Next stop UN-Habitat III: Prague

Next stop UN-Habitat III: Prague

UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. Cities are facing unprecedented demographic, environmental, economic, social and spatial challenges. There has been a phenomenal shift towards urbanization, with 6 out of every 10 people in the world expected to reside in urban areas by 2030. Over 90 per cent of this growth will take place in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In the absence of effective urban planning, the consequences of this rapid urbanization will be dramatic. In many places around the world, the effects can already be felt: lack of proper housing nd growth of slums, inadequate and out-dated infrastructure – be it roads, public transport, water, sanitation, or electricity – escalating poverty and unemployment, safety and crime problems, pollution and health issues, as well as poorly managed natural or man-made disasters and other catastrophes due to the effects of climate change. Mindsets, policies, and approaches towards urbanization need to change in order for the growth of cities and urban areas to be turned into opportunities that will leave nobody behind. Sustainable housing plays a key role in human quality of life in general in the European region. The positive impact of housing can be increased through application of the following principles: environmental protection, economic growth, social inclusion, citizen participation and cultural adequacy. Development of sustainable housing in the UNECE region afaces many challenges caused in particular by globalization, demographic changes and the recent economic crisis. In some cases urbanization has led to urban sprawl, which has had a negative impact on existing settlements and has reduced the land available for other uses.In other cases, urbanization has been uncontrolled, creating and expanding informal settlements, whose residents may lack security of housing and social and physical infrastructure. The Czech Republic has proposed the High Level Regional Meeting for Habitat III in Prague in March 2016 with a theme of “Sustainable Housing in Livable Cities: European Habitat”. During the meeting, it is expected that the Habitat III Regional Report and Prague Declaration will be available and adopted.

Habitat III Europe Regional Meeting “European Habitat” will involve a wide range of participants, that will debate regional priorities for the New Urban Agenda, and policy recommendations in the form of a final regional participants’ declaration. Habitat III – Regional Meeting, Europe will take place in Prague from 16/03/2016 to 18/03/2016. The “European Habitat” is focusing on the region of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe consisting of 56 Member States, while participation is open for all. In this regard, “European Habitat” will gather recommendations reflecting the consensus reached at the regional level on sustainable housing and other topics from the spectrum of a proposed New Urban Agenda.In the process towards a New Urban Agenda, Habitat III Europe Regional Meeting “European Habitat” will discuss how to ensure access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all, with due attention to reducing the impact of the housing sector on the environment. Final declaration from “European Habitat” will be considered official inputs to the Habitat III process. Join us at this exciting opportunity to discuss the challenges of Sustainable Housing in Liveable Cities. Final “Prague Declaration” from “European Habitat” will be considered official inputs to the Habitat III process.


Here the programme:

The Ecomuseum Casilino: the heritage for a sustainable development

The Ecomuseum Casilino: the heritage for a sustainable development

An Ecomuseum is a dynamic way in which communities preserve, interpret, and manage their heritage for a sustainable development. An Ecomuseum is based on a community agreement. Introduced by the French museologist Hugues de Varine in 1971, the word ecomuseum has often been misused and the definition of an ecomuseum is still a controversial matter for contemporary museology.Many museologists sought to define the distinctive features of ecomuseums, listing their characteristics.Following a complexity approach, in recent definitions, ecomuseums are more properly defined by what they do rather than by what they are.[1]

The ecomuseum phenomenon has grown dramatically over the years, with no one ecomuseum model but rather an entire philosophy that has been adapted and molded for use in a variety of situations. As many more ecomuseums are established across the world the idea has been growing and the changes in the approach towards the philosophy are reflected in the reactions of the communities involved. In recent time particular significance is the rise in ecomuseology in India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, with significant increase in Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Turkey.Ecomuseums are an important medium through which a community can take control of its heritage and enable new approaches to make meaning out of conserving its local distinctiveness.

