Association Citaa' Futura

Demographic challenges, Poverty and social exclusion, Employment

The Municipality of Riace has a specific programme for the social inclusion and integration of newcomers (including refugees) who migrate from different developing countries to the local community. The programme recreates a new multicultural society based on re-launching of local traditions and products. The initiative benefited different types of persons: poor people arriving from abroad, women, local elders, youth (all disadvantaged groups). The programme seeks to rebuild (a new) social capital in the community and rediscover traditional artisanal processes and products by supporting handicrafts labs, educational activities, and the redefinition of public spaces. Riace is here considered as a "common good". . Social innovation is related to reconfiguration of networks and values and to the social outcomes. The local population (especially led by the elders) supported the newcomers by sharing with them their local knowledge on how to produce certain traditional products (tissues, ceramics) as well as by teaching them Italian (volunteers teach school programs on math, grammar, etc.). The newcomers and refugees were perceived as a resource, an opportunity to revitalize the abandoned community. A key role was played directly by the local community, who were willing to act to solve the needs of these poor persons. They developed human and social relations, and created reciprocal trust. By deciding to not invest in dominant approaches, such as mass-tourism based on the "Bronzi di Riace", but rather on niche-tourism based on values of solidarity, the municipality created a different environment, re-discovering cultural traditions and local products, educational opportunities to youth, slow tourism, and rural tourism.

Networking, Training / Teaching, Production of goods, Social media, Public participation
A group of kurdish refugees who arrived in the village in 1998, and all the inhabitants of the rural village.

• From a small, abandoned rural village, Riace has developed a new, dynamic multi-cultural community based on solidarity and humanity, and in this way it has also reacted to illegalities and the mafia • Positive changes on the economy (employment and income from eco-tourism and handicraft production), on society (revitalization of abandoned rural villages), on culture (re-discovery of ancient traditional products and processes), on the environment (end of the degradation associated with land abandonment, and instead, introduction of differentiated waste collection and organic farming), on policy (it reversed the dominant idea that local development can only be based on support from the central government).

• "Il volo" (2009) movie by Wim Wender
• Piece of news 30/03/2016: Riace mayor on Fortune's leader list

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