Location Bologna
Name Co-Bologna
Community Level Local
Sector Urban commons
Year of beginning 2014
Object CO-Bologna is the main field of experimentation of the CO-Cities project, a research project aimed at developing, testing and adapting to the urban environment the design principles for the governance of the commons located by the Economics’ Nobel prize Elinor Ostrom to the urban context Since 2011, the City of Bologna initiated a policy process to introduce collaboration as a methodology for governing the urban commons. After two years of field experimentation in three city neighborhoods, in the context of the “City as a commons” project supported by the Fondazione del Monte di Bologna and Ravenna, the City of Bologna adopted a regulatory framework, the Bologna Regulation on civic collaboration for the urban commons, in February 2014. The central regulatory tool of the Bologna Regulation on Public Collaboration for the Urban Commons is the pact of collaboration, through which the city and citizens (informal groups, NGO’s, private entities) agree on an intervention of care and regeneration of an urban commons (green space, abandoned buildings, squares). Since the approval of the Regulation, 280 pacts of collaboration have been signed.

The second phase of the Bologna Collaborative City program, the CO-Bologna process, aiming at applying the same design principles of the governance of the urban commons to other local public policies started in 2015. CO-Bologna, an open pact of collaboration between the City of Bologna and the Foundation Del Monte of Bologna and Ravenna and operated under  the scientific coordination of LabGov (The Laboratory for the Governance of the Commons) builds upon the experience of the Regulation for the urban commons and intends to transform City government into an institutional ecosystem based on public-commons/people/community partnerships through the quintuple helix approach (which implies the involvement through loosely coupled systems of the local private entrepreneurs, the knowledge institutions, the civil society organizations) to enable collective action in the city and the birth of institutions based on the three dimensions of urban co-governance: sharing, collaboration and polycentricity.

The CO-Bologna project consists in the experimentation of co-design of governance institutions in three fieldwork, corresponding to three city area that mirrors the pillastr of the CO-city; Pilastro (making togheter, urban commons) Bolognina (living together, social innovation) and Croce del Biacco (growing togheter, collaborative economy disctrict). Another core pillar of the CO-Bologna process is the establishment of an Office for Civic Immagination. The Office for Civic Immagination is a policy innovation lab, structured as a co-working area internal to the municipal administration, through which the civil servants can work together in order to find innovative solution to common problems and implement the principle of civic collaboration. Finally, the CO-Bologna process also includes the evaluation of the Bologna Regulation, in order to understand the impact of the public policy on the urban democracy. The evaluation is indeed one of the crucial phase of the CO-city protocol, that describe the cycle of a collaborative public policy to implement the city as a commons. Evaluation is conceived as an intermediate phase between prototyping and modelizing, that is realized in order to enrich the understanding of the evolving of the policy process and introduce appropriates corrections. This methodology is coherent with the principles of experimentation and adaptiveness as crucial characteristic of an innovative collaborative policy making at the urban level.

Field Urban
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