Agenda Tevere: the River Contract of the Tiber

Agenda Tevere: the River Contract of the Tiber

Agenda Tevere has started the procedure that will conduct to the creation of the first river’s contract dedicated to the Tiber in the urban area of Rome (the Contract will involve the area of the river that goes from Castel Giubileo – north part of the city – to the Foce – the final part of the river, in Fiumicino).

Credits to:


I have already analysed Agenda Tevere (hereinafter AT) and its genesis [1].

In this article I will focus on the tool that AT promotes and wants to apply to the roman river: the river’s contract. I will analyze the tool of the river’s contract and the benefits deriving from its creation, and then I will describe the procedure that AT (and the Committee for the promotion of the River’s Contract) is following in order to achieve this result and the actual state of the art of the abovementioned procedure.


The river’s contracts

The river’s contracts (hereinafter RC) are new tools based on the voluntary agreement between local authorities and privates as a form of negotiated and shared planning procedure[2]. This tool aims to the realization of a participated planning concertation and to the elaboration and implementation of water resources management [3]. The river’s contract is a tool specific for fluvial area’s recovery. It develops a path that leads to the definition of a contract and whose pillars are[4]:

  • sharing a clear objective;
  • signing an agreement among citizens (both civil society organizations and social innovators are involved in the definition of citizens), municipalities (public administrations), privates and the other partners involved;
  • finding sponsor who are available to fund the actions in order to reach the set objective.

This tool is born in France in the ‘80s of the twentieth century (the first RC – Contrat de Rivière was signed in 1983[5]). The creation of the RCs was promoted also by the EU (by the European Parliament and the Council), that sanctioned the Water Framework Directive, in which was provided a framework for the implementation of integrated policies for water resources management[6]. This document promotes the start of processes for citizens’ consultation and active participation.


The Italian experience

In Italy the first RCs were sanctioned in the first years of 2000. In 2003 the General Management for Water Resources and Public Utility Services of Lombardy Region started the procedure for the signing of the RC of River Olona’s basin. From that moment other RCs were started for many rivers of the Region. Then the Lombardy Region was emulated by other regions of Northern Italy, first of all by the Piedmont Region (that in 2007 started thinking the RCs as a possible way to implement the Water Protection Plan), and then by many others.

In Italy the RC is defined as an agreement between subjects that have competence in the management (and the use of) the water resources, in territorial planning and in the environmental protection. The process generated by the RC has a strong impact on the management and care of the water resources and the territory surrounding the rivers, contributes to hydraulic risks prevention and to the local development. This tool aims to achieve the objectives established in the European framework of the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/CE)[7] and of the Directive on the assessment and management of flood risks (2007/60/CE)[8].

The RC is aimed at[9]:

  • coordinating public intervention by the several institutional levels;
  • rationalizing and integrating public resources;
  • stimulating and boosting private investments.

At the national level, in 2007 was created the first Italian “National Table of the River’s Contracts”, in a period in which the diffusion was limited to the Northern regions. In 2010 was adopted a National Chart of the River’s Contracts” and in 2017 the Italian Ministry of the Environment created a “National Observatory of the River’s Contracts”.



RCs and Co-governance

The RC is based on the principles of horizontal and vertical subsidiarity and promotes Co-governance processes. In facts the RCs often involve the five actors of the quintuple helix model[10]. In this process of urban governance are involved: 1) active citizens, commoners, social innovators, city makers, local communities; 2) public authorities; 3) private actors (national or local businesses; small and medium enterprises; social business); 4) civil society organizations and NGOs; 5) knowledge institutions (schools and universities).

Credits to:


Those five actors are well represented in the case taken into consideration in this article, the one of the Tiber’ RC.

credits to: Paola Verdinelli, President of Agenda Tevere



The procedure for the Tiber’ RC

Agenda Tevere (AT) has promoted the creation of the Committee of the RC’ promoters and the drafting of the Declaration of Intent that has started the procedure that will conduct to the RC for the Tiber in the urban area of Rome. The procedure started on 28th June 2017. On 29th November 2017 the Lazio regional authority gave its official assent to the start of the procedure.

