A collection of city-stories around the world

A collection of city-stories around the world

🎉☀️IT’S FRIDAY and you are just in time to catch up on the latest news from #cities around the world!

The LabGov team has collected for you some interesting urban stories from cities like Olinda, Lagos and Los Angeles!

Check out our weekly recap on the #UrbanMediaLab and get updated on what has been happening around the world before you start your weekend.

Is there a “concrete” architectural solution?

Concrete is one of the most polluting materials, and is said to release 4-8% of the world’s CO2. That is highly due to the clinker manufacture, part of the cement-making process. The latter also necessitates up to 10th % of the world’s industrial water use. Compiling examples of historical urban uses of concrete, the article traces the economic and architectural structural changes that should be operated as well as the change in mindset to achieve a more sustainable and viable development model.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/25/concrete-the-most-destructive-material-on-earth

A brief drawing History of Lagos

From a fisher village to skyscrapers and shaped musical movement and music giant as Fela Kuty, Lagos has also proved to be a resilient city. Through a colourful cartoon, Tayo Fatunla pays tribute to the most populated Nigerian city.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/22/afrobeat-and-traffic-choked-streets-in-indestructible-lagos-a-cartoon

Smart technological tools to tackle city issues

A short infographics on technological-based ideas to address the main city challenges; amongst which homelessness, pollution, and health.

Camarotização – Carnaval in Olinda, Brazil

This article illustrates how the carnaval in the city of Olinda in Brazil triggers social and spatial separation through the privatization of paying premises, in the so-called camarotização process,named after the term camarotes, which,means cabin. This process, linked to the American concept of skyboxification (M.Sandel) participates to the  “gourmetização do espaço”,  i.e economic-led separation and differenciation of spaces, that fuels socio-economic categorizations and discriminations.
Article in Portuguese

https://www.nexojornal.com.br/expresso/2019/02/28/A-%E2%80%98camarotiza%C3%A7%C3%A3o%E2%80%99-do-carnaval.-E-como-ela-se-manifesta-em-Olinda

Cities at war

Chronological presentation of cities photographs ravaged by war, or still at war.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/gallery/2018/jan/29/century-cities-war-london-beirut-baghdad-in-pictures

A new life for used coffee grounds

It takes more than 20 years for a cup of coffee to decompose. Kaffeform, a german start-up found a new way of creating coffee cups using old coffee grounds, wood and biological binders and thus proposing a reusable solution.

Art boom in Los Angeles

Written as a short story on the museums in Los Angeles by a New Yorker, the article sets the explanatory factors of the evolution of Los Angeles museums, making as well, an historical parallel with the city development and city artistic movements.

New Applications to help women address sexual harassment

SafetiPin and Harassmap are two technological tools created to support women facing sexual harassment in public spaces.

https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/harcelement-deux-applis-qui-rendent-les-villes-plus-sures-pour-les-femmes

Housing crisis in Canada

Natives canadians especially from the First Nation reserve are asking for property rights. Facing housing shortages, poor living conditions, poor health, indigenous people are urging the government for solutions since their current absence of ownership implies no asset and therefore no mortgage. However, if one solution could be abolishing 1876 Indian Act to enable private land ownership, this remains subject to criticism, among the Indigenous people notably. Some of them are trying to create new models of private homes ownership.

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/03/first-nations-canada-indigenous-housing-rights-landowners/583786/

Assets confiscation to combat organized criminality

Assets confiscation to combat organized criminality

Nowadays, we are witnessing an ever-changing[1] evolution of ordinary citizens’ position. Individuals and groups are no longer mere beneficiaries of administrative acts and procedures but – in a way – parts of them. In this very context, the regeneration of urban commons can be located, not only in renewal purposes, but as well in the involvement of city inhabitants. More specifically, urban regeneration is described[2] as «the recycling, transformation and innovation process of urban commons», contributing to promoting “urban creativity”, with the aim of ensuring and improving quality and accessibility.

Particularly, this writing wants to tackle the problem of “final use” of confiscated urban assets which are in a state of disrepair and neglect.

Before getting into the issue in question, it is necessary to clarify the meaning of confisca and “urban commons”.

In the Italian legal system, the antimafia confisca is a preventative property measure, introduced in 1965 and currently regulated by the so called Antimafia Code[3].

According to code provisions, in order to apply antimafia confisca two elements are required.

Starting from the subjective element, the individual who acquires the relevant asset must be recognized as “socially dangerous” at the moment of acquisition, irrespective of whether such status ceases or the person dies.

There are two objective elements: direct or indirect accessibility by the individual to the asset and existence of sufficient evidence in relation to the unlawful origin of the confiscated asset (such as the disproportion between the asset’s value and the income declared by the individual for tax purposes, as established by the legislator).

