The commons discourse has permeated all facets of human action, like cities, and it has given rise to all kinds of commons , such as urban commons. Despite their popularity, urban commons remain a suggestive and slippery concept. To contribute to a better understanding of their features and their transformative potentialities, a panoramic on the treatment received from the academy will be made to compare the different theoretical conceptualisations, both abstract and concrete. Contrasting both approaches, this article identifies their potential and limits and then proposes an approach focused on the really existing practices; the process of communalisation; and the context in which they occur. In particular, in a field of study largely dominated by approaches and cases from the global north, the article advocates the provincialisation of urban commons through analyses located in the global south and, in particular, Latin America.