Infrastructures are the new commons

Infrastructure as a new commons

Frischmann proposes that infrastructures are resources that should be thought of and managed as commons:

Specifically, infrastructural resources satisfy the following criteria:

(1) The resource may be consumed nonrivalrously for some appreciable range of demand.

(2) Social demand for the resource is driven primarily by downstream productive activity that requires the resource as an input.

(3) The resource may be used as an input into a wide range of goods and services, which may include private goods, public goods, and social goods. (Frischmann, 2012)

This aligns with the idea that infrastructure is fundamentally an element of an industrial economy, but it takes a wider scope, allowing for forms of production, use, and value that may not be of immediate economic value. Treating infrastructure as a resource is interesting in itself, and the idea of linking this to the commons, a principle effectively eliminated by the rise of capitalism is also appealing.

Frischmann, B. M. (2012). Infrastructure. The social value of shared resources. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.