The Regulation on Democracy and Urban and Climate Justice in Reggio Emilia unifies in a single text the values and methods to ensure participation and collaboration among urban innovators from different categories, according to the quintuple helix paradigm in the definition and management of public policies. This new regulation collects and updates all previous regulations on civic participation.


In September 2022, the City Council approved the establishment of the Consultas, bodies formed by elected citizens to represent their territories and collaborate with the Municipality in policy planning. Through the Area Agreements, citizens can define their needs and propose them to the Municipality for integration into public policies.


Additionally, the regulation introduces the new Title V, which concerns the collaboration of communities and territories in the co-design phase of interventions, updating the previous regulations in line with the new Public Contracts Code and other national and European laws.


The “Partnerships for Sustainable Development and Innovation,” an evolution of the “Citizenship Agreements,” are defined as multi-actor collaborations for various fields such as climate, cultural heritage, urban regeneration, and energy communities. These Partnerships for Sustainable Development and Innovation involve distributed responsibility and collaboration based on trust.


An important innovation is the Community Budget, a tool to measure the impacts produced by the Partnerships for Sustainable Development and Innovation in terms of costs, actions, resources, and especially generated changes.


The Regulation also enhances the relationship between public administration and knowledge institutions, which has been strengthening on other fronts as well, and has consolidated since 2022 with the establishment of the City Science Office (CSO), an office for applied research to public administration where researchers work side by side with councilors, managers, and officials to design innovative policies and facilitate collaboration with social, economic, civic, and scientific actors from Reggio Emilia, Italy.


The Regulation was developed in collaboration between the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, the Department of Law of Luiss Guido Carli University, LabGov ETS – Laboratory for the governance of commons, the City Science Office of Reggio Emilia, also within the framework of the European Horizon 2020 project EUARENAS.EU-Cities as Arenas of Political Innovation in the Strengthening of Deliberative and Participatory Democracy.


The text was also developed with the scientific contribution of professors and experts in administrative law and public policies on social and public innovation, particularly through two study and in-depth seminars held:


– on February 22, 2023, at LUISS Guido Carli, Rome: “Neighborhood, Common Good: democracy and urban and climate justice in Reggio Emilia. An integrated public policy to achieve urban co-governance for sustainable urban development” with the intervention of Giancarlo Montedoro, President of the Section of the Council of State.

– on December 15, 2023, at Chiostri di San Pietro, Reggio Emilia: “The tools of Urban and Climate Justice in Reggio Emilia: the City Science Office, the community budget as an ESG measurement tool, Community and Area Agreements, the Climate Contract, and the Partnerships for Sustainable Development and Innovation.