On the other hand, the “urban common assets” are generally defined[4] as «material, intangible and digital assets recognized by citizens and Public Administration as useful for individual and collective well-being.»

In the light of the foregoing, considering that confiscated assets are (usually) private assets which can be classified as “urban commons”, ordinary citizens’ involvement to administrative acts can be applied and procedures can play a role.

Pursuant to what discussed above, if it is true that private assets (both real estate and companies) can be classified as “urban commons”, the question is: Is it possible to apply the same art. 190, Codice dei contratti pubblici to confiscated assets so that they could be subject to the contract on social partnership and its procedure?

Art. 190, Codice dei contratti pubblici[5], introduced in the Italian legal system the so-called contract on social partnership, whose criteria and conditions can be defined by local authorities «on the basis of projects presented by individuals or groups as long as with regard to a specific territorial scope.»[6]

As clarified also by Antonella Manzione[7], the contract on social partnership provides for a call for tender where “a competition of ideas” occurs for the final use of common assets. It must be borne in mind, though, that this must happen within the limits established by the Italian Court of Auditors[8], which requires compliance with some elements previously identified by the local authority itself, such as the ratione personae scope.

More precisely, whereby there are “urban common assets” in a state of disrepair and neglect and the local authority intends to ensure their exploitation «through cultural initiatives, urban renewal, restoration and refurbishment for general interest objectives»,[9], it should issue a call for applications and then conclude the contract on social partnership.

Carlo Pezzullo


[1] In this connection, CHITI E., La rigenerazione di spazi e beni pubblici: una nuova funzione amministrativa?, in DI LASCIO F., GIGLIONI F., La rigenerazione di beni e spazi urbani. Contributi al diritto delle città, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2017.

[2] According to art. 2.1, Regolamento del Comune di Bologna.

[3] The d. lgs. 159/2011 as reformed by the Law 161/2017.

[4] According to art. 2.1, Regolamento del Comune di Bologna.

[5] The d. lgs. 50/2016, as revisited by d. lgs. 56/2017.

[6] Art. 190 Codice dei contratti pubblici.

[7] The Italian Consigliera di Stato Antonella Manzione, during a lesson at LUISS Guido Carli with Prof. Christian Iaione, 2018 nov. 20.  

[8] Court of Auditors, sez. reg. Emilia-Romagna, 2016 march 23, n. 27; sez. reg. Lombardia, 2016 sep. 6, n. 225. 

[9] Art. 190 Codice dei contratti pubblici.

Urban Clinic LabGov EDU – 2nd weekend

Urban Clinic LabGov EDU – 2nd weekend

On Friday, March 1st, the Urban Clinic LabGov EDU 2018/2019 will host in its second workshop Francesco Rullani, professor of Entrepreneurship and Management of Innovation at LUISS Guido Carli in Rome.

After listening to arch. Massimo Alvisi (from AlvisiKirimoto) talking about urban planning and sustainability in the cities (especially by referring to its personal professional experience with the working group created by arch. Renzo Piano, G124, and to their project in collaboration with LabGov in southern Italy, Co-Battipaglia) last week, the Labgovers will listen to Professor Rullani, that will focus on Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship and in particular he will speak about the role of the communities and new economies based on their actions.

After this panel, Labgovers and LabGov’s experts will have time to discuss with professor Rullani about the thematics related to commons, sustainability, innovation.

Secondo modulo della Clinica Urbana LabGov EDU

Venerdì 1° marzo si terrà il workshop che aprirà il secondo modulo della Clinica Urbana LabGov EDU 2018/19. Dopo aver ascoltato l’arch. Massimo Alvisi, dello studio AlvisiKirimoto, parlare di architettura e urbanistica, di sostenibilità nelle città e di progettazione urbana partecipata nel corso del primo workshop di LabGov EDU (con un riferimento particolare all’esperienza del gruppo di lavoro creato dall’arch. Renzo Piano, G124, di cui Alvisi è parte e che insieme a LabGov e Luiss ha curato il progetto Co-Battipaglia), i Labgovers approfondiranno i temi dell’innovazione sociale, dell’imprenditorialità civica, e delle nuove economie basate sull’azione delle comunità. Interverrà Francesco Rullani, professore in Imprenditorialità e Gestione dell’Innovazione presso la Luiss Guido Carli.

Il suo intervento si collocherà nella cornice del percorso di apprendimento che i Labgovers stanno portando avanti.

Questo incontro getterà le basi per il coworking che si terrà sabato 2 marzo e che vedrà i LabGovers impegnati nello sviluppo della loro progettualità comune.

Quest’anno ne vedremo delle belle, restate connessi!