CReIAMO PA: A Top-Down Process Towards the Sustainability of the Territory

CReIAMO PA: A Top-Down Process Towards the Sustainability of the Territory

The change that United Nation 2030 Agenda aims to create involves, among the others, Public Administrations. In this framework, the project CReIAMO PA operates to overcome the critical issues in the governance of environmental policies by accompanying the subjects involved in the changes and by combining the principles of protection and safeguard with those of development and competitiveness.

United Nation 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an action program, signed by the 193 UN members, which includes 17 common objectives. They are set to be reached by 2030, aiming to solve crucial issues flowed from historical heritage and modern development. All these objectives, among which “sustainable cities and communities”, “gender equality” and “clean and accessible energy”, involve closely Regions and Metropolitan cities in Italy that so often are not able to cooperate in order to solve territorial problems. For this reason, Ministry of the Environment has developed a strategy that aims to address the issues related to strengthening administrative capacity, development of e-government and improving multilevel governance in order to overcome the fragmentation that exists today.

The CReIAMO PA Project is a part of this synergic action, that involves Italian Metropolitan Cities and Regions, with a view to increase technical skills in the following fields: project initiatives on environmental issues considered mandatory for Agenda, actions aimed at integrating specific assessment procedures, actions promoting Green Public Procurement (GPP). The GPP is an approach, promoted by European Commission, according to which Public Administrations integrate environmental criteria at all stages of purchasing processes, encouraging the diffusion of environmental technologies and the development of environmentally valid products. In this way, starting from Public Administration, the project seeks to create sustainable administrative bodies that are capable of making sustainable decisions for the benefit of territories.

Indeed, in the context of sustainability, a special care for coherence is necessary. An operator responsible for taking decision for a sustainable development of an area have to be conformed to the ideals on which it leads. The Ministry project aims to create a network of Regions and Cities, which the process of cooperating is able to speed up by conforming their territories to UN Agenda. CReIAMO PA offers to the involved parties, among which Public Administrations and other actors with environmental expertise, an opportunity to strengthen administrative and institutional capabilities as well as technical skills, aimed at improving PA management, multilevel governance and the ability to relate with stakeholders. The action plan provides training sessions alternated with on-the-job coaching. Moreover, more “systemic” actions are planned, with the purpose of enhancing the comparison between the territorial actors, that results in strengthening the planning and implementation of environmental policies. Consequently, Regions and Metropolitan Cities are expected to produce a sustainable strategy that looks forward, in the direction of circular economy and, which has a low impact on the territory and is made with education and all the other objectives of 2030 Agenda in mind.

The project is developed on 9 action lines that cover different objectives. In particular, Line 2 is finalized to support the integration of environmental sustainability objectives in administrative actions. The main purpose is to help the inclusion and the implementation of strategic system of 2030 Agenda at local and regional levels through a networking action that involves different levels of governance and non-institutional stakeholders that operate in the territory. Line 3 is about the expected results of the intervention. First, the integration of the agenda’s objectives needs to happen in national, regional and territorial policies, to give binding effect for the Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals. Second, greater active involvement of central administrations in the process of implementing and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda is required for the sake of not restricting sustainable initiatives solely to the local level where they remain and stay simply as local best practices. Governmental and Ministerial levels must be reached. Finally, the objectives of the National Agenda 2030 implementation and national monitoring path should be shared with the Regions. Subsequently, it follows that in order to achieve the objectives set out, three areas of activity are addressed. – Involvement of central and regional institutions together with metropolitan areas and monitoring and reporting functions.

The National forum for Sustainable Development has been created by CReIAMO PA as a tool, to bring together and reunite, in the same space of confrontation, institutions and representatives of civil society. The purpose is to have a place where it is possible to bring out subjects and practices related with sustainability and to facilitate the meeting of public policies and social energies to be implemented in National Strategies for Sustainable Development (NSSD). The NSSD draws a blueprint focused on sustainability and it is a strategic framework for national and territorial policies. It involves the territory concerned and represents a road that each policymaker has to follow in the process of drafting the laws of future.

On 17th October, a meeting between Ministry of Environment and Metropolitan Cities took place in Rome. The meeting resulted in the development of a Strategy for Sustainable Development, for each Metropolitan City, which has to be compatible with the NSSD. The importance of creating a network was remarked in the meeting – the purpose of the network is to create a shared language, which reaches all the different levels in order to crate effective solutions. The method provided for both round tables open discussions and cooperation agreements. These agreements are fundamental because they mark an assumption of responsibility on stakeholders. An element of innovation is the characteristic that Ministry emphasised in the process of duplicating activities already in place. Indeed, the next step is to systematise these actions in the decision-making processes. Ultimately, all the pilot actions implemented by Metropolitan Cities have to respect the 13 URBACT criteria for an integrated pilot action in order to produce concrete sustainable results for an integrated society where all the actors work in harmony.

All in all, thanks to United Nations 2030 Agenda, the process of change is now involving several actors, starting from the highest levels of government, following the guidelines of senior experts such as URBACT. In this top-down process, where Institutions are working for putting us in condition to carry on the process they started, it is our responsibility to accept the invitation and suit their policies.

