Thanks to the attractiveness of a very little competitive yet dynamic and cost-efficient market (as compared to traditional sectors), student housing is one of the most successful asset class in Italy.
Considering that student housing in Italy accommodates 2% of University students compared to a European average of 19%, and since the number of beds-to- students ratio totalises 3% in Italy, for a European average of 6% in Spain, 23% in the UK, it seems obvious that accomodations for students and lecturers will increase both in terms of quantity and quality in the coming years.
With a quality of life in Rome outweighing education costs, the city is in the front line in the Italian cities ranking for student housing applications, -e.g the demand off-campus now exceeds 35.000 units-, and attracts more and more investors and stakeholders aiming to address the rising demand in student accomodations.
The fourth Edition of the Student Housing Congress will consider the specific dynamics of the Rome market as well as the opportunities created for all stakeholders: managers, workers, investors, public actors and Universities. The meeting will also address the role of student housing as leverage for the development and urban regeneration, the integration in new legal framework of residential housing, hotels, co-working and co-living, the specialisation of services and investments prospects in the short and long-term.
A workshop bringing together high level experts on social infrastructure and urban investments will be held in Florence on the 5th of April 2019. The hosting city, Florence, intends to devise and launch a powerful Social Infrastructure Investment Plan, based on aAdequate Housing principle and following the Public-Private-People Partnerships method which is meant to turn Florence in one of the leading city in terms of social infrastructures investments.
Housing is one of the most critical issues in EU urban policy. As argued by the Final Action Plan of the EU Urban Agenda Partnership on Housing, the housing continuum presents a range of housing options from emergency housing to various types of affordable housing (i.e. subsidized or otherwise state-supported housing) and market housing. Regarding housing provisions for vulnerable individuals and families, the management models encompass affordable housing with a strong focus on the role of the private sector, public housing or social housing foreseeing a partnership with private or social investors and other models based on vouchers.
The starting point of a debate on adequate housing is a shared understanding of the overall goal, which is to avoid the transformation of cities in spaces of exclusion. Such process might start by providing city inhabitants with affordable housing options, tailored on their specific needs and capacities. But most of all, adequate housing is aimed at providing city inhabitants not only housing services but also social opportunities, chances for developing professional skills, exercising fundamental Human Rights.
Five initiatives will be considered in designing an adequate housing program for European cities (in particular in Italian cities):
The 2018 “Boosting Investment in Social Infrastructure” report redacted by the High-Level Task Force (HLTF), in collaboration with DG ECFIN (Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs) and the European Long-Term Investors Association (ELTI) which estimated the lack in housing investments to account for 57 billion euros a year in Europe. The report also stresses that social infrastructure investments decreased by almost 20% from 2009 and underlines that Housing must represent a cornerstone of new social infrastructure investment policies. Indeed, if in 2009, 48 billion euros were invested in the social housing sector, it only totalised 27 billion euros in 2016 .
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 11.1 aiming “by 2030, ensure access for all to adequate safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums” and art.13 of the UN New Urban Agenda which advocates for “the full realization of the right to adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, without discrimination” and also “universal access to safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation, as well as equal access for all to public goods and quality services, in areas such as food security and nutrition, health, education, infrastructure, mobility and transportation, energy, air quality and livelihoods”. The art. 31, 33 and 105 of the UN New Urban Agenda could also be considered.
The Cities’ Declaration for Adequate Housing 
The conclusions of the European Urban Agenda on Housing Urban Partnership 
The report of Leilani Farha (UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing), on Adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context 
The workshop intends to raise awareness on financial and legal innovative models. It seems clear that the traditional public model and the very few stammerings of the public-private remain weak. The public sector needs a new role, not merely as a supplier or lender but rather as a director, enabler, facilitator. It should however envision to work with the private sector; yet on can wonder what private? Public administrations (PA) need non-risk averse partners with entrepreneurial mentality, and contributing financial/management skills to manage and co-monitor projects along with the public sector. Eventually, PA need to increase their number of partners. Indeed civic, social and cultural actors have demonstrated their ability in generating impact, whilst participating to PA projects. The implication of the Third sector, as well as the engagement of inhabitants, reduce realisation and management costs, optimise financial risk, reinforce the public sector’s position which benefits from private sector management skills, create job opportunities for fragile segments of the population therefore reaching outcomes as: greater security, improved health conditions, better education, innovative ability and skills development -aspects which generate higher impacts compared to mere public or private real-estate development economic operations-. Eventually, the role of University, schools and research centers can be crucial in reskilling inhabitants and therefore helping them in overcoming critical situations.
Why in Florence?
Florence’s mayor and Vice president of Eurocities, Dario Nardella, aims to launch one of the most ambitious Plans for Homes in Italy and probably also at a European level. The Plan consist of an investment of 400 million euros over 5 years and should provide 8000 families with accomodation (almost 2000 for each social housing building) and should thus solve in a permanent way the housing issue in Florence.
