The Governance Toolkit

The Governance Toolkit helps envisioning, planning and governing the commoning processes and is also open-source!

The Governance Toolkit provides tools for designing the governance of the generative commons. 

How to support a collective or commons-oriented initiative in designing the most adequate form of governance? We realised that the answer is not providing ready-made models of decisional systems or organisational structures. These may be helpful references and inspirations only once the organisation’s metabolism and the conditions within which it operates is have been explored and fully understood. We aimed to offer the possibility for the generative commons to explore themselves and their operational needs. Our purpose in conceiving the toolkit has been designing the processes that could lead collectives to investigate their conditions, assess their capacities, envision their future, learn about the most appropriate choices in terms of legal and governance structures.  

We identified three main needs and unsolved issues of the collectives and commons initiatives concerning governance:

  • Maintaining the alignment with their mission and values while redefining their future and preparing for growth.
  • Learning about their rights and responsibilities and exploring and assessing the most appropriate forms of governance.
  • Dealing with space and with the unavoidable impact it has one governance matters.

A coaching system called Mirroring, a roleplaying game called Commons and Dragons and an architectural modelling methodology called Space Matters are the tools we developed to respond to these needs while triggering meaningful processes. 


The Governance Toolkit was developed by Community Land Trust Brussels. If you have questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to contact us!

The Tools


A tool for envisioning futures, assessing capacities and planning for action.

Commons and Dragons

A role-playing game about forms of governance and juridical structures.

Space Matters

Architectural tools for facilitating the governance of hybrid and plural spaces.

Meet the creator: Verena Lenna

Verena Lenna is a researcher and designer, interested in the relationship between property rights, urban morphology and governance. Amongst others, she has explored the dynamics of inclusion and emancipation through participatory action research, art and cultural projects in Rome, Venice, Milan, Brussels and New York. At present, she works at the Community Land Trust of Brussels as a researcher and transdisciplinary designer for the gE.CO project. As a research fellow at the University of Turin, Department of Law, she explored the relationship between plural forms of ownership and urban governance. Verena Lenna has a Ph.D. in Urbanism from Università IUAV di Venezia and Architecture from KU Leuven. 

The gE.CO Toolkit collection

If you like the Temporary Use Toolkit, make sure to check other toolkits developed by the gE.CO project!

The Temporary Use Toolkit

The Temporary Reuse Toolkit provides methodology and phases for the reactivation of empty buildings through temporary uses.

The Participation Toolkit

The Participation Toolkit supports with promoting and facilitating community building through collaboration and equal participation.

The Governance Toolkit

The Governacne Toolkit helps envisioning, planning and governing the commoning processes

The Legal Toolkit

The Legal Toolkit helps communities & public administrations with the implementation & engagement of urban commons.