity.
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Cycle City, USA
It's become a cliché that Portland is America's most livable city, a hotbed for innovative ways to support green policies, public spaces , pedestrian amenities, transit , and, of course, bicycles. In fact some people are growing weary (and the rest of us envious) of hearing about how great thin
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Thursday, September 30, 2010
How to Make Biking Mainstream: Lessons from the Dutch
Last spring, public officials from Madison, Wisconsin, returned home from a tour of the Netherlands, and within three weeks were implementing what they learned there about promoting bicycling on the streets of their own city.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Giving Thanks for What We Share
Last November, it seemed that the U.S. was moving in the direction of becoming a more commons-based society: that we were learning to better value and protect our shared resources for the benefit of all . This year, though, measures that once seemed inevitable-like health care reform, increased social spending, and tougher Wall Street regulations-are now being challenged in fierce debates.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The Victory of the Commons
The biggest roadblock standing in the way of many people's recognition of the importance of the commons came tumbling down when Indiana University professor Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize for Economics.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Here's Good News About Your Net Worth
Let me offer some good news about the state of your wealth. Sure, the 401(k) tanked, the house lost a big chunk of value, and things are looking shaky at work. Indeed, the Federal Reserve recently reported that Americans all together lost $5.1 trillion during the last three months of 2008 alone. But what you possess individually accounts for only part of your true net worth. Each of us also owns a stake in some extremely valuable assets: clean air, fresh water, national forests, the Internet, public universities, blood banks, rich cultural traditions and more.
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