To meet this objective, The Municipality of Florence intends to
create a blending fund which will be used to provide for diverse types of
Rent subsidies for who is already renting an accomodation and is in a temporary critical situation
Creation of ERP (Edilizia Residenziale Popolare) accomodations
Social housing (for example, for young couples, elder people, poor families)
The Bending fund will be composed of:
State funds through the Plan for Homes
Municipal funds and loans as the city Florence has privileged relationships with European Investment Bank (EIB) in that it is the Italian city which received the highest number of EIB loans in absolute (up till now 500 million euros), thus overpassing Milan or Rome.
Ethical banks’ funds and bank foundations
European funds (e.g funds from Bruxelles, Urban Agenda 2021-2027, Horizon Europe, etc)
CdP (Cassa Depositi e Prestiti) investments
The fund will be deployed on innovative projects such as the Caserma Lupi di Toscana which is in line to be the prototyped-operation, consisting in the regeneration of a huge abandoned real-estate complex through the construction of more than 500 flats.
Participants, format and date
The objective to connect the work on social infrastructure to the theme of Urban infrastructure is possible thanks to the presence of long-term investment representants such as CdP and EIB, as well as patient investors that could act as developers in this kind of projects and representants of European programs for urban areas investment.
The event is built to synchronize two worlds that hardly meet; the social infrastructure and the urban infrastructure ones. The event will gather the Chief Economist of CdP, as well as Edoardo Reviglio, one of the editor of the Prodi-Fransen report on social infrastructure, the CEO of Arpinge and key figure in long-term investment, Federico Merola, Gregorio Gitti, Civil Law Professor and Public-Private Partnership Expert, Fabrizio Barbiero, manager of the Co-City project within the Urban Innovative Actions initiative on public-private-people partnerships, Christian Iaione, member of the Urban Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Procurement. Have also been invited: high-level social politics experts as Lieve Fransen, Senior Adviser to European Policy Centre on Health, Social and Migration Policies and Ex-Manager of the Social Politics department of the European Commission and the Prof. Anton Hemerijck of the European University Institute as well as experts on types of long-term investment like the Dr. Scannapieco of the EIB.
The workshop will last 3 hours with an average of 20 minute talk for each participant, so as to allow time for the conclusions of the Prof. Romano Prodi who supervised the redaction of the “Boosting Investment in Social Infrastructure” report.
 L. Fransen, G. del Bufalo, E. Reviglio, Boosting Investment in Social Infrastructure in Europe, HLTF Force report on Investing in Social Infrastructure in Europe preceded by Romano Prodi and Christian Sautter Discussion Paper, 074, January 2018.
Save the date: on 29th and 30th March will take place the fourth module of the Urban Clinic EDU@LabGov in Luiss Guido Carli University. This fourth module is mainly dedicated to ‘Urban Experimentalism’!
On Friday 29th March the workshop will take place in the classroom 305b from 16pm to 18pm in the Luiss Campus.
The Urban Clinic will host dr. Daniela Patti, expert in the urban regeneration and in the collaborative planning and co-founder and manager of Eutropian.org Research & Action (http://eutropian.org/). She will talk about cooperation in cities and successful examples of civic cooperation. In the second part of the workshop, Labgovers will listen to prof. Lorenzo Maria Donini, expert in nutritional principles and food science from La Sapienza University. This will represent an important step in the development of the digital platform that Labgovers have designed in order to raise awareness towards the importance of food, sport and agriculture for individual and collective well-being.
On Saturday 30th March from 10 am to 17 pm in room 310 of the Luiss roman Campus will take place the fourth co-working session. The Urban Clinic will host Vincenzo Maria Capelli, agricultural entrepreneur of the gardens and boating champion from Confagricoltura. He will talk to the Labgovers about his professional experience and the connection between urban agriculture, sport, entrepreneurship. The co-working session will be moderated from Alexander Piperno, PhD Luiss in economics and from the team of EDU@LabGov to support the students in order to add new wedges to the idea that they are developing and to strengthen the sustainability model.
On February 23rd, during Tourisma, a three days International Exhibition of Archaeology and Cultural Tourism, the city of Florence hosted the event “Stati generali della gestione del patrimonio culturale dal basso”, the First national meeting gathering Italian actors involved in the bottom-up management of cultural heritage. The meeting was promoted by Professor Giuliano Volpe, Full Professor of Archaeology at the University of Foggia, former Rector of the same University and former President of the “Consiglio Superiore per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici” (Council for landscape and cultural heritage) of the Italian Ministry of Culture. Over the last years, Professor Volpe has studied Italian practices of cultural heritage bottom-up governance that he has investigated in two of his last publications: “Un patrimonio italiano. Beni culturali, paesaggio e cittadini” (2016) and “Il bene nostro. Un impegno per il patrimonio culturale” (2018). Also, Federculture – the Italian Federation of Public Services for Culture, Tourism, Sport and Leisure contributed to the promotion of the meeting, attended by members of dozens of associations, cooperatives and foundations involved in the management of cultural heritage, from Northern, Central and Southern Italy, and also public officers.
