The call for applications promoted by the Municipality of Turin sought proposals to improve liveability and the perception of security in the evening and at night in the areas adjacent to the Dora River. This call is significant for many reasons.
Firstly, it is one of the most economically significant measures of the project financed under the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) program. One million euros was allocated, an amount equal to 17% of the total budget of ToNite and 22% of the EU contribution. The second reason relates to the objective of the call: "to favour the creation of a widespread proximity infrastructure able to generate a positive impact on the territory through the participation of local communities, the enhancement of the potential of the territory and the shared care of public spaces, with the ultimate goal of improving the perception of safety and liveability of public spaces "(art. 1 Tender). In short, the call aims to promote the leading role of local actors to foster positive and lasting social impacts through the participation of local communities. Thirdly, the call has provided significant actions to accompany the project ideas, both in the pre-application and implementation phases, as well as the provision of an App and a technological platform to promote offered services and stimulate the involvement of local communities.
For these reasons, but also for the concrete contribution of this measure to the Urban authority action of urban regeneration in a critical and complex area of the city, it is interesting to propose a first reflection on the main outcomes of the call. In a later web article, we will focus on project results.
Specifically, the call for applications divides the Tonite territory into two areas (Aurora and Vanchiglia) to highlight the territorial specificities better.
The call addresses liveability and the perception of security in the evening and at night. In particular, projects with a territorial approach to manage urban criticalities were welcome. Projects could include different interventions such as: the recovery and reuse of spaces; the improved usability of public spaces via forms of participatory care; the improvement of cultural and economic offerings near the Dora River area at night; diversified commercial offerings to mitigate the negative effects of a distorting or exclusive use of public space and the promotion of a sustainable nightlife. In addition, interventions on intergenerational dialogue, street education, nocturnal social and health centres were envisaged.
A further specificity of the call was the choice to extend participation to for-profit organisations, intending to directly involve local economic actors in the regeneration of a very significant area.
The features of the call for application reflect what the Tonite project wants to achieve and the relevant impact area and indicators.
Unfortunately, some applicants failed to show they understood the need for intervention strategies, and they extended the "traditionally daytime" activities and initiatives with positive effects to the evening. Such an extension requires one to properly monitor and evaluate the activities to understand whether an impact on the night-time was achieved and sustainable over time. Nevertheless, many selected proposals presented interesting ideas regarding complementarity and integration with the actions of the urban authority.