Urban expansion is a global phenomenon during which manycommon spaces, often with complex histories of governance and stewardshipsbecome redefined within prevailing notions of urbanity. However, such commonsoften pose challenges that result in conflict with respect to their use, management,and ownership. In this paper, we use the example of a lake in the South Indianmegapolis of Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) to look at different changing notionsof urban commons pictured against a backdrop of rapid urbanization, migration,and landscape change. We look at conflicts at each period of change and argue thatmany of these have shaped the landscape of today and perhaps may be responsiblefor current notions of ownership associated with the landscape. We combinelandscape change analysis through geospatial means along with official archivalrecords, oral narratives, and secondary information sources to describe gradualloss of an urban commons. We then pose that knowledge of historical contexts ofaccess to ecosystem services, exclusion, conflict, and the mechanisms of conflictresolution around urban commons can help understand trends in contemporarymanagement of commons. This knowledge would help shape more equitable andecologically robust policy frameworks that govern these vulnerable resources.