Social Housing as a Common Good for Resilient Cities

Social Housing as a Common Good for Resilient Cities

LabGov Costa Rica began this 2019 a project of Social Housing in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements, and the real estate development council. The intention of this project is to apply the Co-City methodology in a collaborative experience between the academic sector, the public sector and private stakeholders.

The idea is born from the previous social housing LabGov approach, following the work presented at Matera with Federcasa in 2018. In this past encounter in fact a series of documents[1] were generated around the idea of the “house as a common” that come to be the theoretical foundation, among others, of this project in Costa Rica.

The objective of the project is to propose a new Social Housing solution within the framework of an urban regeneration plan that integrates the design of common goods, applies the transect and mega-blocks model, reflecting the new urban values: compactness , participation, 24/7, pedestrian friendly, mixed use, and self-sufficient, in terms of consumption and production of energy, information, goods and services.

The project is promoted by the academy, under the guidance of the teacher of Urban Design courses and the Coordinators of Research and Extension of the School of Architecture at Universidad Latina, as well as those responsible for the project for the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements. The work of those involved will be to follow up on the proposals that will be formulated through presentations, focus groups, talks and working groups to finally evaluate the possibility of applying the project.

One of the main strategies is taking advantage of land management instruments and international experiences in social housing.

For this, we are going to generate a novel proposal to solve the access to decent housing for populations in need (elderly, young people, people with disabilities) avoiding the discrimination that generate projects that are exclusively dedicated to these users; and thus respond to a new conception of the city, as was proposed in the New Urban Agenda presented in Habitat III, in Quito in 2016.

To achieve it, we propose a strategy so that the buildings offer a % of units for social housing even being designed for the middle class; this in order to reduce discrimination and integrate users’ social level and in the urban fabric.

The project implementation area is located in the center of the capital, San José, in the south area between the Sabana Metropolitan Park, and near the Pacific Railway Station, in Víquez Square, developing along a stretch of the railway line in a desolate area of particular abandonment. This is also due to the fact that originally it was an area for industrial use that no longer works as such, reason why the residential areas of south of San José have developed mostly to meet the need for workers’ residences. Although the blocks of small wooden houses are characteristic of an era and a social class, the abandonment has strongly affected this sector causing deterioration of buildings, insecurity and poor investment in public infrastructure.

The main challenge to redeem this sector is the image of the neighborhood, the anti-fame and the current absence of a real group of neighbors, who gradually moved away from the center. Despite this, the potential of this area is linked to the fact that it belongs to the historic center of the capital, is a well-served area, full of buildings that can be recovered, a use of mixed land ranging from residential, commercial, institutional and industrial past, as well as being located in one of the main axes of east-west mobility, both in private and public transport mode.

For this reason, both from the public sector, and from the private sector, there is an interest in redeeming the district, as well as intervening throughout the portion of the railway line between the Metropolitan Park and the square. This is related to certain public policies that today aim to strengthen the use of the train as an alternative transport in response to the increase in vehicular traffic.

In order to make a feasible proposal, the students started from the process of the Cheap talk and Mapping directly on site, summing up the perception of the spaces as the potential of the same with various meetings and surveys. So far, these first two stages of the “Co-City cycle” process involved more than 15 students, 3 experts in mobility and land management, a deputy minister and ministerial councilors, 2 university professors and several residents interviewed during the days (and evenings) of inspection.

Currently the project is in a Practicing phase with the support of Ministry technicians and the timely intervention of experts from the private sector – belonging to the chamber of real estate developers, working on a phase of co-creation of specific proposals of commons (both intervention, as well as new implementations) and mixed-use building development (offices, commerce, residential and public use).

It is projected to reach a more mature phase of Prototype of the master plan during the half of the current year, to then put the proposals to the test, in a Testing phase in front of a jury composed of experts in the sector, public, private sector and the civil society of the interested parties. The idea of ​​turning a university course into a research laboratory where new urbanistic and architectural ideas are put to the service of citizenship, is not new in the international experience of LabGov, but what we propose for the first time is to co-design with all the actors involved an innovative project, both on the front of the design as on the legal source, that is to say the feasibility from the executive point of view, which depends on the public institutions and the interest of the companies.