In the first part of the meeting, some representatives contributed with their expertise/experience to the debate on cultural heritage bottom-up governance in Italy: Professor Giuliano Volpe – promoter of the meeting; Antonio Loffredo – Clergyman and founder of “La Paranza”, a cooperative of young people managing Early Christian Catacombs in a disadvantaged neighbourhood in Naples; Professor Stefano Consiglio – University of Naples Federico II, who investigates the phenomenon in Southern Italy; Professor Andrea Carandini – Archaeologist and President of FAI-Fondo Ambiente Italiano, the National Trust for Italy, a non-profit foundation involved in the conservation and enhancement of cultural and natural heritage thanks to a network of volunteers, individuals, companies and institutions; Giuseppe Sassatelli – President of Fondazione RavennAntica, in charge of the management of some of Ravenna’s archaeological, architectural and historical-artistic sites; Valerio Pennasso – Director of the National Office for cultural heritage of the Italian Bishops’ Conference; and Claudio Bocci – President of Federculture. In the second part, participants could listen to dozens of experiences, projects and practices of Italian actors involved in the governance of cultural heritage including archaeological sites, intangible heritage, churches, historical buildings, maritime heritage etc, having different legal status, organization, mission and territorial scope.
The event was also the occasion for the launch of a national network with regional representatives and the approval of a formal document through which all participants asked the Italian Parliament to ratify the Faro Convention and claim for a better acknowledgment of the actors involved in the bottom-up management of cultural heritage, a higher commitment of public bodies to facilitate the participatory governance of cultural heritage, as well as a stronger cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and the University and School sectors. Here below a summary in English of the original document approved at the end of the meeting:
The participants are convinced that such a diffused heritage cannot be valorised without the commitment of citizens, of Third sector associations, of foundations, of society and professionals of cultural goods. It needs a public and coordinated action to orientate, value and monitor the quality of the projects submitted and of the applicants.
They underline the quality and efficiency of actions undertaken by people on the national territory, in particular regarding the reuse of cultural and landscape goods (often striken by degradation and abandonment), the restitution to local communities, social inclusion, the creation of qualified job, healthy, clean and sustainable economy, social promotion, city security and liveability, as well as living conditions improvement.
Besides, they stress how, from a very preliminary study emerged an important phenomenon of citizen engagement (concerning hundreds or thousands people with different types of employment contracts) and created uppermost and measurable economic benefits excluding knock-on effects, which were estimated to generate a dozen million euros.
They also hope that all public administrations, whether city centres or in remote areas, will from now on work to valorise and support the country energies, passions and skills which work for the ‘promotion of knowledge and research development’ and for ‘landscape as well as historical and artistic heritage conservation’ (art.9 of the Italian Constitution). They hope to increase the collaboration between the MiBAC (Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) and Schools/Universities.
At last, they call for a real engagement and application of the Subsidiarity principle as supported by the art.118 of the Italian Constitution which encourages “citizens’ autonomous initiatives, whether as individuals or groups, to carry out actions of general interest”, notably regarding cultural heritage. They invite the Parliament to shortly ratify The Faro Convention on cultural heritage societal value. Eventually, they urge the creation of a national network with regional referents so as to have a stronger impact and call political organisations, local and regional national entities, Schools, National Associations and International organisations such as UNESCO and ICOM to engage alongside.
Saturday, March 23 2019, the second community gardening session of the Urban Clinic EDU LabGov has taken place in Luiss community garden #ortoLuiss. This appointment, as the first one, was dedicated to the “self-construction” Lab. Labgovers used this appointment in Luiss University to keep on developing and building their prototypes. This is how they are declining Sustainable innovation in the urban context.
Labgovers have improved and developed their initial ideas. They are designing and creating three prototypes of the next generation of digital urban and commons gardens. Through the structure that they are building they will put big data in the hands of the urban farmers and the urban gardeners.
Their work has been facilitated by two experts: arch. Silvia Berardinelli and Marco Falasca, architecture student part of two groups developing innovative structures in the cities. They gave the students the basis and their know-how to build these three prototypes and to make them stable and safe.
Labgovers have almost finished to build those three prototypes: one is for studying, the other is dedicated to chill and have a break and the third is made for work. They are all dedicated to the strengthening of a community, and to raise awareness about themes that are relevant for the individual and collective wellness such as sustainable agriculture, nutrition, diet, sport, tech justice, and many more.
Labgovers have still something to do: they will have to finish their work and to apply tech tools to the prototypes. At the same time they are designing and developing the digital platform that will be linked to the structures.