The Urban Ecomuseum Casilino “Ad duas Lauros” is located inside the Centocelle park, on via Casilina. In this urban reality, in the east of Rome and within G.R.A., there are various types of landscapes:

  • The archaeological landscape that goes from the Mausoleo di Sant’Elena to the Catacombe di SS. Marcellino e Pietro, from Villa Imperiale di Centocelle inside the Parco Archeologico, to Villa Gordiani, through the Acquedotto Alessandrino and the Terme di Largo Irpinia.
  • The landscape of spirituality ,this heritage is in fact part of the historic path of the Via Francigena that crossed Europe to reach the main cultural centers of Christianity
  • The agricultural landscape of the Roman countryside with houses, towers, fields and pastoral areas.
  • The natural landscape created by the presence of green areas

The Ecomuseum is an intangible infrastructure that brings together these landscapes, bridging them through extraordinary walking and cycling paths, which link together realities anciently connected by these modern views, in order to attract tourists to that area from all over the world.

For decades, urban planning in Rome does not take into account the needs of residents, but only those of profit and speculation, the Ecomuseum is now a new model of “development”. A new way to see the city.It promotes urban planning that incorporates the particularities with territorial wealth to use them to the fullest way, an urbanism that has as its main topic of community health. An easy and effective city, a citizen-friendly neighborhood where livabilityis the central theme.


CON IL SUD Foundation: call for the requalification of 14 common goods; third time is the charm.

CON IL SUD Foundation: call for the requalification of 14 common goods; third time is the charm.



An Italian Foundation (CON IL SUD) wants to revalue some buildings (14 to be exact) according to projects made by the local communities, enterprises and institutions. CON IL SUD granted 4 million euros in order to enact such propositions aimed to allow the community to enjoy such common goods in a sustainable way.

This is the third edition of this call that previously managed to enforce 21 projects with a cost of 8 millions euros.

The Foundation asked to the cities of the south of Italy to propose some buildings and places eligible to this end, and 14 out of the 22 proposed were choose. 5 of those are in Sicily, 7 in Puglia and 2 in Campania.

The legal property of this good will be given by the owner (the region) to the organization that won the call for that building for at least 10 years, in advance of knowing what the use will be, and the requests made for the financing of the renewing of a public good cannot exceed 500.000€.

On their website is it still possible to see the full list of the public goods that are part of the call and everyone can present an idea or a project, even when the call will be over on 14th of July 2015.

This experiment aims to make clear that every community wants to cooperate and to put their efforts together in order to achieve a better lifestyle and a better world for everyone to enjoy.

La Fondazione CON IL SUD alla sua terza edizione per la riqualifica dei beni comuni; terza edizione con I fiocchi

La Fondazione CON IL SUD vuole, con la terza edizione di questo bando, rivalutare 14 beni comuni presenti in Sicilia, Puglia e Campania, grazie ad un fondo di 4 milioni di euro.

Grazie a questo bando i progetti scelti saranno sovvenzionati fino ad un massimo di 500.000€ per le spese di ristrutturazione e i vincitori avranno la proprietà del bene assegnato per almeno 10 anni.

Sul sito internet è possibile consultare la lista completa dei beni comuni scelti e, anche dopo la chiusura del bando che si terrà il 14 luglio 2015 sarà possibile proporre idee e progetti.


Waste management for Smart Cities

Waste management for Smart Cities

enevo again 620Thanks to the development of technology, our cities are slowly changing their image, their places but most of all the way in which they provide services for the citizens.

According to the dictionary of the Social Innovation (published in Italian by Mixura), generally, a smart city is a city in which the intelligence lies in an innovative conception of the economic and social profiles, and it is a city where new governance strategies are adopted and a city that uses advanced technologies as tools (such as networks, cloud services and intangible infrastructures).

Smart cities are attractive hubs for sustainable assets and high competences. Their raw materials are shared information and knowledge and, at the core of their governance actions, there are related goods and citizens’ inclusion.

Smart cities are characterized by the combination of six factors that are smart economy, smart people, smart governance, smart mobility, smart environment and smart living.

In Italy some cities have adopted an institutional way to the transformation into smart cities, and some time ago we talked about the transition and the policies to be adopted by the Municipality of Milan, here.

That being said, I know shift to a question that is not adequately took into account, in my opinion, that is waste management.

Basically, the question is: how a smart city manages all the questions related to the waste?

The best answer so far is the one provided by a Finnish start-up, Enevo, which has developed a system through which optimize the waste management using technologies.

The system is very simple and brilliant. Through some sensors in the dustbins, the usual trucks don’t go to every place where they are supposed to go to collect the waste, but they just collect the dustbins that are going to become full.

This could sound a bit ridiculous, but it is not fantasy.