I will now briefly describe the meetings of the Committee of the RC’ promoters:


  • the first meeting was hosted on the 20th December 2017 by the Rome municipality, the Campidoglio, and represented a crucial turning point for AT and for the Committee of the RC’ promoters. It represented the official starting point of the procedure and a moment of public dissemination of the expected results and the state of the art of the Tiber. This was an important moment because it included the Tiber in the governmental agenda and allowed the inhabitants of Rome to know the ongoing process.

Credits to: Alessandro Antonelli, author of the article


  • the second meeting took place on the 30th January 2018. During this meeting the promoters have defined and formalized the structure and the governance rules of the procedure for the RC. AT has proposed to the Committee a governance structure that foresees the creation of an Inter Institutional Committee and a Technical Secretariat. The Committee of the RC promoters ratified this proposal. This meeting intended to let the work of the Committee begin. It has been successful in defining the governance scheme of the procedure.

Credits to: Alessandro Antonelli, author of the article, and Paola Cannavò, member of the Agenda Tevere Board of Directors


  • the third meeting took place on 19th March 2018. The agenda of the meeting included: the analysis of the programmatic decision in which were listed the priorities and objectives of the first working phase of the procedure; the formulation of the proposal of hypothesis for the creation of the working groups that had to implement the actions and to achieve the results expected during this first phase. During this meeting was underlined the importance of coordinating this RC with the others of the Lazio region. It was also proposed the drafting of a programmatic decision.

Credits to: Alessandro Antonelli, author of the article


  • the fourth meeting of the Committee of the RC’ Promoters was held on the 9th July 2018. During this meeting the pillars of the Programmatic Document were discussed and amended by the Promoters. The approval of this document was important in order to define the roadmap of the procedure that will bring the Committee to the drafting of the RC. The steps enounced in the document are: the creation of the governance organisms (already discussed and approved during the meeting held on the 30th January 2018), the phase of data survey (in which the Committee has to identify the potential and the criticality of the area taken into account by the RC, by examining the existing data), the consequent definition of the strategy at the basis of the action plan. The procedure was at that point in the phase prior to the survey phase.

Credits to: Alessandro Antonelli, author of the article


  • the fifth meeting was held on the 9th November 2018 in the offices made available by the Rome Municipality for the RC. During this appointment the composition of the two governance bodies, the Inter Institutional Committee and the Technical Secretariat, was defined. LabGov.City – LABoratory for the GOVernance of the city as a commons was appointed as one of the members of the Inter Institutional Committee. Professor Christian Iaione, scientific co-director of LabGov, was appointed as the coordinator of one of the working tables of the Technical Secretariat, the one that will develop the Governance model of the projects that will start along the banks of the Tiber. This meeting was very important because it marked the real start of the working phase.

Credits to: Alessandro Ricca, Secretary of Agenda Tevere


Inter Institutional Committee:

  • the first meeting of the Inter Institutional Committee was held on 7th December 2018 in the headquarter of the municipality of Fiumicino. The Committee ratified the internal Rules of Procedure and defined the calendar of meetings, in line with the one of the Technical Secretariat. Paola Cannavò, member of the Board of Directors of AT, of the Scientific Committee of LabGov and of the Co-Roma working team, as the coordinator of the Technical Secretariat, reported the results of the first meeting of the Secretariat, in which had been scheduled the timelines of the Secretariat work plan and the connected objectives. The Committee ratified the proposals of the Secretariat.

Credits to: Alessandro Antonelli, author of the article



Technical Secretariat:

  • the first meeting of the Secretariat took place on the 20th November 2018. During this appointment the Secretariat defined the timelines and the connected objectives. The Secretariat also defined the thematic issues of the various working groups composing the structure and identified the coordinators for each working group.
  • The second meeting was held on 7th December 2018. During this meeting each working group presented the objectives and members of the w.g. itself.
  • The third meeting was held on 11th January 2019. During this meeting each group presented the documentation available for each issue and the work plan.



