CO-CITY project

CO-CITY / UIA - Urban Innovative Actions

UIA – Urban Innovative Actions is an EU initiative which provides urban areas with resources to test new and unproven solutions in facing urban challenges and ensuring sustainable urban development. The first call was launched in 2016 and selected 17 cities out of 378 applicants from all over Europe. Torino is one of the four Italian cities (together with Milano, Bologna and Pozzuoli) which was granted with a funding to implement a project, thus creating a replicable model in other urban areas.

The CO-CITY project is intended to break the self-reinforcing circle of poverty, social segregation in deprived neighbourhoods and lack of participation. It achieves this by supporting the development of an innovative, polycentric “commons-based urban welfare” composed of generative communities centred on urban commons, low-cost service co-production, social mixing, and care of public spaces.

CO-CITY is innovative in its legal, managerial and technological aspects, providing:

:: an unconventional legal framework to enable citizens to take care of urban commons;

:: an innovative ICT infrastructure for local social market and networking;

:: management tutoring towards economic sustainability.

The authoritative approach is replaced by a collaborative one that considers citizens as potential changemakers, agents of virtuous circular processes of commoners’ welfare. Meanwhile, the public sector evolves from being a service provider to being an enabler and a partner.

CO-CITY focuses on the cyclic process of “place production” rather than on a specific social target or deprived area. Empty public or private spaces become an opportunity instead of a cost and urban care becomes a collective task. This approach shares the logic of urban commons, helping to tackle social exclusion and neighbourhood deprivation, promoting commons’ use values rather than assets’ exchange values, and enabling hidden resources of social capital to emerge.

CO-CITY Pacts of collaboration

CO-CITY pilot projects imply the underwriting of Pacts of Collaboration under the rules stated by the local Regulation on Urban Commons.

The projects fall into three general categories:

1) Periphery and urban cultures (dismissed public buildings)

2) Underused service platforms (eg. schools, public services and offices)

3) Taking care of public spaces

The goal is to support the development and start-up of co-management projects in urban commons so as to test innovative forms of Commons Based Urban Welfare. 

Neighbourhood Houses

Neighbourhood Houses are multi-functional community hubs located in different areas of the city, which represent an active part in the process of collaboration and urban regeneration promoted by CO-CITY.

Neighbourhood Houses represent the reference point for all active citizens interested in co-designing a Pact of Collaboration.

The network of Neighbourhood Houses will contribute to the project involving different target groups in the debate about the shared management of urban commons

CO-CITY Toolkit

The University of Turin will develop two different tools for the CO-CITY project:

:: FIRSTLIFE. A civic social network designed to support, manage and build an online storyboard of the project.

:: LEGAL TOOLKIT. A legal framework meant to manage and test the use of the Regulation on Urban Commons and the editing of a handbook based on the implementation of the project.

CO-CITY Communication

ANCI - National Association of Italian Municipalities, is the project partner in charge of information, communication and dissemination of project results at national and international level.

CO-CITY Timeline


:: Start of the Project

:: Co-designing activities

:: Signature of Pacts of Collaboration begins


 :: Regeneration works in the identified buildings begin

:: Income support actions, training and coaching


:: End of regeneration works

:: Shared management of pilot projects

:: End of the Project