Local development is multi-faceted with practitioners split between the urban and rural domains, while researchers come from different academic disciplines. A community of experts dealing with local development could help harvest lessons learnt and overcome silo mentality.
LDnet and the European Commission are very keen on building bridges between research and practice and on making sure research results are used and benefit practice.
In this short article I take a first step in this direction with an initial overview on the state of play and emerging trends of the work of selected LDnet members and friends, active either in the academic or in the practice fields.
[Click here to read the article on LDnet.eu]
Today I am extremely happy and proud to announce that SPIRE – Baia Mare's project proposal to the 4th Call of the Urban Innovative Actions that I co-designed with Urbasofia – is one of the 20 out of 175 projects selected for financing under Sustainable Use of Land & Nature-Based Solutions category by the UIA Secretariat!
The project SPIRE - Smart Post-Industrial Regenerative Ecosystem will strive to create a local value system based on key ecosystem services, adaptive phytoremediation and innovative land-use management, for kick starting a smart postindustrial reuse process. The solution includes innovative planning and land-management instruments for regenerating the formerly industrial sites, renaturalisation of contaminated land by long-term phytoremediation process and enabling new bio-based economic development opportunities supported by active participatory approaches to co-create and promote environmentally-friendly actions and behaviours.
Read more here:
European Commission's Press Release
UIA Secretariat's Article
Read here the synthetic brochure of SPIRE: Baia Mare's project proposal to the 4th Call of the Urban Innovative Actions that Sabina Leopa and I developed at Urbasofia
Read here my latest contribution for LDnet.eu, about overcoming EU discontent in the so-called places that don't matter using the CLLD and innovative digital participatory platforms and token-based value systems.
Between October 22-24 I participated to the EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum in Stuttgart. It has been an extremely compelling and productive Forum, filled with engaged presentations and alive workshops about how to better achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the European Pillar of Social Rights.
In this context, I also had the opportunity to host a table during the speed-networking session, where I discussed the results of my research on Community-Led Local Development and Neighbourhood Management initiatives with city representatives and experts from all over Europe.
The booklet of my presentation is available below, please feel free to comment here or write me an email with your questions, impressions, and suggestions!
After having collaborated with Nextdoor as a GIS mapper and ad-hoc advisor, today I will have the honour to give a short speech during the party for the official launch of the neighbourhood-based social network in Italy.
I will talk about Nextdoor's potential in participatory processes, and here you can read my discourse, both in Italian and in English.
The way in which the multi-ethnic – and rather blighted – neighbourhood of Via Padova in Milano has been addressed by politicians and the media over the last decades seems to fit within a revanchist framework. Between the late 1990s and the early 2010s the debate mainly concerned the reproduction of fear and the embitterment of punitive measures against newly settled foreign migrants (I wrote about this here).
Years later, also due to a growing presence of the so-called urban creatives, a gentrification process seems to have been triggered, as Chiara Vitrano, Ph.D. and I found out in our working paper (available here).
My position is that the displacement of the poor is not the solution for the regeneration of deprived urban neighbourhoods. Rather, we should aim at redressing imbalances and improving the quality of life for the most disadvantaged people, possibly fostering an inclusive participatory planning approach.
Today I am happy to announce the launch of my new Instagram profile!
It is a growing collection of European cities' photographs that I will use to tease the debate on key contemporary urban issues, challenges, and best practices.
You are all welcome to follow @pietroverga.urbanresearch and leave your comments!
I am currently working on exciting news, stay tuned for new updates coming in the next days and weeks!
My research paper "Towards an Inclusive and Sustainable CLLD. Lessons from a Neighbourhood Management in Berlin" is now featured on the Local Development Network's website.
The Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) is a new area-based instrument launched for the 2014-2020 Programming Period of the European Cohesion Policy (ECP). It is intended to be a powerful instrument to address, at sub-regional level, crisis-related and other externally-induced issues, as well as to contribute achieving the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Nevertheless, concerns emerged with respect to the openness and accessibility of the CLLD’s local governance framework, the scope and goals that would be targeted by local partnerships, and the suitability and effectiveness of the CLLD’s area-based approach in tackling local deprivation.
With my contribution I address such concerns from an evidence-based perspective, in order to draw from the practice compelling insights for the improvement of the CLLD instrument. To do so, my paper brings a critical analysis of a recent ERDF co-financed local development programme, namely the Körnerpark Neighbourhood Management in Berlin, whose principles and features are strongly comparable with the approach underlying the CLLD, and which has indeed been taken as a model practice by EU policy-makers.
Relying on several interviews to key actors at different governance levels, socio-economic data, documents analysis, and field observations, I conduct an assessment of the case-study focussing on the inclusiveness of its governance framework as well as on its capability to enhance residents’ living conditions. From this assessment, I then infer a number of crucial issues that are likely to be a common challenge for any initiative implemented under the new framework. In particular, I argue that two main lessons can be learned from my case-study. On the one hand participatory decision-making bodies at local level might not be effectively representative of the socio-economic composition of the target community, but rather risk to be dominated by local elites or powerful groups. On the other hand, fostering local development bears the risk that the most disadvantaged population of the target community might not be fully supported by the initiative but rather, to a certain extent, even penalised.
On these grounds, then, my contribution aims at stimulating the debate among European policy-makers towards the fine-tuning of the instrument as a means to effectively tackle poverty and marginality in lagging areas and foster their sustainable development.
To read the full paper, please click HERE.