Two legislative proposals about commons in Tuscany

Two legislative proposals about commons in Tuscany

On Wednesday, October 15th, from 10.00 a.m., the First Standing Council Committee (Institutional Affairs, Programming and Budget, information and communication) of the Tuscany Regional Council will discuss about two legislative proposals on commons:

  • the law proposal n. 219 is about social subsidiarity and civic collaboration for the management of commons, pursuant to Articles 58 and 59 of the Statute;
  • the law proposal n. 225 is about the shared government of commons and the government of the areas, in order to promote the social subsidiarity and the implementation of Articles 58 and 59 of the Statute.

The audition will take place in Florence, at the premises of the Regional Council.

Professor Christian Iaione , LabGov’s co-founder and scientific director, will be a member of the Council Committee.

The Statute of Tuscany incorporates the principle of horizontal subsidiarity provided by Article 118, fourth paragraph, of the Constitution as a principle of social subsidiarity. Pursuant to Article 58, the Region alignes its activities to the principle of subsidiarity, in order to bring the organization of social life and the exercise of public functions closer to citizens. The Region fosters, pursuant to Article 59, the own initiative of citizens and their aggregations for the direct conduct of activities in the public interest; the implementation of the principle of social subsidiarity is a priority aimed at improving the level of services, overcoming both economic and social inequalities, to encourage the collaboration of citizens and social groups.


Mercoledì 15 Ottobre si terrà, presso la sede del Consiglio Regionale della Toscana, la seduta della Prima Commissione Permanente che discuterà due proposte di legge sulla sussidiarietà sociale, collaborazione civica e governo condiviso dei beni comuni, in attuazione degli articoli 58 e 59 dello Statuto.

Subsidiarity, urban regeneration and car-pooling: some interesting aspects of Pope Francis’ last encyclical

Subsidiarity, urban regeneration and car-pooling: some interesting aspects of Pope Francis’ last encyclical


“Praise be to you, my lord” is the recently published encyclical written by Pope Francis. The sub-title is “on care for our common home”. “Care” and “common” made a ring bell here at LabGov, so we decided to take our time to read the text carefully and critically in order to understand the point of view of the Pope on these topics.

To be very clear the whole encyclical embrace many topics, spirituality and faith of course, but the whole structure is organized to put at the center our “common home”: the Earth. In the 6 chapters, the Pope challenges mainstream paradigms of our society, such as consumerism, short-termism and industrialisation at all costs. Climate change, water scarcity, air pollution and loss of biodiversity are just some of the consequences underlined.

More interesting to us, as LabGov, is when the analysis moves to human activities. Along these lines, on chapter 4, it is launched the concept of “cultural ecology”. Citing from the encyclical: “together with the patrimony of nature, there is also and historic, artistic and cultural patrimony (…). This patrimony is a part of the shared identity of each place and a foundation upon which to build habitable city” (par.143).

This ecology is worth considering and needs to be fostered. It is the ecology of our daily life that makes us work for an “integral improvement” in the setting of our lives: our home, our workplace and our neighbourhoods. According to Francis, mega cities, the experience of overcrowding and social anonymity are creating social bombs within our societies; a communitarian salvation is possible only through creative ideas. Taking into consideration how important is the interrelationship between living space and human behaviour, often to save a building or a neighbourhood, can be enough to save a community. The same can be said for the necessity to protect common areas, visual landmarks and urban landscapes (par.149-150-151).

Another issue is the one of the importance of a re-balance between politics and economy; specifically in the light of our institutional framework. The Pope reminds us the principle of subsidiarity “which grants freedom to develop the capabilities present at every level of society, while also demanding a greater sense of responsibility for the common good” (par.196).

The last part of the encyclical is devoted to the “environmental education” of a new “ecological citizenship”. Little daily actions can contribute directly to the world around us; among those cited – less consumption, social housing and so forth – there is, interestingly, car-pooling as an example of a successful sharing economy practice.

At the end of the day, the encyclical is an interesting read and a must read for all of us. It draws fully from a vast literature – religious and scientific – offering a fresh and inspiring insight on some of the most debated topics of our time. In particular, the focus on life in the cities – with the care and regeneration of urban landscapes, the re-thinking of common spaces and the development of sharing economy practices – is a much welcomed news for LabGov and the international community we are part of.

