DIRE, FARE, ABITARE: La questione casa nella città della diversità

DIRE, FARE, ABITARE: La questione casa nella città della diversità

On November 16th, the Second edition of the thematic partecipatory workshop “DIRE, FARE, ABITARE: La questione casa nella città della diversità” will be held at Auditorium Biblioteca di Oriago, Via Venezia n. 171/172, Oriago di Mira (Venice), from 9.30 a.m.

With the participation of experienced teachers and those who have experimented innovative solutions for access to affordable housing, one of the most vulnerable sections of the population, the workshop will address many issues related to housing emergencies: from housing to legal instruments to tackle current issues, to solutions tried and tested practices.

In this regard, Professor Christian Iaione will discuss about innovative legal instruments.

Then, from 1.00 p.m.,  groups of people will work pursuant to “world cafe” method, in order to deepen practical proposals and capture the elements that will allow operators to transfer them, replicate them, draw inspiration.

Finally, the European expert Lorenzo Liguoro will pull the lines of work by giving some indication of possible fundraising channels.

The programme of the workshop can be found here.


Giovedì 16 Novembre si terrà la Seconda edizione del Workshop tematico partecipativo “DIRE, FARE, ABITARE: La questione casa nella città della diversità”, presso l’Auditorium Biblioteca di Oriago, Via Venezia n. 171/172, Oriago di Mira (Venezia), a partire dalle 9.30.

Exploring Urban Contradictions in Collaborative Housing at the first International Conference “Contradictions Urbaines”, Paris

Exploring Urban Contradictions in Collaborative Housing at the first International Conference “Contradictions Urbaines”, Paris

On March 28th 2017, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture of Paris – ENSA Paris – hosted the first International Conference Contradictions Urbaines, a one-day event organised by the Laboratoire Ville Urbanisme Environment LAVUE.

The event gathered researchers from different fields of study to explore some of the contradictions running through modern cities and metropolitan areas. While the urbanisation process is becoming less and less controlled by the State, the interplay between financial conglomerates, local communities, and grassroots movements has proven crucial for the future of the cities. At the same time, however, different demands and aspirations have led to the emergence of “urban contradictions”, which are evident in the controversial relationship between global and local, exclusion and inclusion, homogeneity and social, economic, and cultural diversity. Along these lines, the Conference focused on the issues of citizens’ and users’ counter-power in the co-production of public spaces, on the impact “collaborative research” may have on the promotion of citizens’ initiatives, and on the specific topic of collaborative housing and social inclusion.

Focused on this latter aspect, the seminar “Collaborative Housing and Social Inclusion: Unpacking Contradictions?” has been organised, as part of the Conference, by the ENHR Working Group on Collaborative Housing. The seminar was constructed along two lines of investigation. First of all, it was observed that emerging collaborative housing groups in France are characterised by self-segregation, lack of social inclusion, and cultural and economic homogeneity among its members, which is at odds with a narrative discourse that usually associates these projects with social inclusion and diversity. From this starting point, the seminar aimed to explore whether, to what extent, and through which means these contradictions could be reconciled and collaborative housing groups effectively promote social inclusion and economic diversity. Linked to this, another proposed line of investigation concerned the role public authorities play in the promotion and funding of collaborative housing project. Although in top-down collaborative housing experiments social inclusion and economic diversity may be more easily achieved through a public-led process of residents’ selection, this might negatively affect the level of participation and engagement of residents in the collective project. In this respect, the seminar proposed to reflect on whether a top-down approach to collaborative housing has a negative impact on the sustainability of the project in the long term and what types of arrangements could be put in place to remedy these possible downsides.

While the Conference opened up the debate on these two crucial aspects of collaborative housing in Europe, an upcoming event will give the opportunity for further reflections on the topic. The seminar “Collaborative Housing: Public, Private, and Cooperative Experiences” will take place on the 14th of June in Amsterdam during the first International Social Housing Festival 2017 (13th to 21st of June). The seminar intends to be a platform for sharing collaborative housing experiences and innovative tools used in the management of communities throughout Europe; at the same time, the event will give an opportunity to explore the role of cooperatives in the field of social housing. The event is organised by Legacoop Abitanti and Fondazione Housing Sociale, as members of Housing Europe, in partnership with the TU Delft’s Department of Management in the Built Environment and the ENHR Working Group on Collaborative Housing.


Fabiana Bettini, Postdoctoral Researcher, Sciences Po Law School, Paris



Lo scorso 28 marzo si è svolta ad ENSA Parigi la prima Conferenza Internazionale Contradictions Urbaines organizzata dal LAVUE. Al suo interno, il workshop Collaborative Housing and Social Inclusion: Unpacking Contradictions? organizzato dallo ENHR Working Group on Collaborative Housing è stato l’occasione per riflettere sul rapporto tra segregazione e inclusione sociale nei progetti di “abitare collaborativo”. Un prossimo evento su collaborative housing si terrà ad Amsterdam durante il primo International Social Housing Festival (13-21 giugno 2017).



