Environment and sustainability, Youth participation and empowerment

Something about YOU-TH

Building up in your own community- Give young people a space in which share and develop their ideas, acknowledging what local community and environment has to offer, rethinking public space.


Who is behind this?

Maria Laura Congiu

Associazione PIR




Idea pitch

Co-projecting a space, the ground floor of the former furnaces and other 4 public places (to be located through the project steps), offering young people (age 15 to19 years) the opportunity to shape the environment according with their needs.
A space that stimulates participation and civic sense, using a co-planning methodology and promoting a more inclusive interaction within the local community, acknowledging all the potential of local resources.

Where will your project idea take place?

Media Val Camonica, Brescia, North Italy

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Before 2020, people from 15 to 19 were stuck in a sort of limbo, waiting to go to university or find a job in the big city, without any kind of involvement in local dynamics.
The only possibility for the most active ones is to engage themselves in associations such as mountain rescue, first aid and ambulance service, sports, etc., activities not shaped directly for them.
The lack of meeting points and the increasing numbers of "neets" is leading to a more and more exfoliating community.
Some regional projects were implemented in the last few years, testifying the increasing public concern on this matter.
The pandemic event has reviled all the urgency to find alternatives to the isolation young people are.
We want to give them an opportunity to speak up end create a place for them.

Who are you doing it for?

We decided to involve in our project young people from 15 to19 years, for several reasons.
The last year has increased the time they spent alone, relegating confront with peers on a virtual scale.
In a delicate age such as the transition from childhood to self-sufficiency, we sense the need for an autonomous and free space to express themselves.
In our field of activity, adolescence is a very difficult target to reach and involve in an active way. The only ones who approached our Center stand on the ground floor sheltering from rain or sun in the afternoon or evening hours.
We observed that those spaces are appreciated and respected because they understand what is done with care.

How do you plan to get there?

The first phase is the engagement, through a campaign and a kickoff campus, hosted during a festival to be held at the end of summer 2021. We plan to invite to participate people from 15 to 19 years, from all over Italy and the local target from Media Valle Camonica.
During the campus participatory activities such as brainstorming, visualization of problems and solutions ad a first design of the space rethought by all attenders will bring to a draft of the action plan.
Realization and commissioning of the ground floor of “The Furnaces T3” (the main industrial structure we manage) and at least four other places to be identified in the process.
We will include a therapeutic vegetable garden in a system of flower boxes, with fruit plants and small fruit cozy and hospitable.
We plan to have 1 meeting a month, in presence and every trimester a weekend of work to build the structure and be designed to encourage and welcome moments of active participation and aggregation.
During the meetings we want to involve the target group in all the vocational activities we pursue such as workshops on multisensorial and hiking, building moments of group empowerment.
All the material will come from circular economy and a plastic-free approach. A final event will present the results to the local community.

What are the expected results?

A campus enlarged to 15 attenders from all over Italy and at least 20 attenders form Media Valle Camonica.

Creation of a functional poly space on the ground floor The Furnaces- T3” , involving a group of 20 local people from 15 to 19 years old.

Create at least 4 other structures to be identified with the process in the project area.
Equip, the main space with a notice board for events and a book-crossing binder, some table, and a system of covered benches.
Set-up of a therapeutic vegetable garden.
Encourage the sharing of spaces and the planning of future uses derived from created space.
Dissemination will be ensured by the collection of materials of the co-planning and reporting process, in a digital publication downloadable online.

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

Understanding and awareness are central to meaningful participation, for this reason, we will involve the local community in the meetings we plan and involving local decision-making in the processes.
Share our vision end what is important to us and to our target group is the key to a successful involvement.

Why is this idea important to you?

Francesca Conchieri:artist and cultural designer, president of PIR association, she is an expert in circular economy and sustainability.
Mauro Cossu: artist and curator, composer and musician, works on the interaction between sound research and plastic/visual arts.
Mara Laura Congiu: project designer, expert in participatory action in urban and rural areas, local and rural development.
In Valle Camonica there are no social contexts for young people, we sens a growing need for spaces in which to "train" young people autonomy and relational skills. But we still haven’t been able to involve any of them in associative activities. Using our space seems to be a valuable potential to develop a relationship with this part of citizenship and make them discover all opportunities we can offer.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Human resources: € 9,000
Equipment and Materials € 17,000
Communication and visibility € 3,500
General expenses € 1,500
Accommodation and food €4000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are open to all kinds of feedback, this open method for us is interesting because it could lead to continuous improvement.


Associazione PIR

Idea created on April 26, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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