CO-CITY project

Ultimo aggiornamento: 10-11-2020

The UIA 1st call application

Co-City is an innovative project aiming at promoting the shared management of urban commons, implemented by the City of Turin in the framework of the EU initiative UIA Urban Innovative Actions.

The project was one of the 18 projects selected in the UIA first call in 2016, out of 378 applications from all over Europe. It started in March 2017 and officially ended on 29 February 2020. Its total budget was 5,1 million Euros – 80% funded by ERDF.

Co-City was meant to test the City Regulation on collaboration between citizens and the Municipality in the shared management of urban commons, approved in January 2016.

The partnership

City of Turin, MUA (Main Urban Authority)

University of Torino (Computer Dept. and Law Dept.)

ANCI (National Associations of Italian Municipalities)

Fondazione Cascina Roccafranca (as the leading partner of the Network of Neighbourhood Houses).

The project's goals and achievements

Co-City achieved the renewal of dismissed or underused public buildings and public spaces by means of public works and provision of equipment, in order to grant the realization of activities according to Pacts of collaboration between active citizens and the Municipality.

The main goals Co-City has achieved are the creation of services, the development of an innovative, polycentric “commons-based urban welfare” composed of generative communities centered on urban commons. Mixing with already existing social innovation projects, Co-City  has been crucial in enhancing the body of associations and active citizens which are a vibrant component of the Turin community.

The project's implementation phases

A public call  was issued in March 2017 to collect project proposals. Active citizens (associations and/or informal groups, as well as schools) were asked to apply by proposing projects about three general categories:

:: measure A - Periphery and urban cultures (dismissed public buildings)

:: measure B - Underused service platforms (eg. schools, public services and offices)

:: measure C - Taking care of public spaces

More than 120 project proposals were sent, involving more than 200 associations, informal groups or schools.

A Committee was then appointed to assess each project proposal, according to its consistency to the project's goals and technical feasability. The selected proposals entered then the co-design phase, during which – by means of several meetings and discussions involving both the proponents and the relevant City officers, the necessary public works and equipment to be provided for each proposal have been defined. A final text for each Pact of collaboration has been consequently defined and agreed, containing rules, responsibilities and duties of each party.

The Co-City Pacts of collaboration

The co-design phase led to the signature of  more than 40 Pacts of collaborations.

Each Pact of collaboration provides a list and description of all the  activities to be carried out, the form of collaboration provided by each partner (eg. what the proponents are to implement and what interventions are to be realized by the City administration to guarantee the best management of the urban common), the model of governance which has to monitor the correct management of all activities (Steering Committee, Board, frequency of meetings, supervisors, ecc.), the Pact's duration.

Investments for public works and provision of equipment

Most part of the Co-City financial resources have been allocated in public works and provision of equipment, for a total amount of about 2,3 million Euros.

Regeneration works have involved:

  • 4 buildings (1 formerly dismissed has been completely restored, 3 partially unused have been renewed);
  • 6 schools esp. for the renewal of courtyards;
  • 8 Pacts belonging to measure C, for maintenance and renovation of public spaces.

The equipment has been purchased to provide tools and furniture for activities in open spaces (measure A), renovated buildings (measure B), open areas (measure C) and courtyards or laboratories (measure B-schools).

Part of the investment for equipment has been dedicated to the creation of the Attrezzoteca, a Library of Tools (LoT) which allows a free loan of gear and tools for the proponents (eg. battery lawn mowers, video system, portable gazebo, cargo bikes, etc.), to support the activities foreseen in the Pacts of collaboration. The LoT will be managed by 4 Neighbourhood Houses, thus tools and gear will be stored in different locations all over the city.

The Co-City heritage

The practical application of the City Regulation has led to its complete revision: in January 2020 the new Regulation for the management of urban commons (n. 391) has been approved.

The European Council included Co-City among the best projects in terms of positive local impact and the European Commission selected it among the most innovative projects to be presented at the 2020 Cities Forum (Porto, 30-31 January 2020)

The  Co-City final event took place on 14 February @Cecchi Point Multicutural Hub , where the activated Pacts of collaboration and participatory actions have been presented. Representatives of the UIA Permanent Secretariat, as well as the City Institutions and project partners were present.

Round tables have been settled, in order to discuss the different aspects which have come out during the project: Deputy Mayors from other municipalities committed in the shared management of commos took part in the debate (Milan, Boulogne, Verona, Latina and Reggio Emilia), as well as experts from other UIA cities (Athens, Barcelona, Birmingham)

During the event the Handbook of Urban Commons Law by Rocco Albanese and Elisa Michelazzo (University of Turin, Law Dept.) has been presented. It focuses on interpretative hypothesis and practical solutions addressed to City officers and active citizens involved in Pacts of collaboration.

Some blockchain based practical application in some Pacts of collaboration have been presented by the University of Turin, Computer Dept.

The new model of the co-design phase has implied a new approach in the management of the municipal financial report. These effects have been thoroughly described by the Co-City Financial Manager in this interview. 

The Co-City timeline
  • Start of the Project – Launch event on March 31
  • Public call and selection of pilot projects
  • Co-design phase begins
  • Regeneration works in the identified buildings begin
  • Co-design phase continues
  • Signature of Pacts of Collaboration begins
  • Regeneration works in progress
  • Shared management of projects begins
  • Provision of equipment for Pacts of collaboration to be implemented
  • End of the Project – Final event on February 14
  • End of regeneration works