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:

The birth of the Community for the Public Park of Centocelle: the importance of local communities in preserving cultural heritage.

The birth of the Community for the Public Park of Centocelle: the importance of local communities in preserving cultural heritage.

Over the past three years, LabGov has been working on the city of Rome on the conditions that favors and hampers the development of a smart co-district in a metropolitan city. This hypothesis was pursued with a complex research strategy that started in 2015, is still ongoing and consisted in an application through adaptation of the Co-City protocol in the City of Rome. Info and materials are available here: The first step was that of identifying a zone of urban experimentalism. The result of the first year of applied work resulted in the identification of an area, the Co-district “Roma Sud Est” composed of areas belonging to the V and VI Districts of the City of Rome, in particular the following neighborhoods: Alessandrino, Centocelle and Torre Spaccata. The Co-district “Roma Sud Est” represents a complex urban area because it is characterized by low indicators of social and economic fragility within the City of Rome. The VI District and in particular the urban area of Torre Spaccata presents the lowest level of Human Development Index, highest rates of poverty and of inequalities of the city. According to data on social and economic vulnerability of Rome’s neighborhoods these areas are inhabited mainly by elderly persons (more than 28% of the residents in Torre Spaccata); the Municipalities V and VI are the poorest in the city: the average income is 18.940 in the V, 17,069 in the VI; they have the lowest level of education: the average is 10.3 and 9.7 years respectively. The Human Development Index in the VI is the lowest in the city (0.455), slightly higher in the V (0.571). [1]After a long work of mapping and knowledge of the area through the organization of several cheap talks and site visits, LabGov started to collaborate with the local community and together they experimented new forms of collaborative urban governance.

The 1st December 2017 is an important date for this community, which is working for the preservation of the Archaeological Public Park of Centocelle and for the entire district. It is, in fact, the day in which the “Community for the Public Park of Centocelle” (hereinafter: CPPC) was institutionalized as an NGO[2]. Before the constitution, a co-design session and several cheap talks on field have been organized by LabGovers, putting local communities and their needs at the center. A large number of inhabitants has participated at this process: together with innovation experts and service designers, they have analyzed the territory and their needs, but also how they could contribute to the regeneration of their neighborhoods. At the end of these labs, a group of citizens decided to self-organise and to set up an association for the purpose of preserving and regenerating the Public Park of Centocelle resource and its heritage, which was in a state of complete abandonment and deterioration.

Figure 1 Co-design Lab in Casa della Cultura Villa De Sanctis, 22nd september 2016. Source:

The CPPC is therefore the result of an intense work with the local community, based on the valorization and empowerment of its social capital.

According to the Statute of the CPPC, the work of the members will be based on the principles of civic collaboration and social responsibility towards the cultural heritage of the City of Rome. The CPPC is aimed, indeed at promoting and exploiting the historic, cultural and environmental heritage of the Archaeological Park of Centocelle, which is a complex resource: a cultural and environmental urban commons. It is for that reason that the CPPC has decided to initiate the procedures related to the recognition as Faro Community, taking inspiration by the principles of the Faro Convention signed in Faro on October 2015. As reported by the Council of Europe, a Faro Community “is a heritage community consisting of people who value specific aspects of cultural heritage which they wish, within the framework of public action, to sustain and transmit to future generations”. Hence, in order to transfer good practices also at the European level, the Association, among the different goals and activities set, is committed to organize regeneration activities in the Park, to promote walks and cultural activities such as workshop, meetings, aimed at involving the local community, increasing the participation and promoting a sustainable tourism and the creation of new cultural, social, polycentric and collaborative economies. For instance, the Community for the Public Park of Centocelle, in collaboration with others local NGOs like the Neighborhood Committee “Comitato di Quartiere di Torre Spaccata” and the NGO of bikers “Settimo Biciclettari” have organized several workshops about the archaeological and historic heritage of the area. The labs have taken place in several key places of the district and have been organized by important experts who have told the community the history of those places. Experimenting the culture as an entry point has been the main goal of these laboratories.

