Ana Méndez de Andés

School of Architecture

PhD Research Student

Ana Méndez de Andés
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Ana Méndez de Andés
School of Architecture
Arts Tower
Western Bank
S10 2TN

Ana Méndez de Andés Aldama is an architect and urban planner graduated by the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura (ETSA) in Madrid, Spain, where she also holds a MA in Urban Studies. Ana has worked as an urban and landscape designer in Amsterdam, Madrid and London. She has been teaching at the Universidad Europea in Madrid and visiting faculty at Tongji (Shanghai). Since 2005 she has been engaged in social movements and collective projects related to the social production of territories, the nature of public space, and urban commons' institutional development, such as urbanacción and Observatorio Metropolitano. In 2014, Ana joined the municipalist platform Ahora Madrid and was appointed Strategic Planning Advisor to Madrid City Council between 2015 and 2017. Presently, she holds a 1+3 White Rose DTP ESRC studentship to do her PhD with professors Doina Petrescu and Beth Perry as supervisors.

Research interests

Project title: 
Becoming-Common of the Public. Municipalist discourses, actors & strategies for commons-based governance of public spaces

Project outline: 
"Becoming-Common of the Public. Municipalist discourses, actors & strategies for commons-based governance of public spaces" is an activist-research project related to militant research projects on public space, urban processes and the commons, and the experience as an activist in the municipalist platform Ahora Madrid and a member of the militant-research collective Observatorio Metropolitano. The project is an inquiry into how social and institutional actors define the urban commons and their strategies to realise them in public spaces. 

In the last decades, commons have been a relevant political hypothesis for urban movements from the Right to the City to the copy-left culture. Lessons from traditional management of forests, fisheries or fields have merged with the production of knowledge sharing, open software or instances of care, to produce narratives and imaginary, as well as normative and practical know-how for emerging common practices around public spaces, urban gardens, housing cooperatives, time banks or social centres. Urban commons are situated between the materiality of the built environment and the immaterial organisation of social activities. Between 2015 and 2019, Spanish' Cities of Change' implemented public policies based on the commons in different fields and urban infrastructures, such as water, data sovereignty, social economy programs or cultural policies. These experiences show the commons hypothesis's potentials and limits and the need for new tools and theoretical frameworks.

The research will look at the actors and protocols involved in managing collective resources, the new institutional arrangements for social reproduction and the operational tools needed in the implementation of commons-based projects. It aims to define the operational tools needed to support self-managed projects, their experiences and knowledges, and identify the institutional transformations of public-estate institutions that produce public-common assemblages.

Primary supervisor: 
Professor Doina Petrescu

Professor Beth Perry (Urban Institute)

Date started: 01/10/2019

Research group

Design, engagement and practice