AT has narrated the ongoing process on public occasions, such as for example during the meeting organized in Fiumicino (the Municipality near Rome that is involved in the procedure and is signatory oh the Declaration of intent for the RC of the Tiber) and held on the 4th June 2018, or in occasion of the first Conference of the National Observatory of the RCs.

Credits to:


AT has also narrated the ongoing process and the tool of the RC to the academic community and the university. An example is given by the workshop organized by EDU@LabGov, the non-formal educational platform based on the model of the in-house clinic organized by LabGov at LUISS University of Rome[11]. The workshop, that took place on 17th November 2018, was entirely dedicated to the narration of what AT was doing at the time, to the state of the Tiber (and of the whole city of Rome) and to the RC[12].


Credits to:



Next steps

The procedure that will bring to the conclusion of the RC for the Tiber will be composed by two phases.

The first phase will be a data survey (based on the existing data on the state of the river). During this phase each working group composing the Technical Secretariat will study the available data and identify the criticalities. Action guidelines will also be defined. Finally, the Technical Secretariat will identify a place of experimentation along the riverbanks, where to launch a pilot project.

During the second phase the working groups will define a common strategy and a series of pilot projects that will be included in the first three-year Action Plan.


LabGov coordinates the working group which focuses on the governance model of the projects that will be launched on the floodplains of the Tiber. If you are interested in contributing to this working group you can contact me at: or .




[1] The article is available here:

[2] D. Cialdea & S. Cacucci, The river’s contract: an opportunity for new landscape planning activities, Int. J. of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 12, No. 3, WIT Press, 2017.

[3] S. Guerra, Disputed or Shared Territory? The Italian Experience of River Contract: New Relationship between River and its Region, Planum – The Journal of Urbanism, 2012.

[4] The following list is provided in S. Guerra, 2012.

[5] More information are available here:

[6] More information are available here:

[7] Available here:

[8] Available here:

[9] The following list was extrapolated by S. Guerra, 2012.

[10] The model of the quintuple helix system of urban governance is available in C. Iaione, The Co-city, The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 2016


[12] The article describing the meeting is available here:

“UIA innovative approaches to tackle urban poverty”: how to tackle the problem of urban poverty

“UIA innovative approaches to tackle urban poverty”: how to tackle the problem of urban poverty

UIA is a European initiative created to test new solutions and to tackle emerging urban challenges.

Some of these solutions were collected by Nils Scheffler, UIA expert for the Use-It project, in his paper “UIA innovative approaches to tackle urban poverty “.

In fact, among the difficulties faced by the various urban contexts, there is the one concerning poverty.

This article, written after the seminar on 11 October 2018, during the European Week of Regions and Cities, quotes as an example the six cities Barcelona, ​​Birmingham, Lille, Nantes, Pozzuoli, Turin, which participate in the first call for proposals on the theme of urban poverty and which are adopting, with the support of UIA, innovative solutions to tackle this problem.



One of the most interesting aspects that emerges from the article is the one concerning the Public-private-community partnerships. In these particular types of partnership there is a more specific focus on what concerns the local foundation and the local development. In fact, the various target groups have been involved in the projects since the beginning.

A good example of how the Public-private-community partnerships can be particularly effective in combating the poverty is in the Co-city project from Turin where the municipality collaborates in the governance of the Commons with the various local associations and residents through the “Pacts of collaboration “. These are described by Christian Iaione, professor at Luiss Guido Carli and expert of the Co-City project, as “legal tool through which the forms of cooperation between city inhabitants and the City administration address urban poverty through an urban commons-based approach i.e. stimulating collective use, management, ownership of urban assets, services, the way infrastructure is implemented”.



