Getting Started: working out your boundaries

You are enthusiastic about gathering neighbours around you to start a 146 club. But which neighbours and where to draw the limits?


Here we take some lessons from the Nobel Prize-winner Elinor Ostrom. She developed design principles to help groups thrive from their common pool resource.

1.Clearly defined boundariesThe identity of the group and the boundaries of the shared resource are clearly delineated
2.Appropriate governing rules Match rules governing use of common goods to local needs and conditions
3.Inclusion and participationEnsure that those affected by the rules can participate in modifying the rules.
4.LegitimacyMake sure the rule-making rights of community members are respected by outside authorities.
5.Monitor behaviourDevelop a system, carried out by community members, for monitoring members’ behavior.
6.SanctionsUse graduated sanctions for rule violators.
7.Resolution of disputesProvide accessible, low-cost means for dispute resolution.
8.GovernanceBuild responsibility for governing the common resource in nested tiers from the lowest level up to the entire interconnected system.

Some considerations on identifying boundaries

Here are some of the factors to consider:

For political influence a 146 area should where possible be inside a post code and voting district. See more here.

Walking distance is always good, and is climate friendly!

In terms of identity, som places have a local name or epithet that reflects the character of the place

There might be already some shared resource in or bounding on the area – like a bus stop, train station, shop, recylcing point, etc.

Some of the other considerations above might come into play, like the existence of resident’s associations, associations that manage roads and other common resources or the legal status of people living in the area (for example if it si a second home, or if they are a temporary lodger.)

It’s always good to draw a map of your alternatives as a discussion point.

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