Battipaglia is designing the first collaborative urban strategic plan

Battipaglia is designing the first collaborative urban strategic plan

logo_aggiornatoBefore going to the first civic Collaboration Fest in Bologna, we will travel down south to Campania.

In Battipaglia – a fifty-thousands inhabitants town in the province of Salerno – on the 7th of May at 10.30 a.m. and at 2.30 p.m at the De Amicis school, two co-working sessions on “Regenerate Battipaglia” and “Green Battipaglia” will take place.
The names of the two debates are not fortuitous. On the contrary, they are the two names of two of the four pieces in which CO-Battipaglia is being built (the website is already online).

What is worth to underline is the delicate context in which CO-Battipaglia is coming into being.
Actually, in April 2014, Battipaglia’s city council was dismissed over “mafia infiltratation” allegations. After few weeks, the prefect designated the architect Massimo Alvisi for designing an unprecendented urban strategic plan which, thanks to the participation of LabGov, will be imagined in a collaborative way.

Let’s go back for a moment.
On the 21st of April 2015, the team who is working on CO-Battipaglia, together with the citizens of Battipaglia, imagined the operations to carry on in order to assemble a “Creative Battipaglia” and a “Public Battipaglia”.
During those debates, the participants talked about the way in which the city will build its future, that is on education and knowledge, using the former school De Amicis, the Castelluccio and the Tabacchificio as strategic places for the cognitive development of the city. Through this, Battipaglia will turn into a meeting point for learning, knowledge, culture, and research.
Secondly, since there is a serious lack of public spaces in the whole town, it is necessary to recover and regenerate them wherever they are available, as soon as possible.

Thanks to next week’s debates, it will be possible to propose ideas and projects for regenerate dismissed or abandoned spaces and to convert the whole city into a CO-city. In particular, issues concerning the health of the territory (making the citizens aware of the hydro-geological instability, the contamination of the aquifers and sustainable mobility) will be faced.

All these precious events, organised by Battipaglia Municipality together with LabGov, Alvisi Kirimoto and partners, LUISS and INSITI, will lead to the draft of the strategic guidelines of the new Battipaglia’s urban management plan, that will have the collaboration at his core.

The last event will take place in June, when it will be possible to put into effect what has been talked about from February 2015 on, following the three axis through which CO-Mantova (the prototype of the co-cities) was designed, that is to say living together (collaborative services), growing together (co-ventures) and making together (co-production).

Further information can be retrieved following these links, stay tuned!

Bologna Regulation on public collaboration for urban commons

Bologna Regulation on public collaboration for urban commons

Schermata 2014-12-18 alle 19.06.26

The City of Bologna has just adopted the translation prepared by 2013/2014 LabGov interns as the official English version of the Bologna Regulation on public collaboration between citizens and the city for the care and regeneration of urban commons. The official English version of the Regulation is available here.

LabGov interns participated actively to “La città come bene comune” (i.e. “The city as a commons“) project in Bologna, carrying out research activities, training programs and co-design sessions. One of LabGov strategists, Christian Iaione, was also a key member of the working group which drafted the “Regolamento sulla collaborazione per la cura e rigenerazione dei beni comuni urbani” of the Comune di Bologna.

According to the regulation active citizens (i.e. social innovators, entrepreneurs, civil society organizations and knowledge institutions willing to work in the general interest) can enter into a co-design process with the city leading to the signing of a “patto di collaborazione per la cura o rigenerazione dei beni comuni urbani“. Urban commons are mainly public spaces, urban green spaces and abandoned buildings or areas.

Using the institutional technology of public collaboration (” or “amministrazione condivisa“) Italian cities and communities can transplant Elinor Ostrom‘s idea of “governance dei beni comuni” (i.e. “governance of the commons”) in urban contexts, as Sheila Foster has already theorized.

The regulation is at the same time a form of social innovation enabling tool and fosters the birth of collaborative economy or sharing economy ventures. Indeed the regulation has dedicated specific articles to “innovazione sociale e servizi collaborativi“, “creatività urbana” and “innovazione digitale“. As a matter of fact social innovation and collaborative services, urban creativity, digital innovation  must be the centerpiece of a “sharing city” or “collaborative city“, which is by default a commons-oriented city and therefore a co-city.

Last, “public collaboration” is centered upon the use of bottom-up or collaborative “nudge” or “nudging” techniques  and “service design” techniques. Indeed, the regulation strengthens the importance of information/communication tools, training and educational initiatives, facilitation activities, as much as the need for measuring and evaluating the impact of the regulation and collaboration pacts or initiatives activated under the umbrella of the regulation.