[1] Monica Bernardi, Christian Iaione, Chiara Prevete, Home Pooling: Applying co-governance to the housing sector. And “Analisi empirica dell’innovazione nel finanziamento per le infrastrutture sociali (housing)”.

LabGov / Co-City is hiring!

LabGov / Co-City is hiring!

Project Fellow Opening: CO-CITY BATON ROUGE

The Marron Institute of Urban Management – NYU and LabGov are hiring a Project Fellow to work with Professor Sheila Foster (Georgetown and LabGov) and Professor Clayton Gillette, Director of the Marron Institute, on an urban revitalization project in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The project fellow will manage the combined effort of the Marron Institute and LabGov to bring a previously tested, co-governance approach (the “Co-City”) to Baton Rouge. The Co-City approach is rooted in a decade-long application and experimentation of various projects in distressed cities and neighborhoods, starting in European cities and continuing today in places as diverse as Amsterdam, Bologna, Turin, New York, Sao Paolo, and San Jose, Costa Rica. In each of these cities a variety of civic, neighborhood, and infrastructure goods and services are produced and managed through different forms of “pooling” and cooperation among five possible actors—public authorities, businesses, civil society organizations (NGOs), local social innovators, and academic/knowledge institutions. The Baton Rouge Co-City project will instigate a Co-City “cycle” or process that creates the environment for participants and stakeholders to arrive at locally adaptive, experimental and co-produced institutions, policies or practices. The Co-City process will operate in parallel to a comprehensive planning and redevelopment process overseen by the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority.

To learn more about the Co-City Baton Rouge project and the requirements for the project fellow position, please visit this link.

Towards Community Welfare – The economic issue in the public-private partnership

Towards Community Welfare – The economic issue in the public-private partnership

Urbinclusion Local Support Group. Towards the community welfare. The economic question in the public-private partnership: regulation, responsibility, governance.

A workshop of the Local Support Group of the Urbact Network Urbinclusion takes place today, Tuesday 10 July 2018, from 3.30 to 6.00 pm. The workshop will be held at Corso Castelfidardo 30 in Turin.

Institutional greetings by Marco Giusta and Paola Pisano will open the day. Then, the URBinclusion Implementation Plan – LSG will be presented by the Special Project, Innovation, Smart City, the European funds of the City of Turin. This will be followed by the presentation of the UIA Co-City Project by the AxTO Project Service, Beni Comuni, Periferie of the City of Turin.

The interventions section will follow: S & T and SocialFare will talk about “Economic models applied to public-private partnerships in the case of community welfare projects”. Subsequently, a representative of the Neighborhood Houses Network of Turin on “The management of economic activities: opportunities and constraints”. Finally, Alessandra Quarta, a researcher of the Department of Law of the University of Turin will make an intervention on the “Legal and governance aspects in the forms of public-private collaboration, from the grant to the collaboration agreements”.

The second part of the event consists in a Roundtable on the issue “What governance?”. The roundtable is composed by representatives of the institutional and civic actors participating in the Urbinclusion network and are now active in the implementation of the UIA Co-City Project. Both policy programs are funded by the EU and aimed at promoting social and economic inclusion in the City’s outskirts and are facing the related economic sustainability challenges.

Progetto Speciale, Innovazione, Smart City, fondi europei della Città di Torino; Servizio Progetto AxTO, Beni Comuni, Periferie della Città di Torino, Valter Cavallaro, Gianni Ferrero; Servizio Area Patrimonio della Città di Torino; Servizio Area Partecipazioni Comunali della Città di Torino; Attori del tavolo Azioni collettive del progetto Boostinno; Compagnia di San Paolo; UIA Expert, Christian Iaione; ANCI, Simone D’Antonio; Beneficiari di Co.City (tipologia A e B); Unito- Dipartimento di Informatica, Guido Boella; Città Metropolitana, Claudia Fassero. Moderatori: Fabrizio Barbiero (Città di Torino) e Matteo Tabasso (SiTI)



Urbinclusion Local Support Group. Verso il welfare di Comunità. La questione economica nella partnership pubblico-privato: normativa, responsabilità, governance.

