Save the date: on 29th and 30th March will take place the fourth module of the Urban Clinic EDU@LabGov in Luiss Guido Carli University. This fourth module is mainly dedicated to ‘Urban Experimentalism’!
On Friday 29th March the workshop will take place in the classroom 305b from 16pm to 18pm in the Luiss Campus.
The Urban Clinic will host dr. Daniela Patti, expert in the urban regeneration and in the collaborative planning and co-founder and manager of Eutropian.org Research & Action (http://eutropian.org/). She will talk about cooperation in cities and successful examples of civic cooperation. In the second part of the workshop, Labgovers will listen to prof. Lorenzo Maria Donini, expert in nutritional principles and food science from La Sapienza University. This will represent an important step in the development of the digital platform that Labgovers have designed in order to raise awareness towards the importance of food, sport and agriculture for individual and collective well-being.
On Saturday 30th March from 10 am to 17 pm in room 310 of the Luiss roman Campus will take place the fourth co-working session. The Urban Clinic will host Vincenzo Maria Capelli, agricultural entrepreneur of the gardens and boating champion from Confagricoltura. He will talk to the Labgovers about his professional experience and the connection between urban agriculture, sport, entrepreneurship. The co-working session will be moderated from Alexander Piperno, PhD Luiss in economics and from the team of EDU@LabGov to support the students in order to add new wedges to the idea that they are developing and to strengthen the sustainability model.
The interest for citizens
co-production of public services is increasing and many digital participatory
platforms (DPPs) have been developed in order to improve participatory
During the Sharing City
Summit in Barcelona last November we discovered the DDDC, i.e. the Digital Democracy and Data Commons, a participatory platform to
deliberate and construct alternative and more democratic forms of data
governance, which will allow citizens to take back control over their personal
data in the digital society and economy.
Barcelona is already known as
a best practice in this field: the city and its metropolitan area constitute an
ecosystem in terms of co-production of public policies and citizen science
initiatives. The City Council has created an Office of
Citizens Science and the Municipal
Data Office, as well as the first Science Biennial that just took place in Barcelona
(from 7th-11th February 2019). At the same time citizen science projects
In this frame Barcelona is famous
to have launched in February 2016 Decidim.Barcelona (we decide), a project of
the City Council to give citizens the opportunity to discuss proposals using an
interface for group-discussions and comments. Decidim is indeed an online participatory-democracy
platform that embodies a completely innovative approach. First of all it is entirely and collaboratively built as free software.
As remembered by Xabier Barandiaran Decidim is
a web environment that using the programming language Ruby on Rails allows
anybody to create and configure a website platform to be used in the form of a
political network for democratic participation. Any organization (local city
council, association, university, NGO, neighbourhood or cooperative) can create
mass processes for strategic planning, participatory budgeting, collaborative
design for regulations, urban spaces and election processes. It also makes
possible the match between traditional in-person democratic meetings
(assemblies, council meetings, etc.) and the digital world (sending meeting
invites, managing registrations, facilitating the publication of minutes, etc.).
Moreover it enables the structuring of government bodies or assemblies
(councils, boards, working groups), the convening of consultations, referendums
or channelling citizen or member initiatives to trigger different decision
making processes. The official definition of Decidim is: a
public-common’s, free and open, digital infrastructure for participatory
Barandiaran remembers also that “Decidim was born in an
institutional environment (that of Barcelona City Council), directly aiming at
improving and enhancing the political and administrative impact of
participatory democracy in the state (municipalities, local governments, etc.).
But it also aims at empowering social processes as a platform for massive
social coordination for collective action independently of public
administrations. Anybody can copy, modify and install Decidim for its own
needs, so Decidim is by no means reduced to public institutions”.