GREEN UNIVERSITIES – Sustainable Universities World Ranking

GREEN UNIVERSITIES – Sustainable Universities World Ranking

The UI GreenMetric World University Ranking is an initiative of Universitas Indonesia which is being launched in 2010. As part of its strategy of raising its international standing, the University hosted an International Conference on World University Rankings on 16 April 2009. It invited a number of experts on world university rankings. We were aware that a number of top world universities, for example Harvard, Chicago, Copenhagen have been taking steps to manage and improve their sustainability. There are also cooperative efforts among groups of universities. A grading system which includes information on sustainability at 300 universities exists under the title the United States Green Report Card. This is excellent, however, results are given in terms of a grade (A to F) rather than a ranking and the number of universities included is relatively circumscribed. We saw the need for a uniform system that would be suitable to attract the support of thousands of the world’s universities and where the results were based on a numerical score that would allow ranking so that quick comparisons could be made among them on the criteria of their commitment to addressing the problems of sustainability and environmental impact.


BERKELEY : The UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability and Energy provides leadership to campus by setting ambitious sustainability goals and strategies and by accelerating the achievement of these goals through project implementation, planning, partnerships, and community engagement. The mission is to integrate cutting-edge sustainability practices into operations, foster the culture of sustainability at home and in the world, and enable and improve excellence in sustainability. The Office works to achieve climate neutrality and strive for excellence in breadth and depth by implementing bright green initiatives to reduce our ecological footprint, raising awareness and reducing energy use with Talking Louder and myPower campaigns, and emphasizing transparency and accountability through our plans and reports.

BOSTON : Boston University’s Sustainability Program comprises a broad range of stakeholder groups on campus to provide the greatest diversity of representation and opinion. The program is made up of sustainability@BU, Dining Services Sustainability, and the Sustainability Committee including the Sustainability Steering Committee and four working groups: Recycling and Waste Management, Energy Conservation, Sustainable Building and Facility Operations, and Communications and Outreach.



CO-Mantova as the trigger for a co-cities movement

In Mantua what can become a “Co-Cities” movement moved its first steps.

CO-cities as a new urban and local governance model

Co-Mantova is a prototype of an institutionalizing process to run cities as a collaborative commons (see Jeremy Rifkin‘s definition) and therefore as “co-cities“. Co-cities should be based on collaborative governance of the commons (inspired by Elinor Ostrom‘s work) whereby urban, environmental, cultural, knowledge and digital commons are co-managed by the five actors of the collaborative governance – social innovators (i.e. active citizens, makers, digital innovators, urban regenerators, rurban innovators, etc.), public authorities, businesses, civil society organizations, knowledge institutions (i.e. schools, universities, cultural academies, etc.) – through an institutionalized public-private-people/community partnership. This partnership will give birth to a local p2p physical, digital and institutional platform with three main aims: living together (collaborative services), growing together (co-ventures), making together (co-production). The project is supported by the local Chamber of Commerce, the City, the Province, local ONGs, SMEs and knowledge institutions, such as the Mantua University Foundation and some local schools.

CO-Mantova builds on the experience developed by LabGov through the “City as a Commons project and the “Regolamento sulla collaborazione per i beni comuni urbani” (i.e. Regulation on collaboration for Urban Commons which greatly benefited from Sheila Foster’s work on urban commons) that LabGov contributed to draft for the City of Bologna at the end of that project. Principles and rules embedded in the regulation inspired the drafting of the CO-Mantova Collaborative Governance Pact (which is soon going to be translated into English), a “patto di collaborazione” for the territory.

Methodological process of creation of Co-Mantova as a co-city

The first action has been seeding social innovation through the launch of ideas seeding callCulture as a commons” to make the social innovators in Mantua emerge. Second step has been the co-design laboratory “Enterprises for the Commons“, an ideas camp where the seven main projects emerged through the call were cultivated and helped create synergies with each other and the city. The third phase has been the governance camp, a collaborative governance scheme prototyping stage which led to the drafting of the collaborative governance pact, the collaboration toolkit and the sustainability plan. Fourth and final phase is the governance testing and modeling through the launch of a public consultation in the city on the text of the Pact and a roadshow generating interest in CO-Mantova among possible signatories belonging to the 5 categories of collaborative governance actors.

