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31 March – Launch event of Co-City in Turin: Italian and European cities sharing vision on commons and participation of residents

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On 31 March, the City of Turin and ANCI - Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani (National Association of Italian Municipalities) organised the official launch event of the Co-City project at Open Incet, in Turin.

The launch event of the project, attended by more than 250 participants, was an excellent occasion to present the actions that Turin is going to implement together with its residents in the framework of Co-City. The event was also a relevant occasion to discuss about urban commons at national and international level, sharing visions and ideas among Italian and European cities which are already carrying out innovative strategies of promotion of resident’s participation.

During the event held at Incet, a former cable factory converted into an innovation hub, the project partners (City of Turin, ANCI, University of Turin and Cascina Roccafranca Foundation with the Neighbourhood Houses Network (Case del Quartiere Network, a network of community centers hosted in municipal buildings acting as community developers, as well as promoters of cultural production) presented the actions and the innovative approaches which Co-City will develop in different areas of the City.

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International experts from Amsterdam, Athens and Barcelona shared their visions on the promotion of the participation of residents and the management of commons in the framework of a talk attended also by representatives of other Italian cities, such as Milan, Bologna and Reggio Emilia, actively engaged in initiatives and projects on commoning (Bologna was the first City in Italy to approve the Regulation on urban commons).

During the Co-City launch event, William W. Goldsmith - Professor at Cornell University - gave a keynote speech on the urban strategies to contrast poverty and the role of citizens in urban regeneration. In his speech, Goldsmith, emphasised the need for cities to work together with their citizens in taking care of urban commons and fighting urban poverty.

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The Co-City project will improve the participation and the engagement of citizens in different parts of the City. During the Initiative, the citizens and the Municipality will agree upon so called “Pacts of collaboration” in order to regenerate abandoned or  underused buildings, but also other types of unused spaces (green areas, public spaces, portions of municipal buildings and/or schools). The aim is to experiment with the Regulation on urban commons (adopted in more than 100 local authorities in Italy) and its participative tools that will be the drivers of urban regeneration and community empowerment. The residents of these areas will be the main actors of the project and will collaborate with ‘Neighbourhood Houses’ to define the projects of regeneration and to implement them in different areas of the City.

The following day, the topics of Co-City were presented in the framework of the Biennale Democrazia (a cultural event promoted by the City of Turin once every two years, aiming at spreading the culture of democracy), with a panel on “Stories of Commons”, with the participation of practitioners and experts from different Italian cities.