As of march 2018 www.decidim.barcelona
had more than 28,000 registered participants,
1,288,999 page views, 290,520 visitors, 19 participatory processes, 821 public
meetings channeled through the platform and 12,173 proposals, out of which over
8,923 have already become public policies grouped into 5,339 results whose
execution level can be monitored by citizens. […] It comes to fill the gap of
public and common’s platforms, providing an alternative to the way in which
private platforms coordinate social action (mostly with profit-driven, data
extraction and market oriented goals)”.
But Decidim is more than a technological platform, it is a
“technopolitical project” where legal, political, institutional, practical,
social, educational, communicative, economic and epistemic codes merge
together. There are mainly 3 levels: the political (focused
on the democratic model that Decidim promotes and its impact on public policies
and organizations), the technopolitical (focused on how the
platform is designed, the mechanisms it embodies, and the way in which it is
itself democratically designed), and the technical (focused
on the conditions of production, operation and success of the project: the
factory, collaborative mechanisms, licenses, etc.). In this way thousands of
people can organize themselves democratically by making proposals that will be
debated and could translate into binding legislation, attending public
meetings, fostering decision-making discussions, deciding through different
forms of voting and monitoring the implementation of decisions (not only the
procedures but also the outcomes).
pilot project was launched in October 18th 2018 and will end April 1st
2019, for a total of 5 months. It has mainly three goals:
to integrate the DECODE technology with the Decidim
digital platform in order to improve processes of e-petitioning, to
provide more safety, privacy, transparency and data enrichment;
to enable a deliberative space around data law,
governance and economics within the new digital economy and public
policy, in order to provide a vision oriented to promote a greater citizen
control over data and their exploitation in Commons-oriented models;
to experiment with
the construction and use of a data commons generated in the process, in order to
improve the inclusion of the participatory process itself.
The goals will be reached
through several phases that foresee also face-to-face meetings, inside the dddc.decodeproject.eu
platform. The infographic illustrates the phases:
The pilot project is currently
in its second phase. The first 1 was that of
presentation & diagnosis,
dedicated to the elaboration of a brief diagnosis of the state of regulations,
governance models and data economy. The diagnosis emerged from a kick off
pilot presentation workshop, the DECODE Symposium, aimed to imagine possible proposal to move towards a society where
citizens can control what, how and who manages and generates values from the
exploitation of their data; i.e. to imagine how use digital technologies to
facilitate the transition from today’s digital economy of surveillance
capitalism and data extractivism to an alternative political and economic
project. In this phase a sociodemographic
survey was also launched to collect information about the perceptions on the
digital economy and to design communicative actions to improve the
inclusiveness of the process.
The current phase (2) is that
of proposals for a digital
economy based on data commons, lunached considering the current situation of
data extraction and concentration and based on the diagnosis made on the digital
society in the first phase. During the Sharing Cities Summit for example a dedicated meeting took place, divided
into a talk and four group work sessions, one for each axes of the pilot
project (legal, economic, governance and experimental – see below). During this
workshop 64 proposal were collected and in the next phases they will be voted,
discussed and signed. The DDDC staff underlines that the process is
prefigurative since they are trying to create and practice data commons while
deliberating and talking about data commons.
phase the results of the survey on sociodemographic data were also
analyzed with the aim to define, implement and experiment data use strategies
for inclusion in participation (these strategies can potentially be used in future
by platforms such as Decidim). The analysis is made by the Barcelona Now – BCNNOW.
The next phases are:
Phase 3 – Debate:
discussion on the proposals received.
Phase 4 – Elaboration
by the DECODE team and the interested participants
Phase 5 – Signing: collection of support for the
pilot project results using DECODE technology for secure and transparent
signature (based on encryption techniques and distributed ledger
technologies). Crucial phase: this technology, integrated with
DECIDIM, will help in the construction of a more secure, transparent and
distributed networked democracy.