The code of the Pact

The CO-Mantova Collaborative Governance Pact provides a code of definitions, values and principles:

Definitions contemplated by the Pact are among other:

– “commons”

“Commons are goods, tangible, intangible and digital, that citizens and the Administration, also through participative and deliberative procedures, recognize to be functional to the individual and collective wellbeing, activating themselves towards them pursuant to article 118, par. 4, of the Italian Constitution, to share the responsibility with the Administration to cure or regenerate them in order to improve their public use[1]”

– “social innovation”

“social innovations are new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and create new social relationships or collaborations[2]”;

– “collaborative governance of the commons”

“collaborative governance” of the commons is a legal/institutional device whereby the five actors of the collaborative governance – social innovators, public authorities, businesses, civil society organizations, knowledge institutions – co-manage urban, environmental, cultural, knowledge and digital commons of a city through an institutionalized public-private-people/community partnership.

Values and principles of the Pact are:

–       Mutual trust: based on the public prerogatives regarding supervision, planning and control, the Administration and the active citizens shape their relationships to the mutual trust and they presuppose that the respective will of collaboration is oriented to the pursuit of purposes of general interest;

–       Publicity and transparency: the Administration guarantees the largest knowledge of the partnership opportunities, of the proposals received, of the forms of aid assigned, of the decisions taken, of the results and of the valuations made. It recognizes in the transparency the main tool to ensure fairness in the relationship with the active citizens and verifiability of the actions made and the results obtained;

–       Responsibility: the Administration values its responsibility and the citizens’ responsibility as a key factor in the relationship with the citizens, as well as a necessary prerequisite in order  for the partnership to be effectively oriented to the production of useful and measurable outcomes;

–       Inclusiveness and openness: the interventions of care and regeneration of the commons must be organized in order to allow any interested citizens  to join the activities at any time;

–       Sustainability: the Administration, in the exercise of discretion in making decisions, verifies that the collaboration with citizens does not cause greater costs than benefits, and that it does not determine negative consequences on the environmental equilibrium;

–       Proportionality: the Administration ensure that the administrative requirements, the guarantees and the quality standards required for the proposal, the preliminary investigation and the execution of the collaborative interventions, are commensurate with the real needs of protection of the public interests involved;

–       Adequacy and differentiation: the forms of collaboration among citizens and the Administration are adequate to the needs of care and regeneration of the urban commons  and they are differentiated depending on the type or on the nature of the urban common and on the people whose well-being it is functional to;

–       Informality: the Administration demands that the partnership with the citizens takes place in accordance with the requested formalities only when it is provided for by law. In the rest of the cases it ensures flexibility and simplicity in the relationship, as long as it is possible to guarantee the respect of the public ethic, as it is regulated by the code of conduct of the public sector employees, and the respect of the principles of impartiality, efficiency, transparency and judicial certainty;

–       Local democracy: the pact guarantees equality between parties and subscribers and the attribution of reciprocal rights and duties. The pact pursues the improvement of the quality of local democracy;

–       Public autonomy: the pact signatories act as “public actors”, holding the ability to take care of the general interest;

–       Horizontal subsidiarity: the pact was made possible thanks to the participation of all the parties, which got activated in a collaborative and mutually supportive way, even delegating specific functions if acquitted by others more effectively, in the pursuit of the common good. According to this principle the care of collective needs and the activities of general interest are provided directly by private citizens (both as individuals and as members) and the entities involved in ‘subsidiary’ function, programming, coordinating and possibly managing;

–       Legality: the compliance with the principles and rules dictated or accepted in the legal system is the cornerstone on which the entry and stay in the pact is based. The law is intended not only as a means of guarantee for civil coexistence within and outside of the pact, but also as a fundamental tool of cultivation of social cohesion and competitiveness of the territory.

Internal and external governance

Beyond the pact, CO-Mantova led to two governance outputs. One is the Pact itself as an external governance tool that whoever wants to join the Pact has to agree upon. The other  is the creation of a Collaboration Handbook or Toolkit overseeing the day-by-day collaborative life within the Pact. In general terms, the actors of Co-Mantova are going to be divided in three groups; social innovators, the technical unit, and the collaboration community. The collaboration toolkit of Co-Mantova is a fundamental instrument to shape the collaborative process among the actors. Some of the contents of the collaboration toolkit are, for instance, rules to inform the collaboration among social innovators (meeting with community and creative youth, citizen’s involvement, new members, personalised pacts), rules for the use of Co-Mantova as a physical and economic collaborative services platform, rules of collaboration for partners and external entities.

