CAPACITyES - Children Against Poverty Awake the CITy Education System
"Through the project we aim to regenerate important spaces in the urban area, making it a better place to live, especially taking into account the point of view of children, whose needs are too often excluded from the processes of transformation of our cities"
Urban poverty is one the most crucial problem affecting Italian cities, particularly since the economic crisis of 2008 resulting in a drastic reduction of resources.
Bergamo, with its 121,000 inhabitants, is not excluded from this situation, showing an average of 11,4% of families living in poverty condition, a percentage that skyrockets to 57% when considering foreigner families.
From this scenario comes CAPACITyES project which addresses urban poverty mainly focusing on children educational poverty.
The challenge is to disrupt the mechanisms underlying urban poverty and the resulting inequalities through an innovative approach focused on children perspective. Studies indeed show that children are the most vulnerable age group when considering the at-risk-of-poverty-and-social-exclusion rate.
CAPACITyES will work on the children helping to break the cycle of poverty tackling disadvantage in early years in order to reduce the risk of poverty and social exclusion in the future.
CAPACITyES intends to address urban educational poverty in a multiple perspective, taking into account different dimensions: housing, education, art, sport and culture, through active participation and inclusion of the citizens.
The interconnected solutions are, as follow:
- a Co-Housing facility for families with children with personal and shared spaces to live in. Their presence will be temporary and aimed at supporting them in dealing with housing difficulties, staying on the labor market and exercising full autonomy;
- a creative HubForKids that will be focused on improving children’s cognitive and non-cognitive skills, proposing artistic, sport, music and cultural activities, and performances targeted for different age groups. Children will also benefit from scholarships, as an economic help;
- site specific Artistic Installations to be located inside the Co-Housing building, the HubforKids and in different city spots becoming a single huge site-specific installation aimed at connecting the centre and the suburbs, by facilitating their cross-contamination.
A participatory process will be the basis of the project providing a symbolic and effective connection through all the solutions implemented. Project beneficiaries, particularly children, will be actively involved in a bottom-up approach aimed to the design, planning and management of the two new structures, as well as being the direct inspiring of urban art installations.
The aim is to change the way Bergamo defines its urban space in the considered deprived areas, making out of it attractive and inclusive, combining art, culture and creativity with children’s active participation in the designing of innovative solutions to urban renewal.
- Sustainable temporary co-housing solutions, mitigating the situation of fragility and segregation of parts of the families waiting for social housing;
- Empowerment and social inclusion through participative and active involvement of beneficiaries;
- Enhanced vulnerable families future income capacity and job opportunities through courses and professional training;
- New recreational spaces dedicated to children and young people, where different cultural, sports, musical and artistic offers can be lever to their full exercise of the right to culture;
- Reshaped urban landscape of selected deprived areas using art for a new idea of relationship with public space.
- Municipality of Bergamo
- Social Cooperative RUAH - cooperative
- Social Cooperative Patronato San Vincenzo - cooperative
- Generations FA Cooperative - cooperative
- Professional Training Association PSV
- BEST Institut - private training centre
- ISMU - Foundation for Initiatives and Studies on multi ethnicity - private organisation
- CSI - Italian Sporting Center of Bergamo - private organisation
- PURELAB - private enterprise
September 2020: Start-up of co-design process. Co-design sessions and activities to collect inputs from the project beneficiaries, in an inclusive approach, defining the layout of the new refurbished structures.
July 2021: End of the refurbishment works. The Co-Housing facility and HubForKids are delivered to the Municipality. The housing and recreational activities can be settled down.
September 2021: Urban public art installations delivered. Children creativity materializes spreading art within the city.