Phase 6 – Evaluation: closing meeting and launch
of a survey to help in the assessment of the satisfaction or participants with
the process and with the DECODE technology
aspects, governance issues and economic topics are the three main axes
followed during the different phases, since they provide a differential
approach to discuss around data. A fourth axis is the experimental one,
dedicated to the use and definition of collective decisions around the database
resulting from the data shared during the pilot project. Il will become a kind
of temporary commons useful to improve the deliberative process itself, a
practice that could be incorporated in future Decidim processes.
At the end of the pilot project a participatory
document, with paper or manifesto around the digital economy will be released.
The importance of this kind of pilot project is
clear if we think to the huge amount of data that everyday every citizens is
able to produce… By now we live in a “datasphere”, an invisible environment of
data, quoting Appadurai, a virtual data landscape rich in
information, cultural and social data. Our data indeed constitute digital
patterns that reveal our behaviors, interests, habits. Some actors, especially
big corporations and States, can act upon this data, can use them to surveil
and influence our lives, through strategies such as ad hoc advertisements or
even intervention in elections (see the case of the Cambridge
or the referendum
on an EU agreement with Ukraine) or generation of citizens rankings (such as
the Chinese case). These
“data misuses” can even influence and affect democracy. Nevertheless, if successful, the
knowledge and insight created by the datasphere may become a powerful managing
and intelligence tool and the debate about the so-called “datacracy” is indeed growing.
In this frame, and considering the little
awareness still surrounding the topic, the DDDC pilot project on the one hand
tries to stir critically consciousness and common construction in this arena,
on the other tries to provide the necessary tools to go in this direction,
improving Decidim and pushing forward the DECODE vision of data sovereignty.
The Open Heritage Second Consortium Meeting will be held on the 28th and 29th of November. Open Heritage is an Horizon 2020 research project that identifies and analyses good practices of adaptive heritage re-use, and tests them in selected Cooperative Heritage Labs in six European cities. Open Heritage is formed by a consortium composed of research institutions, universities, financial organisations, developers and community involvement experts that studies existing policies and legal frameworks, development procedures, multi-stakeholder cooperations, crowdsourcing mechanisms, financial instruments and shared management formats. LUISS is a partner of the Open Heritage project, working on both the comparative analysis of observatory case studies and on field experimentation, with the Rome Collaboratory (Centocelle; Alessandrino; Torre Spaccata).
During the two day Consortium meeting the partners will share the progresses of their research and work together on the challenges. During the meeting there will also be a way to talk about Work Package 2, where LUISS is task leader of the comparative analysis of 16 comparative case studies (the “Observatory Cases”). This analysis will be very useful to provide new ideas for the six CHLs, the six Cooperative Heritage Labs where the governance model for the adaptive heritage reuse will be tested. One of the CHL will be carried out by LUISS, the “Rome collaboratory” which will work on the footsteps of the Co-Rome process and develop a sustainability mechanism for innovative adaptive re-use of cultural heritage.
Among others, the Consortium will be attended by: Ania Rok and Iryna Novak (ICLEI), Beitske Boonstra and Karim van Knippenberg (UGENT), Heike Overmann and Markus Kip (UBER), Sofia Dyak (Center for Urban History), Hanna Szemző and Andrea Tönkő (MRI), Loes Veldpaus, John Pendlebury (UNEW), Levente Polyák, and Daniela Patti (EUTROPIAN). Representing LUISS Dr. Benedetta Gillio and Professor Christian Iaione will participate to the meeting.
In an increasingly polluted world the local communities bring with them a huge, but unfortunately often neglected, potential for the development of social innovation initiatives aimed at a radical change in favor of renewable energy.
The seminar “Local Communities and Social Innovation for the Energy Transition” to be held at JRC Ispra Site (Ispra, Varese, Italy) on 22 and 23 November 2018 aims to study this potential and research recommendations aimed at obtaining a better exploitation of energy resources.
Furthermore, existing obstacles and conditions that favor or undermine the potential of local communities in the development of remedies of this kind will be discussed, as well as new models of innovation governance useful for the growth, consolidation and dissemination of social innovation initiatives in local communities.
