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Green Leaves for a Rusted City | Civic Europe
Social inclusion, Youth participation and empowerment

Green Leaves for a Rusted City

Nurturing Genoa’s young generations as a way to renew civic participation and engagement and promote new ideas for fighting the lasting cultural, economic and political decline of the city.


Who is behind this?

Stefano Gaggero

Genova Che Osa


Who is joining forces?

Il Ce.Sto Cooperativa Sociale


L'aurora Cooperativa Sociale


UDI Genova


The final partner will be Lo Zenzero, an association for social promotion based in the suburban area of Valbisagno in Genoa. It promotes inclusion, participation and the well-being of local residents.


Idea pitch

Shrinking cities like Genoa demand youth to halt decline and set a new fairer course. Thanks to a path to engage, train and leaderfully organize a diverse group of youngsters 16 to 25 we will challenge marginalization and apathy in Genoa’s youth. Through a campaign led by them we will struggle against general indifference towards the generational issue. Advocating for our “Universal Inheritance” to promote young people’s autonomy we will put forward an innovative proposal to address the issue.

Where will your project idea take place?


What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

We will address the generational issue in Genoa that feeds inequalities and demographic imbalance, prevents a more diverse participation and renewal. To invest in the youth in shrinking cities, such as Genoa, is pivotal to halt decline and set a new fairer course. Through a path to engage, train and organize we will challenge marginalization, apathy and lack of shared commitment in a representative group of diverse youngsters. By means of an effort of leaderful organizing autonomously carried out by that group we will challenge the lack of concern and informed discussion on the generational issue in the city as a whole. Advocating for universal inheritance to promote young people’s autonomy we will put forward a precise and innovative proposal to address such issue.

Who are you doing it for?

As mentioned above youth is suffering a chronic lack of opportunities. On average, over 5.000 youngsters emigrate from Genoa yearly.
The project wants to involve 30 youngsters living in Genoa, aged 16-25. The goal is to create a balanced group composed by youngsters coming from several backgrounds, for half boys and girls. The proposal foresees the creation of workshops embracing 15 people who have already participated in activism campaigns and politically active in the city of Genoa. The rest of the group (15 people) will include youngsters living in the suburbs or in a vulnerable background, who have an apathy for political themes. This part of the group will metaphorically represent the part most marginalized of Genoa.The workshops will be based on non-formal peer education methods.

How do you plan to get there?

Activity #1 (months 1-12) –Preliminary and cross-cutting actions. It aims at getting the project started, well managed and promoted. Among the preliminary actions are recruiting participants, drafting the training plan, engaging experts.
Act. #2 (m.s 3-5) –Engaging, training and leaderfully organizing a diverse group of 30 youngsters 16 to 25. It aims at providing young participants with needed skills and tools to develop a civic campaign on the generational issue in Genoa. The activity will take place through workshops based on peer non-formal education. Workshops will concern topics such as team-building and working as a group, cultural and conflict mediation, feminization of politics, agency and empowerment, leadership building, community organizing, civic and democratic values, knowledge of the local context.
Act. #3 (m.s 6-8) –Planning a campaign of civic activism by the young participants. It aims at fostering their autonomy and agency. Trainers will have a role as mentors.
Act. #4 (m.s 9-12) –Putting in place the campaign of civic activism on the generational issue in Genoa and our “Universal Inheritance” proposal. It aims at reaching out to the young participants’ peers with creative initiatives and liven up an informed debate through 10 town hall meetings with major city stakeholders that will be directly addressed by the public.
Act. #5 (m.s 12) –Dissemination.

What are the expected results?

30 youngsters will receive 36 hours of training in 6 workshops. They will improve or build from scratch hard and soft-skill related to civic engagement, knowledge of the city and its stakeholders. This group will be able to promote future advocacy campaigns on youth-related issues and build a network of peers to activate and involve when needed. Incidentally those skills will be useful to them for becoming autonomous active citizens with a positive effect on other aspects of their life such as finding good jobs. We will reach out to 10,000 people, primarily other youngsters, and 30 stakeholders in 10 town halls, that will be informed and will become aware of the generational issue in the city. That will spring an informed city-wide debate on media and public institutions on the issue.

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

The 15 youngsters from fragile backgrounds and their peers reached out to with the campaign are as distant as imaginable from any comprehension that they are part of a social community, that their problems come from that community and that by cooperating and acting in the community they can work towards solving them. We will help them in gaining that consciousness and spark interest in structured social participation. The other youngsters and the young people touched by the project in general will gain tools, on one hand, to reach out to their peers from different and more fragile backgrounds and, on the other, to make their voices heard in a city that silence and ignore young people in a systematic way.

Why is this idea important to you?

Stefano Gaggero has a decade-long experience as an organizer, trainer, campaigner and researcher on the social, economic and political issues of Genoa.
Alessandro Demartini is among the founders of Collettivo Edera, a group of high-schoolers, and a trainer in Genova che osa’s workshops.
Erica Spampani is a social worker that has been working with fragile youngsters in Genoa for 10 years, with knowledge on non formal education methodologies and mediation.
Barbara Vecchio has a decade experience working with youngsters in the field of public and cultural events, with a knowledge of the network of associations. Other staff members will be involved.
We all work with youngsters in Genoa and we cannot stand the idea that they will have either to fade with the city or escape to find a future.

€ 36834,-

Total budget

€ 34992,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs for cross-cutting actions – 11.300,00 €; Personnel costs for operative actions – 10.434,00 €; Services costs for training and mentorship activities – 5.000,00 €; Services costs for campaigning and advocacy activities – 9.100,00 €; Goods – 1.000,00 €.

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We mainly for feedback related to our methodologies to engage, train and organize youngsters. Tools to promote wide and informed public debates and to engage and commit stakeholders, as well as to reach out to the general public.




Idea created on April 24, 2021

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