Si svolge oggi,  martedì 10 luglio 2018 dalle ore 15.30 alle 18.00 il workshop del Local Support Group del Network Urbact Urbinclusion. Il workshop si terrà presso Corso Castelfidardo 30 a Torino. 

Dopo i saluti istituzionali a cura dell’Assessore Marco Giusta e Paola Pisano, sarà presentato l’ URBinclusion Implementation Plan -LSG a cura del Progetto Speciale, Innovazione, Smart City, fondi europei della Città di Torino. Seguirà la presentazione del Progetto UIA Co-City Torino a cura del Servizio Progetto AxTO, Beni Comuni, Periferie della Città di Torino.

Seguirà la sezione degli interventi: S&T e SocialFare parleranno dei “Modelli economici applicati a partnership pubblico-private nel caso di progetti di welfare di comunità”. Successivamente, un rappresentante della Rete delle Case del Quartiere su “La gestione delle attività economiche: opportunità e vincoli”. Infine, la ricercatrice del Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza UniTo farà un intervento sugli “Aspetti giuridici e di governance nelle forme di collaborazione pubblico-privato, dalla concessione ai patti di collaborazione”.

La seconda parte della giornata prevede una tavola rotonda: Quale governance?

Alla tavola rotonda parteciperanno rappresentanti di realtà civiche e istituzionali impegnate in Urbinclusion e adesso nel progetto Co-City Torino, entrambi finanziati dall’Unione Europea ed entrambi focalizzati sulla promozione dell’inclusione sociale ed economica nelle periferie della città di Torino: Progetto Speciale, Innovazione, Smart City, fondi europei della Città di Torino; Servizio Progetto AxTO, Beni Comuni, Periferie della Città di Torino, Valter Cavallaro, Gianni Ferrero; Servizio Area Patrimonio della Città di Torino; Servizio Area Partecipazioni Comunali della Città di Torino; Attori del tavolo Azioni collettive del progetto Boostinno; Compagnia di San Paolo; UIA Expert, Christian Iaione; ANCI, Simone D’Antonio; Beneficiari di Co.City (tipologia A e B); Unito- Dipartimento di Informatica, Guido Boella; Città Metropolitana, Claudia Fassero. Moderatori: Fabrizio Barbiero (Città di Torino) e Matteo Tabasso (SiTI).

A week contributing to the co-governance of Dutch cities

A week contributing to the co-governance of Dutch cities


From Wednesday 20 to Sunday 24 June Pakhuis de Zwijger (Amsterdam Metropolitan Area) will host the We Make The City Festival. Five days celebrating the urban living by collectively debate the challenge of making better cities. This huge event will erupt in the streets of Amsterdam with 30 urban talks, 50 workshops, 30 city expeditions, 15 special events, and 10 exhibitions bringing together 600 local, national and international speakers, and 30.000 participants including municipal workers, inhabitants, active citizens, commuters, and visitors to talk about the most urgent urban issues like climate, safety, affordable housing, and health.

LabGov will participate in the session – on Thursday 21 June – about Co-Creating the City contributing to answering the question “How does co-creation work in the urban practice?”. The notion of co-creation evokes and resonates the one of co-governance in raising awareness and addressing the need of a collaborative city-making approach able to include different type of urban stakeholders (knowledge institutions, businesses, start-ups, SMEs, welfare organizations, social innovators and the government) for a more inclusive, innovative and sustainable urban development.

In the context of a full day debate with representative of European municipalities, foundations, citizens and civil society associations – including  Amsterdam, Athens, Ghent, Groningen, Lisbon, Madrid, Nantes, Reykjavik, Rotterdam, and Vienna – a well as researchers from worldwide knowledge institutions – like Harvard University, LabGov São Paulo and San José State University – and international networks like the Project for Public Spaces; LabGov will share the added value of the Co-City approach leading a panel to discuss “Infrastructure and the Co-City: How Might We Make Urban Infrastructure Work for Everyone?”.

