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Participatory knowledge for better policy making | Civic Europe
Environment and sustainability, Community development

Participatory knowledge for better policy making

Mapping our assets (and make them known) through the new technologies and our citizens as explorers


Who is behind this?

Erica Melloni

Agenda 21 Est Ticino


Who is joining forces?

Banca del Tempo di Cusago


The Banca del Tempo di Cusago cooperates with Agenda 21 Est Ticino and other associations in initatives for the environment and better lifestyles.


Idea pitch

We have castles, rivers, ancient farmhouses and beautiful rural landscapes. And also achieved some environmental records. But few uf us know it. How could that happen? There was a time when the 'big city' seemed to contain all the answers. Now we know that a new lifestyle here is possible: more distributed, slower, healthier, but not less stimulating and always open to the world. We want to make it known, thanks to the new technologies and to our citizens-explorers.

Where will your project idea take place?

Abbiategasso and 13 neighboring municipalities (West of Milan Metropolitan area).

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The area is characterised by beautiful rural landscapes and several cultural assets, but the economic, touristic and cultural life gravitates towards Milan. Governance is fragmented, often limited to initiatives promoted at municipal level, with rather low levels of civic participation and integration between sectoral policies (for example, protection of the environment, cultural heritage, and economic development). The risk is that the area will become even more peripheral. The opportunity is to base on its cultural and natural assets to frame the activism of its citizens (old and newcomers) and to find innovative solutions.

Who are you doing it for?

Students, associations, and informal groups of citizens are the backbone of our idea of participation. We aim to channel their genuine interest for the territory into new ways of valorising it. It will contribute to the civic growth of those who will participate more actively, especially young people, but thanks to the participatory actions foreseen, other groups of citizens will take part to the debate and could share their projects: supporters of the protection of cultural heritage, farmers, shop-keepers, environmentalists, local administrators. As an example, special routes could be designed, among the farmhouses, the parks and ancient villas, as well as new sustainable projects (e.g. ecological lighting, water houses), crossing different types of resources of the area.

How do you plan to get there?

The project will launch a call to action dedicated to both local schools, associations and informal groups of citizens to identify, geolocate and describe, according to a common model, relevant places and initiatives to be uploaded on Google Maps. An open competition dedicated to young designers will award the development of "augmented reality" works based on local resources, in order to create new forms of communication and education. Participatory forums and civic walks will be organized to discuss and design innovative ways of connecting and enhancing existing resources. A roadshow of the project results will be organized, with stages in the various municipalities and in Milan.

What are the expected results?

One year after the project, this area (that involves near 90,000 residents) will have a much higher number of georeferenced information available to make its beauties and opportunities known to both its inhabitants and visitors. The sense of belonging of the citizens will have grown. New ideas and projects will be developed, built upon the shared knowledge of its citizens, thanks to the new information collected and presented in a 'large area' perspective and not merely limited to the municipal borders.

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

We want to activate citizens in the detection, reinterpretation and communication of local resources (cultural, natural, ecological), as a way of being an active part of the civic life and as a basis for new development ideas. The project will foster coordinated initiatives, e.g. with schools, associations, young designers, to map existing resources, describe them and discuss ideas and projects within participatory forums. We will create a new shared map of our resources, basing on the knowledge of our citizens.

Why is this idea important to you?

We would like to promote a new, shared and social map of our territory to have a solid base for future projects, such as the completion of the cycle paths network, the building of a zero-plastic network of shops, and other relevant initatives. Another goal is to make this area more accessible and known, and more attractive for the 'big city' residents, and the tourists.

€ 60000,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

25,000 personnel costs (organisation of activities and contests with schools, organisation of participatory forums, civic walks)
3,000 graphic design & social network activities
2,000 prize for school contest
10,000 communication outputs (posters, postcards, panels
15,000 development of augmented reality projects
5,000 travel and accommodation costs, catering for forums and civic walks

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We like to map and share on geolocalised services the assets of our territory, also developing some 'new' perspectives on them (e.g. through projects of augmented reality). Have you any other ideas on how to make the cultural/natural/cultural resources of your territory better known? Please share!



Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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