Moreover, CPPC is the community organizer of the “Civic Collaboration Day”, an all-day long itinerant journey throughout the co-district, during which several activities are organized: from walks to activities of community gardening, labs, kids’ games and concerts in order to cultivate the community and to live the neighborhoods in a different way. The third edition of the Civic Collaboration Day was held on May 5th 2018 in the so-called Co-District. During the day the CPPC, together with LabGov, LUISS University, ENEA and the Vth District of the City of Rome, have organized a heritage walk to promote a new way to live and discover the territory, thanks to the work done by the local community and new narratives of those places and who lives there, telling their histories, projects and experiences. Hundreds of persons have participated, walking or riding bikes, discovering the key places and taking part in several and different activities. The most exciting aspect of this day has been the wide participation and collaboration of local citizens in organizing the walk. Starting from the Park of Acquedotti in the neighborhood of Don Bosco, passing through Torre Spaccata, Centocelle and Tor Sapienza, the walk ended at FusoLab, in the Alessandrino neighborhood, which is a community hub that provides local services, organize cultural events and which works as a catalyst for the entire area and local community.

Figura 3 Heritage Walk during the Civic Collaboration Day, 5th May 2018. Source Facebook

In conclusion, it has been not only a walk, but the result of years of hard work of research and action carried out by experts, researchers and citizens to preserve and valorize the important heritage, of which they are the guardians.



[2]According to the reform of the so-called “third sector”, the law that regulates the social and not for profit sector approved in Italy on July 3rd 2017, “D.Lgs 3rd July 2017, n.117”

Experimenting Civic Collaboration between commons in the South East of Rome

Experimenting Civic Collaboration between commons in the South East of Rome

On Saturday, May 5th, the South East Co-District of Rome has been crossed by Civic Collaboration, urban redevelopment and co-governance of urban commons paths in a whole day full of activities, meetings, debates that has been organized by LabGov in the context of the Co-Rome, in collaboration with V Municipio, ENEA, LUISS University, Comunità Parco Pubblico di Centocelle and several organizations and associations from the district

An itinerant community made of students, academics, stakeholders and active citizens started its path from Parco degli Acquedotti, in Don Bosco neighborhood, to reach Torre Spaccata where, in the green area next to Biblioteca Rugantino, the labgovers and students from the master degree in Landscape Architecture of La Sapienza University inaugurated the third satellite of LUISS’ community garden #OrtoLUISS.

An horticulture lab, the valorization of urban vertical gardens an of “in-the-box” gardens and thoughts on the importance of concrete experimentations of circular economy enriched a morning where people of every age shared a new contact with public and natural spaces of the district

In this direction, the third step of the day was in the permaculture project oh Municipio V “Il sogno trasformato”, that consented to the participants to visit Parco Giorgio de Chirico, in Tor Sapienza neighborhood, and to discuss on how public institutions and communities can try together to look for solutions for environmental redevelopment and social re-activation of those territories where urban inequalities are much stronger.

The rain didn’t stop the seek for experimentation and collaboration, and the participants continued their path in the library “L’ora di libertà”, where they first admired the exhibition “100 piccoli volti di Centocelle” by Giorgia Capatano, and where they then sat down to discuss together the future of Centocelle district

Representatives of ENEA’s #fuTure and Centoc’è labs presented their new ideas to design and manage together the territory while ensuring environmental and social sustainability.

At the end of the day, at FusoLab 2.0, the last emotional step of the day with Valentina Correani sharing with Silvio Bruno (President of Centocelle Neighborhood’s Committee) and Vinceno Luciano (Director of Abitarearoma) stories and poems on the history and the beauties of urban suburbs, starting from the South East of Rome. During the evening the short film by Myrice Tansini “La Prima Volta“, starring Mario Caldaro (beloved honorary member of the Comunità Parco Pubblico di Centocelle) was shown to the move public.

