Nowadays, we are witnessing an ever-changing 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 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.
According to code provisions, in order to apply antimafia confisca two elements are required.
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.
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
On the other hand, the “urban common assets” are generally defined 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, 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.»
As clarified also by Antonella Manzione, 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, 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»,, it should issue a call for applications and then conclude the contract on social partnership.
 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.
 According to art. 2.1, Regolamento
del Comune di Bologna.
 The d. lgs. 159/2011 as reformed
by the Law 161/2017.
 According to art. 2.1, Regolamento
del Comune di Bologna.
 The d. lgs. 50/2016, as revisited
by d. lgs. 56/2017.
 Art. 190 Codice dei contratti
 The Italian Consigliera di Stato
Antonella Manzione, during a lesson at LUISS Guido Carli with Prof. Christian
Iaione, 2018 nov. 20.
 Court of Auditors, sez. reg.
Emilia-Romagna, 2016 march 23, n. 27; sez. reg. Lombardia, 2016 sep. 6, n. 225.
Art. 190 Codice dei contratti
The Open Heritage Second Consortium Meeting will be held on the 28th and 29th of November. Open Heritage is an Horizon 2020 research project that identifies and analyses good practices of adaptive heritage re-use, and tests them in selected Cooperative Heritage Labs in six European cities. Open Heritage is formed by a consortium composed of research institutions, universities, financial organisations, developers and community involvement experts that studies existing policies and legal frameworks, development procedures, multi-stakeholder cooperations, crowdsourcing mechanisms, financial instruments and shared management formats. LUISS is a partner of the Open Heritage project, working on both the comparative analysis of observatory case studies and on field experimentation, with the Rome Collaboratory (Centocelle; Alessandrino; Torre Spaccata).
During the two day Consortium meeting the partners will share the progresses of their research and work together on the challenges. During the meeting there will also be a way to talk about Work Package 2, where LUISS is task leader of the comparative analysis of 16 comparative case studies (the “Observatory Cases”). This analysis will be very useful to provide new ideas for the six CHLs, the six Cooperative Heritage Labs where the governance model for the adaptive heritage reuse will be tested. One of the CHL will be carried out by LUISS, the “Rome collaboratory” which will work on the footsteps of the Co-Rome process and develop a sustainability mechanism for innovative adaptive re-use of cultural heritage.
Among others, the Consortium will be attended by: Ania Rok and Iryna Novak (ICLEI), Beitske Boonstra and Karim van Knippenberg (UGENT), Heike Overmann and Markus Kip (UBER), Sofia Dyak (Center for Urban History), Hanna Szemző and Andrea Tönkő (MRI), Loes Veldpaus, John Pendlebury (UNEW), Levente Polyák, and Daniela Patti (EUTROPIAN). Representing LUISS Dr. Benedetta Gillio and Professor Christian Iaione will participate to the meeting.
In an increasingly polluted world the local communities bring with them a huge, but unfortunately often neglected, potential for the development of social innovation initiatives aimed at a radical change in favor of renewable energy.
The seminar “Local Communities and Social Innovation for the Energy Transition” to be held at JRC Ispra Site (Ispra, Varese, Italy) on 22 and 23 November 2018 aims to study this potential and research recommendations aimed at obtaining a better exploitation of energy resources.
Furthermore, existing obstacles and conditions that favor or undermine the potential of local communities in the development of remedies of this kind will be discussed, as well as new models of innovation governance useful for the growth, consolidation and dissemination of social innovation initiatives in local communities.
We will also discuss the characteristics that allow local energy communities to be recognized in the panorama of EU regulations and how they can be disseminated through European policy. Some of the main existing examples of initiatives of local energy communities developed in the EU will be discussed below.
Finally, particular attention will be given to the important role that can be played by municipalities, both as local energy communities, as facilitators and as promoters of social innovation initiatives.
