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Civic Data Commons L’Aquila | Civic Europe
Community development, Environment and sustainability

Civic Data Commons L’Aquila

A territory re-appropriation process through digital commons and civic monitoring for active change-making.


Who is behind this?

Cecilia Grabowski



Who is joining forces?

GSSI - The Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI)


Mètis Community Solutions soc. coop. soc.


L’Aquila Municipal Authority and three Departments: 1. Department of Territory and Environment; 2. Department of Urban Mobility Policies; 3. Department of Social Policies, Education and school Policies, Participation.


Associations, trade unions, media organisations


Idea pitch

Civic Commons L’Aquila aims to reduce the territorial and community fragmentation of L’Aquila by fostering the use of digital commons collection together with spaces and moments of civic participation involving public authorities. These two processes will enable civic territory monitoring and horizontal decision-making. The goal is to spread the use of technologies and data as a common good to manage solutions to deep societal problems.

Where will your project idea take place?

L'Aquila is the capital of the Abruzzo Region. It is located in central Italy, 100 km east of Rome.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Since the earthquake in 2009 L’Aquila has been going through a reconstruction process that has not led to a reunification of the community. This fragmentation of the context causes a socio-political disaggregation of the community and urban sprawl. The Civic Data Commons L'Aquila project has the aim to support the community to rediscover a sense of community and civic participation through the territory monitoring tools and civic engagement spaces and training, involving public institutions. These elements together will lead the community to a deeper acknowledgement of the territory as a whole and its characteristics and issues that will allow participatory processes by setting priorities and solutions to common problems, achieving shared territorial governance.

Who are you doing it for?

The key target groups that Civic Commons L’Aquila aims to reach are: University students, high school students, but also elderly citizens over 60 and families of foreign origin and earthquake displaced people. These groups are the most fragile groups because they suffer from the fragmentation of the territory without having any major solutions to the contexts problems and participation spaces. This population is spread in many town areas: 1. Preturo and 2. Coppito (west area); 3. Pettino/Cansatessa (central-west area); 4. Paganica; 5. Bazzano (east area) and 6. Torretta (central-east area). From each of these areas around 40 people - for a total of 240 people - will be interviewed, and 20/25 max. each town area - for a total of 150 people - will be actively involved in the activities.

How do you plan to get there?

The project will consist of 3 project areas of activities:

1. The territory context analysis will be based on databases and data collected by openpolis Foundation and GSSI. Time schedule: Month 1 - Month 2.

2. A local population needs analysis to understand the needs and desires of the town population through questionnaires and surveys. TS: M1-M3

3. Civic engagement workshops, namely 3 workshops for the 6 town areas analyzed during the context and needs analysis and 1 final event:

1) 3 Workshops for the showcasing to the community the needs analysis and the context analysis data based on data collection and questionnaires. TS: M4

2) 3 Workshops for the introduction to the GSSI control units and community co-decision process on the positioning of the control units and the subsequent installation by the institutions. TS: M5-M7

3) 3 Workshops for the presentation of data obtained from the 3 control units positioned by the population; presentation of the monitoring tool (platform) and a co-planning session between citizens and the local institutions to design solutions to the issues detected. TS: M9

3. Final public presentation assembly:
It will take place in an institutional headquarter (Townhall) to illustrate the participatory process with the contributions from the participating community, results & best practices dissemination.

What are the expected results?

Civic Data Commons L’Aquila main expected result will be to raise civic participation in the fragmented territory of L’Aquila by giving the population target specific digital and participatory monitoring means such as control units, web platforms, and public assemblies. By building bridges between town areas and needs and by allowing cooperation and dialogue with local institutions, the project will increase the confidence of the population towards public institutions and rediscover a common horizon for community development. The greatest project heritage would be the consolidation of community participation practices, composed both by data and digital literacy.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

By taking part in the control units positioning for the monitoring process the community will become aware of its territory, this will help underlying concrete problems that often emerge without the support of data. Having available supporting data highlighting such phenomena as pollution, traffic, and tourist flows will help the community to empower its voice and make solutions to community problems be supported by evidence. This would shake up the power dynamics putting the institutions-community relationship on a more horizontal level. Moreover, the process of solutions co-designing with the institutions will lead to a new form of community decision-making method.

Why is this idea important to you?

The team will be made of different professionals with various backgrounds and competencies. All of them work and live in L’Aquila. For the openpolis Foundation, whose headquarter is in Rome, a journalist born and established in L’Aquila, strongly active in local associations, will lead the project. GSSI has a local team set in L’Aquila with a strong connection to the territory, through one of its 4 research areas: Social Sciences. Mètis staff has developed over time different engagement methodologies that will be put in place to enable the civic engagement processes ( Municipal Authorities, elected by the population, will be committed to the interception and co-creation of solutions for their community.

€ 50000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs: 35000
Office expenses: 3000
Travel and accommodation costs: 2000
Communication activities: 7000
Workshops materials: 3000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

All types of comments will be well accepted, both in terms of content and form. Advice about the project implementation, if there are some unclear passages that are possible to better explain, would be very welcomed. Also comments and questions about the project context would be appreciated.


Cecilia Grabowski

Idea created on April 26, 2021

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