And then: party and music! The musical event #RomaSudfEst was opened by the young Coro Cantering, who sang several folk songs from Italy and Europe (and Rome, of course), and continued with a space all dedicated to #Orto17 with three young roman songwriters, Emilio Stella, Gianmarco Dottori and Andrea D’Apolito, that shared an hymn to the Rome that we hope to be able to build together.

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


5 Maggio 2018 | 3° Giornata della Collaborazione Civica e il RomaSudFest

5 Maggio 2018 | 3° Giornata della Collaborazione Civica e il RomaSudFest

Una passeggiata patrimoniale nella periferia sud-est di Roma a praticar la collaborazione civica e tanto divertimento


Il percorso del Laboratorio EDU@LabGov di quest’anno sta per volgere al termine e non può che concludersi in bellezza, dedicando – come da tre anni a questa parte – un’intera giornata alla collaborazione civica e alla rigenerazione del patrimonio culturale, ambientale e dei beni comuni urbani dei quartieri di Roma Sud-Est.

Sabato 5 maggio 2018 avrà luogo la Terza Giornata della Collaborazione Civica e il RomaSudfEst, un’occasione per incontrarsi, discutere e diffondere un messaggio di sostenibilità declinata in tutte le sue dimensioni: ambientale, economica e sociale.

Tante – e adatte a tutte le età – le attività in programma che permetteranno ad una molteplicità di attori di attraversare vari luoghi e spazi pubblici dell’intero distretto, seminare nuove esperienze e pratiche di collaborazione civica e contaminare positivamente il dibattito pubblico sul territorio.

La giornata avrà inizio la mattina alle ore 9:00 dal Parco degli Acquedotti, nel quartiere di Don Bosco per poi raggiungere i quartieri di Torre Spaccata, Tor Sapienza, Centocelle ed Alessandrino, in ciascuno dei quali sono previste attività ed eventi organizzati dalle associazioni e dai cittadini attivi dei vari quartieri, in collaborazione con le istituzioni pubbliche e cognitive, come il Municipio V, il Comune di Roma, ENEA e l’Università LUISS Guido Carli.

L’iniziativa è frutto del lavoro che il Laboratorio EDU@LabGov sta portando avanti su più cantieri di sperimentazione urbana nel contesto del Progetto Co-Roma, per costruire un modello integrato di smart district urbano, basato sullo sviluppo di nuove co-economie, ovvero economie di natura circolare, sociale, solidale e collaborativa e su una cittadinanza attiva e coesa.

Tra le varie attività proposte:

>> alle 10.30 presso l’area verde attigua alla biblioteca Rugantino, nel quartiere di Torre Spaccata, i ragazzi del Laboratorio, in collaborazione con gli studenti del corso di Laurea Magistrale in Architettura del Paesaggio de La Sapienza, anche quest’anno porteranno fuori dall’Università quello che è ormai il terzo satellite dell’#ortoLuiss, organizzando un laboratorio di ortocultura a cui sono invitati tutti coloro che sono desiderosi di sporcarsi le mani e divertirsi, inclusi giochi e attività per bambini

>> alle 15.00 nel Parco di Centocelle, oggetto dei primi anni di sperimentazione del progetto Co-Roma, si svolgeranno attività per bambini sul tema della mobilità sostenibile, e i membri della Comunità Parco Pubblico di Centocelle condurranno i presenti in una serie di “passeggiate patrimoniali” (heritage walks, come definite dal Faro Convention Framework), alla scoperta del patrimonio culturale e archeologico del distretto.

>> La giornata si concluderà presso FusoLab, nel quartiere di Centocelle, con il RomaSudfEst, dove ci aspetteranno tanta musica e bella gente per festeggiare insieme la conclusione di questo momento collettivo che speriamo in un futuro non sia soltanto più un evento, ma un giorno come tanti in cui valori quali la collaborazione civica e la cura di un bene comune entrano a far parte della nostra quotidianità e guidano le nostre azioni.

Non mancate, portate tanta allegria e non ve ne pentirete!

Scarica qui il programma dettagliato