Explore, Experiment, Experience, Expand: Lab Connections, Policy Labs in Europe, for Europe

Explore, Experiment, Experience, Expand: Lab Connections, Policy Labs in Europe, for Europe

Last October, the EU Policy Lab hosted “Lab Connections – Policy Labs in Europe, for Europe”, first meeting of European policy labs and first opportunity to generate a community of practitioners and policy-makers at several levels of governance.  Being an applied research-based policy innovation lab LabGov was invited to share its experiences focused on the Sharing Economy, Social Innovation and management of the commons at the local and urban level. We presented our flagship projects already included in the EU Policy Labs report, namely CO-Battipaglia and CO-Mantova, and illustrated our next initiatives: the living lab on civic imagination and urban commons in Bologna, the one on social innovation in Reggio Emilia, and the one on cultural development and digital commons in Rome.  



The first map of European Policy Labs

The European Commission EU Policy Lab, a collaborative and experimental space for innovative policy-making established at the Joint Research Centre (JRC), commissioned to Conseil&Recherche and La 27e Région the development of a mapping exercise of Policy Labs in the European Union. In the past year, the entire research and monitoring process has been implemented. As a result, the map below was created as a first step of an on-going process aimed at identifying actors at different levels of government – local, regional, national, European – designing public policies through innovative, inclusive methods. It will be periodically updated based on feedbacks and new submissions.




In the resulted report published in June 2016 – “Public Policy Labs in European Union Member States” -, policy labs are defined as “dedicated teams, structures, or entities focused on designing public policy through innovative methods that involve all stakeholders in design process”. Each of them is unique in terms of organization, structure, challenges, issues covered, objectives, strategies. However, in order to perform the mapping exercise, researches identified three common features and distinctive criteria  necessary to define policy labs:

  1. A creative, design-oriented, evidence-based and user-centred approach;
  2. Testing and validation of formulated policy proposals through experimentation;
  3. Contribution to shape, re-imagine and co-create public policies for/with public administrations through a wide array of activities – studies, workshops, trainings.



Innovators united: Policy Labs at work

The event, the first inaugural meeting of the LAB CONNECTIONS series, brought together this newly-born community of policy labs in the EU made up of working groups, labs and policy-makers acting at different levels to explore and solve pressing policy challenges of European concern.  It represented a space for open dialogue and practical collaboration between policy labs and policy shapers at local, regional, national and European level.





The first morning session provided an opportunity to learn and share experiences in order to understand the context of policy labs and to frame the following practical works. Speakers and participants tried to give an answer to two questions:

Which are the most promising trends for public sector innovation? Examples from Finland, Estonia, France and Portugal have highlighted the importance of inclusive approaches to embed the principles of participation, inclusion, innovation, and co-creation in the daily working of public administrations and agencies. Openness, investments in management and human resources, and a participatory budget at the national level resulted as the main features of the public administration of the future.




“The fundamental drive of innovation is democratic politics.”

Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport


How to implement experimental, creative and citizen-centred approaches in the public sector? Again, engaging people and bringing them together is the answer. Creating the right conditions for policy labs to be set up means making public policy design human, being respectful of local cultures, bringing back the user into the picture and creating closer connections between citizens and civil servants. That is the only way to keep things moving, that is where the future of public policy design is heading to.



“Think of the unthinkable. Anticipate things.  Have the administrative and political capacity to cope.”

Kristalina Georgieva, European Commission Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources







Policy labs being “do-tanks”, policy labourers had the chance to tangibly demonstrate how their work makes a difference during table workshop sessions. Starting from a list of pan-European challenges formulated by policy units within the European Commission, participants were free to explore and re-frame them according to their own experience, assisted by the EU Policy Lab team. Visually working out the challenges let them practically give their contribution and focus on ideas for action, later transformed into concrete, feasible plans for collaborative action to be actually implemented.





LabGov took part to the table workshop on urban challenges. Together with representatives of policy labs from Spain, Sweden, Poland and the Netherlands we looked for policy changes that could allow social, environmental and digital innovations happen simultaneously in European cities. It represented an effort to overcome the sectorial approaches currently characterizing the way the agendas of smart cities, sustainable cities and social inclusion are dealt with. Since these developments are all happening in cities, a cross-sectorial approach in the only way to get the most out of them. As a concrete contributions, participants to the table presented a proposal for a study mapping European cities already implementing this comprehensive approach to multiple challenges – such as Barcelona and Helsinki. From their evaluation, a phase of prototyping, re-regulation and redistribution of public administration in a network of public systems aimed at changing the mindset and social culture of the city would follow.



In parallel with the sessions, an exhibition and networking area was set up for labs to connect, present their projects and prospect synergies. To have access to exhibition materials, please visit LAB CONNCECTIONS official website.


For further information and materials: