Environment and sustainability, Youth participation and empowerment

Utopolis: Community Guide for Future Earth

A civic imagination project focusing on the active role of citizens to tackle possible environmental challenges


Who is behind this?

Marina Mussapi

BASE Milano - Oxa Srl Impresa Sociale



Who is joining forces?

BiPart Impresa Sociale srl




Idea pitch

Considering the urgency of climate change issues and the fundamental role of collective intelligence to face them, the project combines performing arts, self-building workshops, co-design/participatory processes, storytelling, gaming & civic technologies addressed to the Giambellino neighborhood in Milan. The aim is to arise self-awareness on the resources of community shared know-how in finding solutions to complex challenges through the transformative potential of cultural practices.

Where will your project idea take place?

Milan, Italy

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

We aim at strengthening active citizenship at the local level: today that reality feels like science fiction, the project uses science fiction to collectively change reality. The goal is to develop a replicable prototype to trigger processes of care for the common good starting from a collective reflection in response to climate change. The neighborhood shows a complex social context, that is a common problem in many European urban areas, but also hosts experts of the future behind normal people (local artisans, teachers, shop owners, gardeners) We want to gather ideas and energies of the youth, the most exposed to social risks (early school leaving, drug use, crime) but the most attentive to climate issues, and involve them in a participatory redevelopment in response to climate change.

Who are you doing it for?

The project target audience consists of teenagers and young people at risk of school dropout, a significant problem also addressed by the local City Council. These will be the main actors of the project, but the number of expected beneficiaries will be much larger:
- 40-50 “future experts” among residents, artisans, traders and local cultural operators
- App users: 200 people
- Workshops: 50 people
- Stress test phase: 100 people
- Guide: forecast of 5.000 people
- Communication channels: 80.000 people
In case of particularly prohibitive conditions due to the pandemic, we will change the use of the performative intervention, which will be intended for small groups or individuals, consequently lengthening the duration of the artistic presence in the public space.

How do you plan to get there?

Phase 1.October 2021-March 2022.Mapping, App Development, Stakeholder Engagement
-Mapping & design of participatory practices to identify “experts of the future” to help with ideas/solutions compatible with weather forecasts
-Definition of climatic scenarios that incur in 20 years, when parts of the Earth would be tropicalized, flooded, desertified
-Use & adaptation of the software app to involve the community in the identification of the relevant public spaces

Phase 2.April 2022.Urban intervention
-Land art intervention to draw the neighbourhood map (1:100 scale model) on public space surfaces
-Adaptation Lab: fictional set where participants shape the community of the future, responding to climatic forecasts envisaged and building temporary structures on the map. Under the guidance of the team, citizens build small modular structures with recycled material
-Stress test: playful moment in which the community tests itself within the future community, realizing the prediction. The game has no winners, only participants

Phase 3.May 2022-September 2022.Community Guide
Design and publication of a physical/digital Community Guide, available to the inhabitants and distributed in different places. It will be a storytelling of the best practices revealed during the project, documenting the engagement process and collecting citizens memories, to make it replicable

What are the expected results?

The main expected result is to improve the social cohesion and the awareness of climate issues among the inhabitants of the Giambellino’s neighborhood in Milan thanks to the 100 young citizens we will activate. The project will lead to strengthen links between residents and local non-profit organizations, to fight school dropout and social marginalization. The activities will lead to two different outputs, for a broader impact of the project: an app for citizens engagement and a “Community Guide”, inspired by the work of Buckminster Fuller (Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth), as a prototype to trigger collective processes to take care of public space, promoted through creative self-expression techniques and responding to climate change.

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

The area of intervention will be collectively chosen, through the BiPart platform, as a neighborhood’s “symbol” or “centre”, aiming to engage the community by stimulating a sense of belonging to the place. Using fictional methodology & temporary architecture, the process helps young people in envisaging climate change scenarios and feeling actively involved in a common space rebuild. The creation process includes multiple methods: site-specific devising, improvisation techniques, audience participation strategies, set image making, materials recycling. The method promotes civic awareness and thoughts on public space, to provide young people tools & skills to reinforce their critical voice in the decision-making processes of their city and of the climatic policies impacting on their future.

Why is this idea important to you?

Being BASE a local based regeneration project, its strict connection with the urban context provides a deep understanding of the local community needs and a vocation towards the improvement of the social environment. With Immaginare Piazza Tirana it has already engaged citizens in civic co-design processes within the area. Moreover, the project team consists of the following members:
-Linda Di Pietro, cultural manager and curator
-BASE’s team: project manager, producer & communication expert
-BiPart’s team: bringing methodological skills and technology
-LUIT collective (Ruggero Franceschini, Zelda Soussan, Aurélien Izard, Claudia Gambino) with artistic, architectural and research competences
-Meteorologist Marie Helene Pepin will help identifying future climate scenarios

€ 39500,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Internal personnel costs (project management and coordination, communication, production, administration): 10500 EUR

External collaborators (stakeholder engagement, software configuration and adaptation, design and implementation public intervention): 12000 EUR

Materials and technical costs: 4000 EUR

Communication (graphic design, prints, press office, photos): 10500 EUR

Overheads 2500 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are constantly open for suggestions, ideas and improvements to engage communities in collective processes for common good’s care, responding to climate change. Connections and exchanges are always enriching, so we would appreciate your comments and feedbacks!


Oxa Srl Impresa Sociale

Idea created on April 25, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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