Legacy – a convention in memory of Stefano Rodotà

Legacy – a convention in memory of Stefano Rodotà

L’Università degli Studi di Torino (“Collegio Carlo Alberto”) sarà la sede fisica che ospiterà, nelle giornate che vanno dal 15 al 18 marzo 2018, il convegno Legacy nel ricordo della figura di Stefano Rodotà.

Le quattro giornate lungo le quali si articolerà e svilupperà il dialogo, vedono tra i suoi partecipanti numerosi studiosi di diritto civile, privato e urbanistico.

Come mostra il programma,  il primo tema e focus del dialogo sarà quello delle “ideologie e tecniche della (ri)codificazione del diritto privato”. Dopo l’introduzione del Professore Ugo Mattei (Università di Torino), la suddivisione della prima giornata, presenterà due sessioni più una “tavola rotonda”, come momento partecipativo e di dialogo conclusivo.

Il tema precedentemente menzionato, sarà affrontato successivamente, anche nelle giornate del 16 e 17 marzo, alla fine delle quali si alterneranno due diversi momenti dedicati all’arte, rispettivamente musica e teatro, in onore di Stefano Rodotà.

Tuttavia, sempre nella giornata del 17 Marzo, sarà affrontata e discussa parallelamente e da diversi relatori tra cui Christian Iaione e Franco Bassanini, l’aspetto della conferenza relativo alla “Civitas”. I relatori menzionati affronteranno il tema delle infrastrutture sociali; l’introduzione e il coordinamento sarà a cura di Edoardo Reviglio (IUC Torino). Guido Calabresi e Franco Gallo invece, dialogheranno intorno ai temi di costituzione, cittadinanza e democrazia.

Il dialogo intorno al suddetto tema, continua nella giornata conclusiva del 18 Marzo e verterà sulla città, beni comuni e altri correlativi al tema.

La giornata terminerà con una lectio in ricordo dell’esimio giurista e professore, Stefano Rodotà.

 

 

The University College of Torino “Carlo Alberto”, will host from the 15th until the 18th  of March, the Legacy convention, in memory of Stefano Rodotà. The convention will be articulated along four days, where the participant involved (experts in private, civil and urban law) will engage in discussions concerning different topics that range from Private Law Codification to Social Infrastructures, the city and citizenship.

The first topic of discussion (“Ideologies and techniques of (re)codification of private law”) will be introduced and coordinated by Professor Ugo Mattei (University College of Turin); it will further develop in the next two days of the convention.

In parallel with the aforementioned topic, another equally important one will be developed during the 17th and 18th of March. Between the relators, we shall mention Christian Iaione and Franco Bassanini; the two will discuss about social Infrastructures and the commons, after having been introduced and coordinated by Edoardo Reviglio (IUC Torino). Guido Calabresi and Franco Gallo instead, will deal with three highly debated topics: constitution, citizenship and democracy.

The epilogue of the convention, will be a lectio in honor of the distinguished lawyer and professor, Stefano Rodotà.

Not private, not public, but common: the experience of the Italian consortia for water management

Not private, not public, but common: the experience of the Italian consortia for water management

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[1] because, as “The Tragedy of the Commons” theory reminds[2], 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[3].

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[4]. 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 industrialeThe 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[5].

Specifically, it is noteworthy the experience of the small-sized municipalities in the northern part of Italy, where a solution neither privatenor publicbut 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[6].

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.

 

[1] Interview with Andrei Jouravlev at the Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe – CEPAL.

[2] 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.

[3] Segerfeldt, F. 2011.  Acqua in vendita? (2003), trad.it. Torino: IBL, p.52.

[4] 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.

[5] Massarutto, A. 2011. Privati dell’Acqua? Bologna: Il Mulino, p.115.

[6] 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.

 

Storie di beni comuni alla Biennale Democrazia

Storie di beni comuni alla Biennale Democrazia

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/

“Costruire Comunità” – the cycle of seminars hosted by INARCH

“Costruire Comunità” – the cycle of seminars hosted by INARCH

On Wednesday the 15th of February, the cycle of seminars “Building Communities” (Costruire Comunità) will start its course at INARCH, the National Institute of Architecture, in the context of the master degree in Sustainable Architecture. The cycle is composed by three seminars with three experts coming from different fields of study but still complementary with architecture, in order to promote a reflection on the link between environmental sustainability and the social sustainability of urban regeneration and city governance.

This first seminar is going to host Christian Iaione, LabGov’s co-founder and expert of the co-governance of commons, who is going to focus on the idea of the city as a commons.

The next two seminars will host respectively:

  • Maria Cristina Antonucci, researcher in social studies at CNR – 22th of March
  • Filippo Celata, professor in Economic Geography and expert in local politics – 5th of April

The focal point of the events will be the relationship between public and private, as well as the idea of community, and several methods, models and instruments to re-think our cities will be discussed.