Sustainability plan

Another outputs of the co-design process that led to the creation of CO-Mantova is the sustainability plan, realized in order to ensure to the platform Co-Mantova a long-term financial and economic sustainability. From a first analysis of data we can say that even the Mantua area is affected by the same peculiarities of the Italian system, in the presence of a high number of SMEs, but unlike the Italian trend, these SMEs, account for a larger proportion of working population. On the one hand, this could make it more vulnerable to the business system of Mantua, because the population involved in the instability of these companies is representative of a greater number of people than the national average. On the other hand this morphology of the business system is a feature that could be maximized through networking and collaboration tools, such as the initiative to CO-Mantova aims to do.

Communication Plan

The last outcome springing out of co-design process that led to the creation of CO-Mantova is the communication Plan. website is the centerpiece. So is the public consultation process we launched on the whole CO-Mantova process/pact and all other initiatives on the ground and through traditional and social media that CO-Mantova has carried out so far and will be carrying out in the next future.

Stay tuned, participate and join in CO-Mantova and the co-cities movement (email to!


[1] The definition of urban commons is provided by the “Bologna Regulation on collaboration between citizens and the city for the cure and regeneration of urban commons“.
[2] Murray, Calulier-Grice and Mulgan, Open Book of Social Innovation, March 2010.

CO-Mantova: international collaborative governance model for the commons

CO-Mantova: international collaborative governance model for the commons

Mantua – November 26th/27th. The local Chamber of Commerce, the City of Mantua, the Province, local ONGs, SMEs and knowledge institutions, such as the Mantua University Foundation and some local schools are glad to support the two days event that will take place in Mantua.

The main objective of the  Festival will concerns the conception of a prototype of an institutionalizing process to run the city as a collaborative commons and therefore as a “co-city”. A co-city should be based on  international collaborative governance of the commons whereby urban, environmental, cultural, knowledge and digital commons are co-managed by the five actors of the collaborative governance – social innovators, public authorities, businesses, civil society organizations, knowledge institutions through an institutionalized public-private-people/community partnership. This partnership will give birth to a local p2p physical, digital and institutional platform with three main aims: living together , growing together, making together. The cooperative model endorsed by “Tavolo della Cooperazione e dell’Economia Civile” is based on the innovative features of open dialogue, cooperative system design and mutual sharing. Thanks to the effort of Labsus – Laboratory for subsidiarity the city of Mantua was able to produce a concrete institutional experiment based on the principle of co-working. The call for ideas “Culture as a Commons (La Cultura come bene Comune), launched by the initiative of the city of Mantua, Fondazione Cariplo and Chamber of Commerce of Mantua, gathered a series of brilliant ideas and prospects for the cultivation of a long lasting project: install a permanent structure for a model of collaborative governance. The underlying conviction is that such renewed institutional framework could activate and liberate the positive energies of the urban circuit, including the talents and resources of citizens, associations, administrations and social innovators. The new model for collaborative governance is the technological content that the current society needs for promoting growth and sustainability, both in economic terms and as social determinants.

Among the participants during the two-days event, there will be Sheila Foster, Michel Bauwens and Neal Gorenflo, which represent all together the legitimized source for the ignition of an international debate.

Professor Christian Iaione will moderate the debate during the second day.

Further info at:  Brochure festival


Economic sustainability for the commons

Economic sustainability for the commons

In Mantova continues the work of the Entrepreneurs for the Commons co-design Laboratory.

Cattura1Social in innovation studies highlight the importance of the so-called “triple bottom line” a perspective that take into consideration jointly the economic, social and environmental sustainability. In the field of the commons it’s important to have in mind this perspective. For this reason the next meeting of the Entrepreneurs for the Commons co-design Laboratory – promoted by the “Cooperative and Civic Economy Enterprises Group” established within the Chamber of Commerce of Mantova and realized in collaboration with Labsus – Laboratory for the subsidiariarity, will be devoted to the study and elaboration of a sustainability plan for the commons, for their management and  valorization.

The meeting will be held by professor Luigi Corvo of Tor Vergata University, on the next 29th and 30th of September at the Santagnese10, the creative living lab of the Municipality of Mantova.

On Monday the 29th from 2 p.m to 6 p.m. Corvo will illustrate the three main dimensions of fundraising: corporate, institutional and crowd-funding. On Tuesday the 30th there will be a co-working session aimed at the elaboration of a sustainability plan for the Laboratory.

The meeting will continues on the first of October with professor Christian Iaione, scientific director of Labsus and coordinator of the project, that will open the Governance Camp, the third phase of the project, after the Call for ideas and the Ideas Camp.

Download the paybill Locandina_Mantova_29_30_settembre