Actually, Enevo recently won 8 million dollars of international funding to expand its service and it is already in use in dozens of cities in Europe and North America.

Do you want to change your city into a real smart city? Among the other things, these are the people you will have to be in contact with, then!


Una vera smart city, per definirsi tale, non può che affrontare anche il problema dello smaltimento e della gestione dei rifiuti.
Una risposta semplice, ma geniale allo stesso tempo, ce la fornisce una start-up
finlandese di nome Enevo la quale, grazie all’uso della tecnologia e alla efficiente gestione dei dati, è riuscita ad ottimizzare proprio la gestione dei rifiuti.

Il sistema è già in uso in decine di città in Nord America e in Europa, avendo ricevuto finanziamenti per oltre otto milioni di dollari.






Project “Beni Comuni”: when sharing heals the spirit of the community

Project “Beni Comuni”: when sharing heals the spirit of the community

foto Beni ComuniWhat happens when a region is scourged by a natural disaster, like an earthquake? There is the time  grief, of course, and the time of reconstruction, involving an extremely delicate phase: the healing of the victims’ souls.

That was the motivation that pushed the Ministry of the Tourism and Cultural Activities to fund an initiative, the “Beni Comuni Project”, that gathered the ETR Foundation, ATER and eleven Provinces (Campogalliano, Carpi, Cavezzo, Cento, Concordia sulla Secchia, Finale Emilia, Mirandola, Novi di Modena, San Felice sul Panaro, San Possidonio, Soliera). Their goal was to recover and reunite the spirits of the communities threatened by the 2012 earthquake by an active participation in the organization of public events with the main goal to foster the sharing sense.

This idea is much needed in a time where society tends to be more and more egoistic, full of technological barriers that allows people to communicate easily with one another, but at the same time tends to label those who cannot afford such connections as “social pariah”. Stimulate the spark of active cooperation and sharing may ignite again an essential characteristic of the human soul that is slowly dying as the society evolves.

The Project reunites 24 partners: from schools to theatres and music schools: through the organization of public events, shows, concerts and readings, this group wishes to foster the reconstruction of the populations that survived the earthquake, thanks to arts and artistic expression. In the words of a member of the Project: “a way to allow the community to restore the spaces destroyed by the earthquake and start again with a stronger sharing spirit”.

This approach is really valuable, also because allows the people’s mind to wander off such grief and crisis and their souls to understand that nothing is over and everything can be solved, as long as there is a common goal and a common support. Act as one, survive as a whole.




Cosa accade a una comunità quando essa viene distrutta da un cataclisma naturale, come un terremoto? Ovviamente c’è il tempo del dolore, e dopo la ricostruzione inizia una fase delicatissima: la rigenerazione degli spiriti dei cittadini.

A tale proposito è stato finanziato dal Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo e promosso dal Comune di Carpi in collaborazione con ERT Fondazione e ATER il “Progetto Beni Comuni”.

Esso coinvolge undici Comuni (Campogalliano, Carpi, Cavezzo, Cento, Concordia sulla Secchia, Finale Emilia, Mirandola, Novi di Modena, San Felice sul Panaro, San Possidonio, Soliera) del cratere sismico con l’obiettivo di rinsaldare e ricostruire le identità delle comunità minacciate dal terremoto del 2012 attraverso la partecipazione attiva alla costruzione di eventi artistici che abbiano come orizzonte primario il senso della condivisione e dello stare in comune.

L’idea alla base del Progetto è encomiabile, e potrebbe essere spiegata in vari modi, ma il modo migliore è utilizzare le parole di un esponente del Progetto: Il progetto Beni Comuni ha un valore intrinseco e speciale. Non è solo un programma destinato alla fruizione, ma un laboratorio di produzione culturale che coinvolge professionisti dello spettacolo ma anche e soprattutto i cittadini. Uno spazio artistico composto da tanti luoghi […]. Un modo concreto per le comunità di rimpadronirsi degli spazi violentati dal sisma e ripartire, con uno spirito di socialità condivisa”.

Questa idea è necessaria anche per un altro motivo: essa consente di far vagare la mente delle vittime del sisma lontano dal dolore e dalla sofferenza, e far capire che nulla è perduto e tutto è superabile, se si collabora e ci si aiuta nella comunità: Agisci come uno, sopravvivi come gruppo.