The events are open and public. More info here: http://www.inarchedu.it/seminario-la-citta-bene-comune/

Venerdì 15 febbraio INARCH ospiterà la prima sessione del ciclo di seminari “Costruire Comunità”, organizzato nell’ambito del master in Architettura Sostenibile. Tre incontri con tre esperti (Christian Iaione, Maria Cristina Antonucci e Filippo Celata) per discutere del rapporto pubblico-privato e dell’idea di comunità.

I seminari sono aperti e pubblici. Più informazioni a questo link: http://www.inarchedu.it/seminario-la-citta-bene-comune/

NYCommons: A Tool To Help Grassroots Groups

NYCommons: A Tool To Help Grassroots Groups

In urban development, gentrification is a very important process that can transform the city, both socially and economically. Gentrification process in urban areas has several positive aspects (buildings are renovated and beautified, there are more jobs opportunities, more retail and service business, etc.) but also some negatives ones such as the loss of affordable housing and public assets (including parks, park buildings, former schools, library buildings, community gardens, etc.) and city-owned vacant lots are in the crosshairs of developers. This is the case of the Lower East Side in NYC that it is now one of the hottest real estate markets in Manhattan.

According to Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, the state chapter of the national civic engagement and government accountability organization, in urban development, communities play the role of underdog, on the contrary, the government and real estate developers run the show (especially the latter).

So, it is important to analyze what set of organizing tools community-led organizations have built to help grassroots groups compete with private real estate developers when it comes to determining the future of publicly owned assets across the city.

An interesting example is given by Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, a group that provides legal, participatory research and policy support to strengthen the work of grassroots and community-based groups in New York City to dismantle racial, economic and social oppression and 596 Acres, an organization that builds tools to help neighbors see vacant lots as opportunities and create needed green spaces that become focal points for community organizing and civic engagement. These groups, in collaboration with Common Cause New York, are working on a huge project, named NYCommons.

According to the website, NYCommons is basically a new online map and database of all the public assets that helps New Yorkers impact decisions about public land and buildings in their neighborhoods and provides some type of potential real estate development opportunity. According to this statement, it’s hard to define precisely what it includes, but Paula Segal, founder of 596 Acres claims that, if it is true that in cities most of infrastructure and assets are shared (the subways, the roads, the sidewalks, the water, housing, etc.) so, the platform goes on and on to the point where privately owned property can start to seem like the real outlier.

This idea was born about three or four years ago, Mrs. Lerner says, when NYCommons partners started to see a pattern in the organizing around the future of public assets (i.e. a proposed soccer stadium in Queens, the Midtown Library in Manhattan and the main Brooklyn Public Library Branch). They “started thinking about the fact that all of these separate challenges had similar underlying policy issues that have to do with how does government think about commonly owned, shared assets.” In fact, although residents were spending a lot of time and energy, often they didn’t received benefits from these proposals involving public assets.

At the same time, there was some movement: 596 Acres supported some grassroots groups that organized around 36 former publicly owned vacant lots, which turned in declared permanent parks at the end of 2015. In addition to this, 596 Acres has developed a number of tools and created resources around city-owned vacant land: we are talking about Living Lots NYC and Urban Reviewer. The former is an online map and database that provides a useful platform for organizers to connect and maintain records of organizing activity around each lot, the latter is a catalogue of over 150 urban renewal plans that NYC adopted to get federal funding for making way for new public and private development.

In accordance with that, the specific purpose of NYCommons is indeed to create an expanded tool set to serve grassroots organizing around the broader universe of public assets in NYC. They decided to start by asking people in 10 neighborhoods and they finally found a great deal of interest for sharing best practices and connecting with others doing similar work. For testing their job, NYCommons chose three neighborhoods for pilot including the Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Lower East Side. This park presents a very strong story of citizen empowerment and, over time, that participation has contributed to the creation of Sara D. Roosevelt Park Community Coalition (SDRPC) with the aim to bring “together local stakeholders who seek to foster community-based stewardship by providing a voice for all who love the park and the communities it serves”.

Kathleen Webster, long-term resident on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and president of the SDRPC affirms that documentation, workshop facilitation and other resources to begin developing a tool kit provided by NYCommons were very helpful as a draft basis from which to go. The fact that all pilot sites will continue to shape the final NYCommons tool kit and the online platform and this pushes other sites to upload their data into the platform is the strenght of this project. Organizing track records provide vital talking points for future hearings and op-eds and community meetings.

In conclusion, the words of Mrs. Lerner are suitable to describe the characteristics of this projects: “Hopefully NYCommons can provide an entrée into a fairly sophisticated, experienced, citywide network of groups who are all thinking along the same lines, putting pressure on government to be responsive, with a similar vocabulary and set of expectations about public assets serving the public”.

 

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NYCommons è solo l’ultimo degli strumenti forniti ai gruppi grassroots di New York che lavorano per garantire ai cittadini la libera fruizione di spazi pubblici con un alto valore sociale. Nello specifico, si tratta di una mappa e un database online continuamente aggiornati secondo la dinamica bottom-up per mappare gli assets pubblici di NYC.