At the seminar will be present: Nicola Labanca (JRC Energy Efficiency and Renewables Unit), Sabine Hielscher (University of Sussex – UK), Josh Roberts (RESCoop.eu, Belgium), Paolo Bertoldi (JRC Energy Efficiency and Renewables Unit), Christian Iaione (LUISS Guido Carli University, IT), David Hammerstein (Commons Network), Fritz Reusswig (Potsdman Institute for Climate Impact Research, DE), : Daniele Paci (JRC Energy Efficiency and Renewables Unit), Jan Steinkohl (European Commission, DG ENER, Brussels), Dirk Hendricks (European Renewable Energy Federation, Brussels), Nikolaos Hatziargyriou (National Technical University of Athens, EL), Fabio Monforti (JRC Air and Climate Unit), Anna Mengolini (Energy Security, Distribution and Markets Unit, Joint Research Centre), Sarah Rieseberg (Arepo Consult, DE), Chiara Candelise (IEFE Bocconi University, IT), Gianluca Ruggieri (Insubria University, IT), Dick Magnusson (Linköping University, SE), Verhoeven Sofie (Ghent Municipality, BE), Lourdes Berdié (Network for Energy Sovereignty – Barcelona).
Professor Iaione, co-founder of LabGov, will present in the second discussion panel “Governance and Local Communities’ Social Innovation: which governance
approaches are needed to stimulate this innovation?” on the “Pooling Economy, Tech Justice and Urban Experimentalism for a Human Rights-based Approach to the Sharing Economy”.
When it comes to discussing the role of civil society in water management, the experience of the Italian “consorzi” (consortia) is worth of attention. Similar examples, representing the material implementation of the horizontal subsidiarity, result in being particularly successful in cases of small communities with a high degree of social cohesion. However, its applicability in medium to large contexts becomes more problematic because, as “The Tragedy of the Commons” theory reminds, a shared power of a large group on water is likely to generate an uncontrolled exploitation of the resource. As a matter of fact, the wider becomes the community of reference, the least the inhabitants feel themselves bound by the limits necessary for a proper common governance of the resource and the more they are tempted to waste it. This risk makes often preferable solutions like the exclusive control of the State on water or privatization of the water system.
In this contribution, the “consortium approach” to water management is presented as a successful experience in the Italian scenario. The consortium model consists of the entrustment of the service to cooperatives where users directly participate. Although this approach has been limitedly adopted in Italy, it is growing in other European countries. Efficient examples can be found in Holland – the Waterschapenn – and in Wales – for example, Welsh Water.
These solutions share the feature to be an alternative to the direct assumption of the water service’s responsibility by the State. The key advantage here identified is that the service is directly supervised by the citizens, which are incentivized to participate in water management.
For the Italian case, a relevant example is represented by the Consorzi di Bonifica and the Consorzi di sviluppo industriale. The first entities mainly operate in the agricultural sector, although there are hypothesis in which they have also the task to manage public services and to take care of water supply infrastructures. The second bodies are located in industrial areas and manage not only the industrial infrastructures, but also water treatment plants, acting in synergy with the authorities entrusted with the water service.
Specifically, it is noteworthy the experience of the small-sized municipalities in the northern part of Italy, where a solution neither private, nor public, but common has been adopted for water management. For example, in the Oltrepò Pavese, the 24 hamlets of Varzi have joined their efforts to govern the water service through a communitarian approach. A similar solution has been chosen by the communities of Mezzana Montaldo in the Alto Biellese and of Cerveno in the Alta Val Camonica. Furthermore, the experience of the Consorzio acque delta ferrarese (now transformed in a stock company under the name of C.A.D.F. Spa) is particularly timely as it represents an example of water management in common through a consortium created in reaction and opposition to the HERA model, the PPP dominant in the area.
These consortia fight to defend their autonomy; they are reluctant to give away their know-how and resources to the private market and resist to the pressure of political interests. Indeed, these consortia have to resist the centripetal pressure of the State which, for economic and logistical reasons, tend to consolidate them in a few ATOs (Ambiti Territoriali Ottimali), which arguably is the first step which will lead to the conferral of the ATO to private operators.
It could be affirmed that there are certain similarities between this communitarian approach and the approach adopted by the medieval municipalities in which the public goods, like the woods, the fields, the springs etc. were managed in common. This ancient solution might result in being an efficient alternative in a moment of public utilities’ crisis. An antique practice can be the answer to modern difficulties of the actual society.
Moreover, the consortium approach represents the fulfillment of Article 43 of the Italian Constitution which states that essential public services can be conferred to workers or users communities (the case here analyzed) in order to better represent the general interest. Nevertheless, numerous challenges hinder this approach, for example the scarcity of financial resources that make for the consortia hard to cover the service’s expenses.