Cultural heritage as a leverage for integration and cultural diversity. The issue of foreigners’ access to public management of museums in Italy

Cultural heritage as a leverage for integration and cultural diversity. The issue of foreigners’ access to public management of museums in Italy

Chiara Prevete (LabGov researcher and legal team) has published an article about foreigners’ access to public management on the journal “Observatory of the Italian Association of Constitutional Law scholars”, “Osservatorio AIC”[1]. This question had a key turning point with the Plenary Session of the Italian Council of State decision in June 2018. The question refers in particular to museum directors. In this respect, changes have been recently made in the legal framework by Minister Franceschini’s reform (legislative decree 31 May 2014, No. 83). The heart of the sentence is linked to the well-known question about the ‘reservation of citizenship’ connected to the nature and functions of public management in the Italian legal system. In fact, this issue refers to the Nineteenth Century distinction between ‘acts of imperio’, the expression of the puissance publique, and iure gestionis (the private, merchant-like, commercial acts of the government of a  state), where the possession of Italian citizenship is traditionally necessary for the exercise of public functions. The case law moves in particular from a hermeneutic diatribe on 1994 rule, the D.P.C.M. 7 February 1994, n. 174, which provides the exclusion for people without Italian citizenship from managers of public administrations roles. However, this topic can only be tackled considering the European principle of freedom of movement for workers, by art. 45 T.F.U.E. and its interpretation by the European Court of Justice.

The Author in particular emphasizes the role of museums’ immaterial and digital resources. In this way the Italian cultural heritage was opened for foreign museum directors. Above all, the administrative decision contributes to social development and the integration of different cultures according to art. 1 of the Faro Convention[2]. Indeed, also the concept of ‘Nation’, by art. 9 of the Italian Constitution, peacefully referred to the Community-State and not to the State-Apparatus, is nowadays interpreted as a ‘heritage clause’. As clarified by Häberle[3], the concept of an identity and inheritance clause is identified as ‘a characteristic element of developing countries’. He has highlighted the fact that the link to the cultural heritage would be unsuccessful if only the status quo is guaranteed and not the aspect of the multiplicity of past and future cultures. In this sense the term ‘Nation’, in the second paragraph of art. 9 of the Constitution, alludes to an ‘intergenerational pact’ or ‘synthesis of past, present and future generations’. Furthermore, this judgment demonstrates the importance of the judges’ interpretation also in civil law. In this sense, the legal system seems more authentic[4] because it observes changes in society.



[2] Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention, 2005, in

[3] P. Häberle, Potere Costituente (teoria generale), in Enc. Giur. Treccani, IX, 2000, 32.

[4] P. Grossi, Le comunità intermedie tra moderno e post-moderno, Genova, 2017, 66.


La complessa vicenda sull’accesso degli stranieri alla dirigenza pubblica trova un importante punto di svolta nella pronuncia dell’Adunanza Plenaria del giugno 2018. La questione affrontata si riferisce segnatamente ai direttori dei musei, la cui disciplina è stata di recente oggetto della riforma c.d. Franceschini, di cui al d.l. n. 31 maggio 2014, n. 83, attuata con numerosi decreti. Il cuore della controversia dinanzi all’Adunanza Plenaria è legato alla oramai nota questione sulla ‘riserva di cittadinanza’ connessa alla natura e alle funzioni della dirigenza pubblica nell’ordinamento italiano. Si legge nella sentenza, infatti, il richiamo all’ottocentesca distinzione tra atti di imperio, espressione questi della puissance publique, e atti di gestione, ove per l’esercizio dei primi è tradizionalmente necessario il possesso della cittadinanza italiana. La vicenda processuale muove in particolare da una diatriba ermeneutica su una disposizione del 1994, il D.P.C.M. 7 febbraio 1994, n. 174, la quale prevede l’esclusione dai posti dirigenziali delle amministrazioni pubbliche di soggetti privi della cittadinanza italiana.


A Merry Christmas List of Movies on…Cities!

A Merry Christmas List of Movies on…Cities!