To read the encyclical: full text


“Laudato Si’” è il titolo della nuova enciclica di Papa Francesco. Il testo, di ampio respiro, prova a mettere in discussione il modello di sviluppo della nostra epoca a favore di una nuova ecologia integrale. Secondo il Papa, è necessario ribaltare questo modello con il fine ultimo di salvare la nostra casa comune, il pianeta. Interessante è l’attenzione dimostrata per le tematiche familiari anche a LabGov e la sua comunità internazionale: la vita nelle città, la cura degli spazi pubblici, e la promozione di pratiche di sharing economy. Sono queste le pratiche che, secondo il Papa, dovrebbero diffondersi tra i nuovi cittadini ecologici.


Marco Quaglia


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.


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.


Smart City Expo World Congress: Multinational companies lit the fire of hope

Smart City Expo World Congress: Multinational companies lit the fire of hope

Articolo LabGov SmartCities

On November 18-20 2014 there was the 4th edition of theSmart City Expo World Congress” (SCEWC), and it took place in Barcelona.
The topics covered during this event were: Smart Society, Technology, Governance, Energy, Mobility and Sustainable City.
It was an event full of discussions, projects  and a lot of great ideas were discussed around such topics; the “Smart Society” theme was focused on the fostering of creativity, innovation, economic development and collaboration inside the boundaries of the cities, bringing the population to the center of decision-making in order to make urban and social development more democratic. Cities must be reinvented and transformed so that they become more sustainable, and improve quality of life and economic performance. This should be a shared vision and the way forward for citizens, public and private organizations and multi-stakeholders.
This topic is growing in importance in modern society, and recently there was also an European call, “Horizon 2020”, that was focused on the attempt to bring the population closer to the European mechanisms, in order to foster the collaboration between citizens and governments, and create a network of Smart Cities all around Europe.
All the topics that formed the “core” of this were deeply covered, and all seemed to express a common will to shift the modern view and use of energy, technologies and governance towards a collaborative approach, were the citizens cooperate with the governments in order to produce and support a lifestyle focused on the sustainability of energy, lifestyle, governance and technologies.
As a matter of fact, consumers are in a demanding shift, asking for a new energy model, environmentally and economically sustainable, making better use of local scale and renewable resources, while having a global focus and a strong partnership between governments and companies. The marketplace for wind or solar energy is shifting and reaching the mainstream. Every industry is regulatory and subsidy dependent. Clean energy in short will be able to deliver to local stable energy and subsidies will decline over time, as many of the renewables are able to be paid by themselves. This technological revolution is an opportunity of real change in how cities are operated and therefore a possible way forward for economic and social development.
This congress was a great example of how the modern societies’ demands managed to influence the economic and political spheres, and the fact that more and more multinational companies like IBM, Philips, Nissan, BNP Paribas, Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco became more concerned about such topics and aware of the possible available solutions is indeed a beacon of light into the grim darkness of the “non-collaborative future”.
The 5th edition of the SCEWC will take place on the 17-19 of November 2015, and given the growing success and importance of such event, it is possible to hope for some real projects to be proposed regarding the topics of sustainability.


Smart City Expo World Congress: Le Multinazionali accendono il faro della speranza.

Nella quarta edizione della SCEWC si sono discusse tematiche fondamentali quali energia, tecnologie, Smart Cities, governance e sostenibilità.
Dalle conferenze e dai workshop è emerso che la società sta cambiando e che desidera sempre più spostarsi verso una società più attenta e proiettata alla sostenibilità e alla governance comune.
Il ciclo di conferenze ha dimostrato come la società moderna riesce ad influenzare la sfera politica ed economica; il fatto che numerose multinazionali del calibro di IBM, Philips, Nissan, BNP Paribas, Microsoft, Oracle e Cisco abbiano preso parte a questo evento dimostrandosi sensibili alle tematiche sopracitate ci rende più fiduciosi riguardo al futuro.
La prossima edizione del SCEWC si terrà dal 17 al 19 Novembre del 2015 e si potrebbe azzardare la speranza di vedere una serie di progetti concreti prendere forma.