In conclusion, it can be argued that these alternative solutions demonstrate that – in certain instances – a communitarian management of the water resource could be more efficient than a rigid assignment of property rights to private operators or to the State. Nevertheless, the outcome of the “in common solution” depends on the awareness of the relative community, on its willingness to participate, and on its capacity to respect common rules.
 Interview with Andrei Jouravlev at the Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe – CEPAL.
 Hardin, G.. 1968. The Tragedy of the Commons. Science, New Series, Vol. 162, No. 3859, pp. 1243-1248. Available at http://www.geo.mtu.edu/~asmayer/rural_sustain/governance/Hardin%201968.pdf.
 Segerfeldt, F. 2011. Acqua in vendita? (2003), trad.it. Torino: IBL, p.52.
 Santi, F. 2011. Amministrazione e controlli. Società di persone. Imprese gestite da enti collettivi. Consorzi. Gruppi europei di interesse economico. Imprese Famigliari, Associazioni in partecipazione. Padova: Cedam.
 Massarutto, A. 2011. Privati dell’Acqua? Bologna: Il Mulino, p.115.
 Ambiti Territoriali Ottimali are territorial subdivisions for water management and were created by the Law “Galli” of 1994. Legge 5 gennaio 1994 n.36, G.U. n.14 del 19-1-1994.
Il presente articolo illustra l’esperienza dei consorzi italiani per la gestione del sistema idrico. La relazione di proporzionalità inversa tra la dimensione della comunità di riferimento e il grado di riuscita della gestione in comune della risorsa idrica viene discussa. Alcuni esempi in Europa ed in Italia di consorzi di gestione in comune dell’acqua vengono presentati. Segue una riflessione sulle sfide che il mercato e gli interessi politici presentano all’approccio comunitario. In conclusione, si auspica l’adozione e la preservazione di tale approccio, tuttavia tenendo presente il necessario sussistere di alcune condizioni, come per esempio la capacità della collettività di auto-porsi limiti e regole.
The City of Turin is currently hosting the fifth edition of the Biennale Democrazia, a cultural event promoted by the City of Turin and by the Fondazione per la Cultura Torino, with the aim of spreading a culture of democracy that is able to result in democratic practices. The 2017 edition is fully dedicated to the concept of emergency, to the uses and abuses of this term, and to all the things that this word hides and shows.
The theme of this fifth edition is articulated in five thematic routes:
- State of necessity
- Society of uncertainty
- New beginnings
- Focus_Questions to Europe
- Focus_The city that changes
LabGov, with its co-founder prof. Christian Iaione, will attend the Biennale Democrazia on Saturday, April 1st, during the panel “Storie di beni comuni” (“Stories of Commons”), coordinated by Alessandra Quarta and attended by Gianluca Cantisani and Roberto Covolo as well. The panel is organized in collaboration with the “Servizio Arredo Urbano, Rigenerazione urbana e Integrazione della Città di Torino” within the framework of the CO-CITY project.
The three speakers are going to investigate the new models of urban welfare and of community co-production. Some of the most significative experiences in Italy are going to be analyzed, in order to show how with the co-management of commons, innovative government tools and paths can be activated.
The program of the Biennale Democrazia is available here: http://biennaledemocrazia.it/programma-bd-2017/
Dal 29 marzo al 2 aprile la città di Torino ospita la Biennale Democrazia, giunta alla sua quinta edizione e quest’anno dedicata al tema dell’emergenza, agli usi e agli abusi di questo termine così usato negli ultimi anni, e a tutto ciò che la parola nasconde e manifesta.
Il prof. Iaione, co-fondatore di LabGov, parteciperà insieme a Gianluca Cantisani e Roberto Covolo, il primo aprile alle ore 11.00 al panel “Storie di beni comuni”, moderato da Alessandra Quarta e organizzato in collaborazione con il Servizio Arredo Urbano, Rigenerazione urbana e Integrazione della Città di Torino, nell’ambito del progetto CO-CITY. Durante il panel verranno investigati nuovi modelli di welfare urnano e di co-produzione di comunità. Saranno analizzate alcune delle esperienze più significative in Italia, per dimostrare come con la co-gestione dei beni comuni possano essere attivati strumenti e percorsi di governo innovativi.
Il programma completo della Biennale Democrazia è disponibile qui: http://biennaledemocrazia.it/programma-bd-2017/