Picture retrieved via

Open Heritage project: third co-planning session

Open Heritage project: third co-planning session

Saturday 06 March at the Dopotutto Beer&Food Experience the third session of the co-design lab of the Local Action Plan of the Rome Collaboratory took place.

After a brief presentation of the activities defined during the weekly teamwork meetings, the session started. The participants, divided in groups according to the activities that they are developing, finalized the business plan and identified the stakeholders to be engaged in the sustainable tourism platform.

The Bike Tours group analyzed the documents needed to carry out the operation and discussed the possibility of including in the project an NGO that would provide technical assistance and support for the guides of the bike tours.

The Local Campaign group focused on defining an online and offline communication strategy aimed at promoting a narrative on the Heritage Site. The group also finalized the planning of the Living Memory Exhibition. The Living Memory Exhibition will include a contest of street art, photography, poetry and writing to involve the local creatives active in the district.

The Living Memory Exhibition & Heritage Site group proposed to set up a photographic exhibition in the Tunnel with musical entertainment involving local music networks such us the Popular Initiative Center of Alessandrino (CIP).

The session ended with the planning of the teamworks’ activities for the incoming week

The Co-Cities Recipe for Just and Inclusive Cities

The Co-Cities Recipe for Just and Inclusive Cities

This week LabGov will be releasing the first section of the Co-Cities Open Book, a publication that is the result of years of research and experimentations on the field to investigate new forms of collaborative city-making that is pushing urban areas towards new frontiers of participatory urban governance, inclusive economic growth and social innovation. .

This open book has roots in our conceptualization of the ‘City as a Commons,’ the emerging academic field of urban commons studies, and the work developed in 5 years of remarkable urban experimentations in Italy and around the world [1]. Structured around three main pillars, the Co-Cities open book will first provide scholars, practitioners and policy-makers with an overview of the theory and methodology of the Co-City with the “Co-Cities Protocol”.

The open book also presents the “Co-Cities report”, the results of an extensive research project in which we extracted from, and measured the existence of, Co-City design principles in a database of 400+ case studies in 130+ cities around the world. Ultimately, thanks to the Co-cities report we were able to create the first index able to measure how cities are implementing the right to the city through co-governance. Thus, the Co-Cities index serves as a fundamental tool for the international community in order to measure the implementation of some of the objectives that have been set by the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.



The last section of the book presents a collection, or annex, of articles of some of the most important researchers and practitioners studying the urban commons. These essays were conceived and offered as part of “The City as a Commons” conference, the first IASC (International Association for the Study of the Commons) conference on urban commons, co-chaired by Christian Iaione and Sheila Foster that took place in Bologna on November 6 and 7, 2015.

Don’t miss the publications of the Co-Cities Open Book sections on our website and social media pages in the coming weeks. A complete version of the open book, downloadable from our website, will be available at the beginning of January on our website.



[1] The theoretical background and literature of this project, and the conceptual pillars of the Co-City are based on the analytical framework developed in the following publications: Sheila Foster, The City as an Ecological Space: Social Capital and Urban Land Use, 82 Notre Dame L. Rev. 527 (2006-2007); Sheila Foster, Collective action and the Urban Commons, 58 Notre Dame L. Rev 57; Christian Iaione, Governing the Urban Commons, 1 It. J. pub. l. 170 (2015); Christian Iaione, The CO-city, 75 The American Journal of Economics and sociology, 2 (2016); Sheila Foster & Christian Iaione, The City as a Commons, 34 yale l. & pol’y rev 81 (2016); Christian Iaione, The Law and Policy of Pooling in the city, Fordham Urban Law Journal 34:2 (2016) and Sheila Foster & Christian Iaione, Ostrom in the City: design principles for the urban commons, The Nature of cities, (20 August 2017).

Climate Change and Environmental Risk in the City

Climate Change and Environmental Risk in the City

Environmental issues are becoming more and more a key challenge for cities around the world. C40 shows that “70% of cities are already dealing with the effects of climate change”. Cities have played a significant role in accelerating risks because of the continuous and unlimited urban growth we have witnessed in the past years. They are becoming bigger and bigger, creating over 70% of global CO2 emissions, and consuming ⅔ of the world’s energy. A striking C40 data warns us of the catastrophic effects that climate change can have on urban societies in the future: “Over 90% of all urban areas are coastal, putting most cities on Earth at risk of flooding from rising sea levels and powerful storms”.

What are the consequences of these environmental risks for the future of our cities? How to manage it? What solutions can we find?

In order to avoid any simplistic explanation on a topic of such importance and complexity, we ought to make clarity on the real terms of the discussion. What is risk and how do we define it?