Christian Iaione (Professor of Urban Law and Policy at LUISS University, and LabGov Co-Director), Sheila Foster (Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Georgetown), Simone D’Antonio (URBACT), Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes (New Orleans Business Alliance), Marcella Arruda (Instituto A Cidade Precisa de Você, LabGov São Paulo) and Joachim Meerkerk (PhD researcher, Amsterdam University of Applied Science) – in a break-out session facilitated by Alicia Bonner Ness – will address the issue of how the Co-City approach can help city leaders and city-makers in serving collective needs leveraging public-community cooperation.

Key in the discussion will be the focus on infrastructures. Not only because urban infrastructures are the main resources in becoming urban commons if collaborative managed and collectively shared; but especially because this multi-stakeholder and democratic management of common goods is itself co-creating new infrastructure of urban governance. According with the Co-City methodology, in fact, the creation of a collaborative social and economic ecosystem will be transitioning urban governance from urban commons projects to the City as a Commons.

Another interesting highlight of the week will be the participation of Professor Christian Iaione in the EMMA experts event in The Hague on Wednesday 20 June that will also be focused on collaborative partnership between local public authorities, social innovators and civil society in the co-creation of the city that is the basis of the quintuple helix theory of the Co-City approach.

Find the complete program of the Festival on the official website:

Dal 20 al 24 giugno Pakhuis de Zwijger (Amsterdam) ospiterà il We Make The City Festival: cinque giorni dedicati alla celebrazione dell’urban living attraverso un dibattito collettivo su come migliorare le nostre città. LabGov terrà, nella sessione “Co-Creating the City” un panel sull’approccio Co-Cities dal titolo “Infrastructure and the Co-City: How Might We Make Urban Infrastructure Work for Everyone” e una break-out session facilitata da Alicia Bonner Ness.

5th May 2018 | Third Civic Collaboration Day and RomaSUDfEST

5th May 2018 | Third Civic Collaboration Day and RomaSUDfEST

The Heritage Walk through the neighbourhoods in the South-East suburbs of Rome during a one day event to enjoy the city experiencing civic collaboration practices 

The EDU@LabGov academic year 2017-2018 – the LUISS Educational Lab is the urban clinic for students to experiment on the field the urban commons theories and collaboration practices – is coming to an end and, for the third year, the labgovers will be committed to a one day experience of civic collaboration and cultural and environmental heritage regeneration of urban commons in the South-East of the city of Rome.

On Saturday, 5th May 2018, the Third Civic Collaboration Day and the RomaSudfEst will represent a unique opportunity to meet, discuss and spread a message of environmental, economic and social sustainability.

A programme full of activities – open to participants of all ages – will engage a variety of local actors and urban stakeholders in living different places and public spaces of the entire district, experiencing new practices of civic collaboration, and pushing forward the local public debate.

The Civic Collaboration Day will start at 9 a.m. in the Degli Acquedotti Park (Don Bosco neighbourhood) and from there will cross through the neighbourhoods of Torre Spaccata, Tor Sapienza, Centocelle and Alessandrino; in each of them are scheduled different activities and events organized by associations and active citizens in collaboration with public and knowledge institutions, as Municipio V, Rome Municipality, ENEA and LUISS University.

The initiative is one of the outputs of the work carried on by EDU@LabGov in different urban experimentation sites in the framework of Co-Roma, a project aimed at building an integrated model of urban smart district based on the development of new co-economies: economies with a circular, social, supportive and collaborative nature and on an active and cohesive citizenship.

Amongst the many activities scheduled during the day:

>> At 10.30 a.m., in the green area next to the Rugantino Library (Torre Spaccata), the labgovers – together with the students of the Master in Landscape Architecture of La Sapienza University of Rome – will bring the University outside its doors by setting up the third satellite of the University’s community garden #ortoLUISS and leading a horticulture lab for children.

>> At 3 p.m. in the Centocelle Park – which, for the first two years, has been the centre of the Co-Roma project – will take place different activities for kids about urban mobility, together with a series of heritage walks (organized by the Comunità Parco Pubblico di Centocelle Odv), as defined by the Faro Convention framework, to discover together and showcase to all the participants the beauty of several archaeological and cultural resources of the district.

>> The Collaboration Day will close at FusoLab (Centocelle) at 19.30 with the RomaSudfEst where many people from the district and from the whole city will gather to celebrate with the music the conclusion of this important collective moment.

Click here to download the full programme of the event