LabGov wishes you a wonderful holiday season with a non-exhaustive list of movies and documentaries, old and new, that will make your holidays more entertaining!

The list below does not follow an order and is the result of various consultations with friends and colleagues, if you wish to send us some suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact us on FB or twitter!

1.”News From Home”, Chantal Akerman



2. “Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du commerce 1080 Bruxelles”, Chantal Akerman 




3. “Battersea Power Station: Selling an icon”



4. “Rush Hour”, Luciana Kaplan 



5. “H2Omx”, José Cohen and Lorenzo Hagerman



6. “Men on the bridge”, Aslı Özge




7. “Relatos salvajes”, Damián Szifrón



8. Cesta ven (the way out), Petr Václav

#urbanexclusion #romapeople


9. “Dark Days”, Marc Singer



10. “Quand il a fallu partir”, Mehdi Meklat and Badrou



11. “Ekumenopolis”, Imre Azem

#urbandevelopment #housing


12. “West Beirut”, Ziad Doueiri



13. “City of God”, Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund



14. “Lost in Translation”, Sofia Coppola



15. “Roma”, Alfonso Cuarón 



16. “Le mani sulla città”, Francesco Rosi 



17. “25th Hour”, Spike Lee




18. “Old Boy”, Park Chan-wook

#scarycities #seoul


19. “Taxi Teheran”, Jafar Panahi


The Co-Cities Recipe for Just and Inclusive Cities

The Co-Cities Recipe for Just and Inclusive Cities

This week LabGov will be releasing the first section of the Co-Cities Open Book, a publication that is the result of years of research and experimentations on the field to investigate new forms of collaborative city-making that is pushing urban areas towards new frontiers of participatory urban governance, inclusive economic growth and social innovation. .

This open book has roots in our conceptualization of the ‘City as a Commons,’ the emerging academic field of urban commons studies, and the work developed in 5 years of remarkable urban experimentations in Italy and around the world [1]. Structured around three main pillars, the Co-Cities open book will first provide scholars, practitioners and policy-makers with an overview of the theory and methodology of the Co-City with the “Co-Cities Protocol”.

The open book also presents the “Co-Cities report”, the results of an extensive research project in which we extracted from, and measured the existence of, Co-City design principles in a database of 400+ case studies in 130+ cities around the world. Ultimately, thanks to the Co-cities report we were able to create the first index able to measure how cities are implementing the right to the city through co-governance. Thus, the Co-Cities index serves as a fundamental tool for the international community in order to measure the implementation of some of the objectives that have been set by the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.



The last section of the book presents a collection, or annex, of articles of some of the most important researchers and practitioners studying the urban commons. These essays were conceived and offered as part of “The City as a Commons” conference, the first IASC (International Association for the Study of the Commons) conference on urban commons, co-chaired by Christian Iaione and Sheila Foster that took place in Bologna on November 6 and 7, 2015.

Don’t miss the publications of the Co-Cities Open Book sections on our website and social media pages in the coming weeks. A complete version of the open book, downloadable from our website, will be available at the beginning of January on our website.



[1] The theoretical background and literature of this project, and the conceptual pillars of the Co-City are based on the analytical framework developed in the following publications: Sheila Foster, The City as an Ecological Space: Social Capital and Urban Land Use, 82 Notre Dame L. Rev. 527 (2006-2007); Sheila Foster, Collective action and the Urban Commons, 58 Notre Dame L. Rev 57; Christian Iaione, Governing the Urban Commons, 1 It. J. pub. l. 170 (2015); Christian Iaione, The CO-city, 75 The American Journal of Economics and sociology, 2 (2016); Sheila Foster & Christian Iaione, The City as a Commons, 34 yale l. & pol’y rev 81 (2016); Christian Iaione, The Law and Policy of Pooling in the city, Fordham Urban Law Journal 34:2 (2016) and Sheila Foster & Christian Iaione, Ostrom in the City: design principles for the urban commons, The Nature of cities, (20 August 2017).