Tiber is both a blue and green infrastructure that caǹ contribute to the goals of sustainable development and urban resilience. It represents an opportunity to invest in the redevelopment of urban space, a chance to create new, welcoming and inclusive places, as well as connect the central urban area with areas on the fringes, reconnect the ecological network, develop art projects and cultivate the cultural experience, and improve the well-being of the city and its citizens by creating spaces for events and sports̀ activities.
Situated in the city of Rome, it has become a place of experimentation for the construction of new collaborative governance tools. A synergy with public institutions is intended to commence, an experimentation of applied and empirical research that would lead to the construction of new collaborative forms of management of state property that can also facilitate the action of citizenship and administration.
In order to be able to redevelop the Tiber, it is necessary to adopt an approach inspired by the quintuple helix, that is, to create an eco-system in which public actors, private actors, universities & research institutions, both organized and non-organized civil society can collaborate in order to adopt innovative solutions. This is precisely the approach used by Agenda Tevere, which collaborates with actors representing all the propeller blades.
With this specific goal, Agenda Tevere Onlus was established in 2017 as an accelerator of change, collaboration and shared responsibilitỳ taking. Starting from the reclamation and redevelopment of the riverbanks, Agenda Tevere intends to give back to the river a central role in the life of the city, its center and its suburbs, through an integrated plurality of design solutions that combine different needs and objectives that start from the restoration of degraded areas and a better management of existing activities to the introduction of new and more innovative ones.
Agenda Tevere Onlus has initiated actions in the area to involve the communitỳ and institutions in the process of transformation of the river, with the aim of resolving the conflicts of competencies existing in the urban stretch of the Tiber, through innovative processes and reflections through forms of governance. The strategic goal of the Agenda Tevere is to create “social empowerment” in order to implement projects that serve as examples and give confidence to the individual’s ability to “make a difference.”
Agenda Tevere intends to apply Venture Capital in order to generate “social and civic capital.” Unlike financial capital, “social and civic capital” is not a private or individual asset but rather an asset created specifically for the purpose of being made available and disseminated in the community to which one belongs.
Agenda Tevere, as an association of associations is assisted by various entities to develop and work on multiple competencies. Among these associations is LabGov ETS, LaBoratorio per la GOVernance della città come un bene comune, an empirical/action research/applied research center on the governance of the commons, infrastructure and urban services at LUISS Guido Carli University.
LabGov ETS, as an association, is in charge of writing this governance mechanism foundation, and identifying the right body to coordinate with. Among the various topics that LabGov ETS conducts research on, through an empirical and applied approach, are river and landscape contracts, which in turn fit within the framework of a new paradigm of urbanism, that of collaborative and collaborative urbanism. This new urban planning approach is formulated in the conviction that contemporary urban planning and its regulation no longer offer any answer to the reality of the transformations of the Italian territory and that only a real reversal of the trend can in the future succeed in making urban planning regulations effective, valid and efficient.
The “collaborative paradigm” in urban planning is based on “institutional mending” between the public, private and community sectors to bring together and make public administrations, private businesses and the collaborative city composed of active citizens, voluntary organizations and innovative associations, civic entrepreneurs, responsible and forward-thinking local businesspeople, frontier schools and other knowledge and expertise bearers work in synergy.
The community is no longer a third party to be consulted through participatory tools, but sits at the table together with private individuals and institutions.
LabGov ETS, counting on its many years of experience in applied research, has aimed to assist Agenda Tevere, in an action of experimentation on the territory of the banks of the Tiber along the urban stretch.
In 2017, Agenda Tevere Onlus promoted the start of a shared path towards the Tiber River Contract and led to the signing of a manifesto of intent with seventy signatories, concerning the stretch of the river shaft, starting from the Castel Giubileo dam which crosses the city of Rome and flows until it flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea near the Fiumicino agglomeration, which intends to propose a participatory and effective management of the resources, both expressed and unexpressed, of the stretch of river in question where the banks and waters are in a very poor condition and in need of targeted and timely actions of recovery and redevelopment. The intent was developed in terms of objectives through a program document shared among the institutions.
This shared path initiated in 2017 with great effort and commitment led to the signing, on February 22, 2022, of the negotiated planning agreement for the First Three-Year Action Program of the Tiber River Contract from Castel Giubileo to fice – CdF Tevere.
The River Contract, as defined in Italy by the National Charter of River Contracts, is a voluntary strategic integrated and negotiated planning tool for river territories, which was created with the aim of promoting environmental and landscape redevelopment through actions of prevention, mitigation and monitoring of critical hydrogeological and water quality issues. The priority objective of the River Contract is to achieve the objectives of water body quality (Directive 2000/60) and flood risk prevention and reduction (Directive 2007/60). The River Contract is a pact between the different actors in the area for the sustainable integrated management of a river basin that perceives the river as a living environment and common good.
The contract makes effective the open and collaborative governance model promoted by Tiber Agenda. In fact, it is an enabling tool that allows multiple actors to present shared actions of knowledge oriented to conservationm, biodiversity protection and Tiber promotion.
Another key step in the process that led to the signing of the negotiated planning agreement for the First Three-Year Program of Action dl Contratto di Fiume Tevere da Castel Giubileo alla foce – CdF Tevere was the establishment of the participation foundation Tevere per Tutti by Lazio Regional Law 27/02/2020, n1. The latter, as reflected in Article 20, pursues the following objectives:
a) to incentivize, stimulate and enable public and private stakeholders to invest in the quality and enhancement of the river environment;
b) to carry out actions to stimulate activities co-financed with regional funds and to involve social, civic, cultural, public and sector actors in the enhancement of the river environment, including through maintenance, programming, planning, supervision and coordination initiatives;
c) promote the image of the Tiber through the redevelopment of the urban river stretch, as a tool for the enhancement of cultural, environmental and tourism heritage and the growth of territorial competitiveness.
The foundation is open to all public and private actors who wish to pursue the same goal.
During the process that led to the signing of the River Contract, Agenda Tevere also promoted various projects in the area aimed at stimulating systemic actions. We recall, for example, “Piazza Tevere” and “Tiberis”. These are two projects aimed at making the banks of the Tiber livable and usable. Another project worth mentioning is “Smart Tiber,” an informative and collaborative database and platform to encourage participation and take charge of actions to upgrade the area of the urban banks of the Tiber and reconnect it to the urban fabric of the city.