Casa dei Beni Comuni

Improvement of services / infrastructures, Governance

The Home of the commons started in 2012 as a project of active citizenship to gain access to an abandoned military building and adjacent green space, with the idea of converting it into a multi-functional space for use of the community and local associations. The area had been purchased by the municipality but there were no guidelines for assigning previous military buildings to associations, and it was not possible for the municipality to grant it for free. The association started clearing the area during the negotiation phase to show their good will and ability to carry out the project, and then signed a two year contract to fully clear and restructure the buildings and green space. The two years are almost over, and the next step is to start a longer contract (9+4 years) that will allow the association and the other associations who have started using the premises, to promote cultural, educational, social, agricultural and sport activities. The association takes all decisions through a Citizen Assembly and working groups who follow up on specific activities. Specific attention is paid to agricultural opportunities, through common initiatives with a seed sharing organisation (Coltivare Condividendo); an ethical purchasing group; and the development of a synergic garden.

Networking, Training / Teaching, Public participation, Experimentation
Citizens Assembly

• The innovative contract has set a precedent for the free use and restructuring of abandoned buildings and areas owned by the municipality in exchange for their recuperation (whereby the work put in place is deducted from the rent). • The project has led to a pioneering convention between the association and the municipality: the municipality has provided access to the building and adjacent area for free, while the volunteers of the association have recovered a building which was otherwise falling into disrepair. • The association has brought together and engaged citizens on social issues. • The municipality has bought other adjacent areas and destined the whole area to be developed as the 'citadel of volunteering', allocating spaces to associations who may be interested in the area. • The association has been coordinating working groups to improve the management of the common areas (36,000 m2).

* Information at the level of NUTS 3 or local regions.