Ulrich Beck sees a different and more obscure dimension to development; a “risk society” based on an acute awareness of risks and loss of faith in progress.
Even more interesting, is how this reflexive modernity embodies the exegesis of the progressive disillusion with institutional and traditional politics. According to Beck this detachment from traditional rhetorics produces a “sub-politics”, concerned with issues such as consumption and lifestyle.
Following this post-modern flavor, Beck concentrated initially on environmental issues such as the problematization of energy. Unlike goods, these “bads” could not be subject to a politics of distribution. The smog produced by domestic coal-burning, affected everyone. Because of this “egalitarian” redistributive effect, environmental hazards constitute an undiscriminated threat for everyone.

Natural hazards and disaster produce increasing catastrophes in cities (just see what has blown up Italy in the last few days!). That does not mean that other kinds of hazards are incapable of producing urban catastrophes. The answer is that natural hazards are joint products of nature and society. Unlike the other threats just mentioned, they are only partly created by humans; thus their unpredictable nature contributes to an incremental and general insecurity.

Since the industrial revolution cities are risk-producers and risk-bearers, both victims and executioners. Economic activity, sprawl and proximity have caused cities to become less and less sustainable; in particular we can infer a negative correlation between economic productivity and sustainability. Take a city-state as Singapore for example; in 1965 it was a polluter’s paradise: mucky rivers, polluted canals and raw sewage running rampant. A modern “Coke Town”. Per contra, things are changing because of the efforts of enlightened personalities. The city’s pioneer generation understood that if you make a city “a nice place to live, then people will come and invest.” Lee Kuan Yew became often called ‘Chief Gardener’ for his belief in the power of plants and biodiversity to transform people’s overall mental well-being, as well as physical spaces. Huge plants crawling up skyscrapers, natural parks and water sanitation measures (just to clean-up Singapore’s river took around 10 years!) represent a significant step towards global future objectives.

The renowned 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development addresses global challenges such as poverty, inequality but also climate and environmental degradation Nevertheless, 12 years seem to be not enough to face multifarious issues. Concerns have been raised too by the ASviS (Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile). In the recently issued report, the association expressed its concern with respect to the “too slow” progress towards the SDGs, both for Italy and the European Union, which should present a framework of policies by the end of the year.

The 7th Environment Action Program (EAP) constitutes for the moment, the legislative and guiding framework to work on, identifying key objectives such as the protection of natural capital; the transformation towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy; and to safeguard Union’s citizens fro environment-related pressures.



Therefore, we should prepare our institutions and environmental management strategies for the twenty-first century, especially in the mega-cities that will likely become the pivots of global society. Worth mentioning is what 100 Resilient Cities does and aims to; pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, their ultimate objective is to help cities to become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges – earthquakes, floods, sprawl, etc. – of the XXI century. Their philosophy is that, addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events, and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations.

Thus, can we meet the basic needs—food, water, and energy—of a growing population and a growing economy and do better for biodiversity by 2030? If each country shows an increasing commitment towards environmental risk management, the answer will be probably an affirmative one. As James Mitchell has observed, failure to recognize natural hazards as a worsening urban problem suggests a myopic view of urban management and signals flaws in the conceptualization of sustainable development as a principle of urban management. It is to be hoped that efforts will be canalized into correcting the structural deficiencies peculiar of our risk society.

Festival della Partecipazione, L’Aquila 11-14 ottobre

Festival della Partecipazione, L’Aquila 11-14 ottobre

Il “Festival della Partecipazione”, promosso da ActionAid Italia e Cittadinanzattiva in collaborazione con Slow Food Italia e il Comune de L’Aquila è una quattro giorni di laboratori, conferenze, dibattiti e concerti, una fabbrica di idee per costruire le nuove forme della politica, dell’attivismo e della cittadinanza.

L’edizione 2018 si svolgerà dall’11 al 14 ottobre e ha lo scopo di proporre e approfondire un approccio fattuale, articolato e critico alla partecipazione democratica dei cittadini. Attraverso dibattiti, incontri, laboratori e concerti il festival mira a riflettere sullo stato della partecipazione democratica in Italia e in Europa.

Christian Iaione, co-fondatore di LabGov, interverrà all’Auditorium del Parco Sabato 13 ottobre nel panel intitolato “Aree interne e periferie urbane: vivere ai margini e riprendersi il futuro”. 

Il dibattito si concentrerà sulle aree interne del territorio italiano, provate dalla carenza di servizi negli ambiti di scuola, sanità e mobilità e dall’indebolimento demografico che le contraddistingue.

Il Festival è un luogo aperto a cittadini comuni, alle comunità degli aquilani e degli abruzzesi e sempre più a interlocutori ed esperti internazionali, ma anche a organizzazioni ed esperienze di attivismo civico, a interlocutori e partner pubblici e privati della partecipazione civica, ai media tradizionali e ai nuovi media, ai mondi della ricerca, della cultura e dell’arte. Non si tratta di un pubblico, ma di un insieme di partecipanti con l’occasione di scambiare e discutere informazioni, prodotti, idee ed esperienze.

La scelta de L’Aquila ha un forte significato simbolico: la città sta attraversando un complesso percorso di ricostruzione urbana e civica e crediamo che questo Festival possa essere un catalizzatore concreto di partecipazione al cambiamento.

Per più informazioni visitare il sito del Festival