We will also discuss the characteristics that allow local energy communities to be recognized in the panorama of EU regulations and how they can be disseminated through European policy. Some of the main existing examples of initiatives of local energy communities developed in the EU will be discussed below.
Finally, particular attention will be given to the important role that can be played by municipalities, both as local energy communities, as facilitators and as promoters of social innovation initiatives.
At the seminar will be present: Nicola Labanca (JRC Energy Efficiency and Renewables Unit), Sabine Hielscher (University of Sussex – UK), Josh Roberts (RESCoop.eu, Belgium), Paolo Bertoldi (JRC Energy Efficiency and Renewables Unit), Christian Iaione (LUISS Guido Carli University, IT), David Hammerstein (Commons Network), Fritz Reusswig (Potsdman Institute for Climate Impact Research, DE), : Daniele Paci (JRC Energy Efficiency and Renewables Unit), Jan Steinkohl (European Commission, DG ENER, Brussels), Dirk Hendricks (European Renewable Energy Federation, Brussels), Nikolaos Hatziargyriou (National Technical University of Athens, EL), Fabio Monforti (JRC Air and Climate Unit), Anna Mengolini (Energy Security, Distribution and Markets Unit, Joint Research Centre), Sarah Rieseberg (Arepo Consult, DE), Chiara Candelise (IEFE Bocconi University, IT), Gianluca Ruggieri (Insubria University, IT), Dick Magnusson (Linköping University, SE), Verhoeven Sofie (Ghent Municipality, BE), Lourdes Berdié (Network for Energy Sovereignty – Barcelona).
Professor Iaione, co-founder of LabGov, will present in the second discussion panel “Governance and Local Communities’ Social Innovation: which governance
approaches are needed to stimulate this innovation?” on the “Pooling Economy, Tech Justice and Urban Experimentalism for a Human Rights-based Approach to the Sharing Economy”.
In 2010 the City of Ghent, together with other four cities – Aberdeen, Rotterdam, Montreuil, Ludwigsburg – engaged in the European project Music, aimed at catalyzing and mainstreaming carbon and energy reduction in urban policies, activities and the build environment. The project represented an opportunity for decisive local actions to address sustainability challenges. In particular, the City of Ghent pointed at becoming a climate-neutral city. To implement the project, the City gathered around twenty people of Ghent society, who were involved or interested in topics such as pollution, sustainability, urban livability, though in different ways and with different roles. After the first meeting the civil servants in charge of conducting the brainstorming within the group realized that the topics mentioned above were not cause of concerns, while mobility and the way through which urban streets get used by their inhabitants were fundamental in the conception of a livable city. Addressing these topics, indeed, the group found the inspiration to think about different possibilities to approach urban space, reducing parking slots and car access to streets, implementing socialization spaces and outdoor activities. Therefore, new ideas and proposals were presented at the final event of Music, with the hope to see them realized, but the reaction of the City and its representatives was cold and doubtful for a lack of resources and for the proximity to municipal elections.
Therefore, the group of frontrunners decided to set up the organization Lab Van Troje, in order to try out one of their proposals using their own resources and their own energies. The chosen idea was Living Street– Leefstraat in Dutch – with the aim to turn Ghent into a sustainable, liveable and climate-neutral region. Concretely this was translated into planning a different way to live the street of residence for few months: the street was closed, usually during the summer months, reducing the area dedicated to the traffic and the parking but increasing the green areas and creating spaces for socialization activities.
Living Street in Maurice Verdoncklaan, Ghent. Source: interviewed resident.
