This paper discusses the commons in the context of contemporary society and its capitalist mainstream. In order to explore the potential of the commons as an alternative to existing structures, I look at housing to compare the governing principles of the commons (co-housing projects) with that of market solutions (investment-based projects). While co-housing projects build enduring structures within certain boundaries, investment-based projects push growth without limits and thus do not foster stable structures. The decision-making processes used in co-housing projects would need to be adapted in order to work at the urban level. Therefore, the paper concludes that commoning is a partial alternative only - while it provides a sustainable lifestyle on a small scale and has potential for transforming the dominant financ-ing system, further integrative steering strategies are required on a medium or large scale.