One of the fundamental aspects of Living Street is the voluntary engagement in the project. The first group of frontrunners gathered by the City accepted to meet and to spend time on the issue for free; as well the citizens were involved only if they were interested in the experiment. Lab Van Troje, indeed, never opens applications or contacts anyone, it just receives the request of citizens. The latter, after a first informative meeting, are asked to ring the bell of all their neighbours collecting dreams and fears related to the street, on basis of which a plan is projected and then proposed again to every resident. If everyone agrees, hence, it is possible to organize the activities to create the Living Street. As the website reports, Living Street functions as a common project and a learning-by-doing process. Citizens, indeed, have to communicate, collaborate and interact with many different actors living and experiencing urban spaces daily. Both the implementation of the idea and the concrete realization of the Living Street become processes of commoning, as the practice of the creation, preservation, and use of commons is called.
Citizens working for the realization of structures to install in Kozijntjesstraat, Ghent. Source: interviewed resident.
The activity duration of Lab Van Troje has been settled for five years until 2017, hoping in the meantime to spread its insights into Living Street to the current system of residential street design. In total 50 Living Streets have been experimented from 2012 to 2016, with an increasing involvement of the City of Ghent, that acted more as a spectator in the beginning, while it took part into the project as an active partner in the last few editions. Considering the imminent end of Lab Van Troje, in 2017 the latter and the City of Ghent collaborate for the transition of Living Street under the guide of the City. The Meeting and Engaging Department has been appointed to continue building on the experiment by creating a new Living Street 2.0 project. The intention is to try out the experience implemented by Living Street in different environments or situations, by involving partners with diverse roles and functions and focusing also on the social aspects of urban life. One of Lab Van Troje’s volunteers has been hired by the Department, together with another dedicated civil servant, in order to give continuity to the project. Moreover, citizens who already implemented Living Street in their streets are involved in the transition from Lab Van Troje to the City, during a completely accountable process used to explaining them the reasons of the change and to collect by them past experiences of the experiment, suggestions and ideas for the future, and expectations towards the City.
Taking a look at the type of actors involved from the beginning – UE, City of Ghent, Lab Van Troje, research institutes, private companies, citizens – it is notable that the project crossed many different levels, depicting the concept of multi-level governance. In this particular case, I believe it is possible to use the notion of bottom-linked governance, achieved when bottom-up initiatives combine with top-down policies, including alternative mechanisms of negotiation between various groups and networks, potentially empowering local government and embracing alternative creative strategies. I add, though, that the subdivision of society in top-down and bottom-up actors is not sufficient anymore to explain the current complexity and therefore it needs to be substituted by another representation. A complementary and parallel process can be identified in the conception of citizenship: in the last twenty years, debates about the re-scaling of individual rights and duties at transnational or local levels different from the nation-state level, have increasingly arisen; connected with the movement of the right to the city, also the vision of citizens claiming actively rights and responsibilities is more acknowledged. However, I argue that neither an idea of citizenship received as a “package” from the State or an idea of citizenship achieved by citizens as consequence of their activation in the making of the city are fully satisfactory. Citizenship is, nowadays, a set of rights/duties co-shaped by different actors, tracing various dynamics at multiple scales to obtain or to concede benefits and responsibilities in the public arena. Thus, it is necessary to find a model that, always maintaining the idea of peer actors, interacting on horizontal basis, with principles of subsidiarity and accountability, in a reflexive and dynamic process, can better help in representing both this type of governance and this perception of citizenship.
L’articolo riflette su processi di governance urbana e sulle trasformazioni riguardanti il concetto di cittadinanza attraverso il progetto Living Street, implementato dal 2010 ad oggi nella città di Ghent, Belgio. Principale scopo del progetto è trovare soluzioni innovative al fine di rendere la città maggiormente vivibile da un punto di vista socio-ecologico. Dopo aver descritto lo sviluppo del progetto come pratica di commoning, viene sottolineata la necessità di andare oltre sia la ripartizione, ormai inadeguata, tra attori bottom-up e top-down sia l’idea di cittadinanza concessa dallo Stato o ottenuta attivamente dai cittadini. È indispensabile, infatti, trovare un nuovo modello che descriva la complessità attuale delle dinamiche sociali e la diversità degli attori che ne prendono parte.
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