The Municipality of Pozzuoli, in collaboration with the MAC project partners, identified three instruments to involve the local community:
- the creation of the Agro-Urban Center in a representative place of the neighborhood in Piazza de Curtis;
- the constitution of the Agro-Urban Council to represent project stakeholders, guaranteeing the maximum participation of specific territorial realities and to propose activities to the Municipality of Pozzuoli according to the MAC project;
- introduction of the MAC_Lab as a platform for dissemination of the project activities including moments of participatory action in order to communicate and sensitize the community on the aims of the project.
On 5th June 2018, during the last visit of the UIA-Expert, Pietro Elisei, an interesting debate took place in the Monterusciello district, about the Agro-Urban Center and possible policies and plans for the meeting with the stakeholders. The MAC met Giovanni Ginocchini, Director of the virtuous example of the Urban Center of Bologna, who illustrated some reference models as best practice for the development of an Urban Center in the area.
A single model does not exist, it must be built in the specific context, but it is important to define a programmatic vision of the activities to be undertaken, including objectives. According to what emerged during the debate, the hypothesis of Piazza De Curtis would be closer to an open laboratory, where economics is produced and economic productive actions are planned through new ideas that can come from the bottom-up. It will be fundamental to integrate the Agro Urban Center into the community, so that it can be perceived as an instrument of opportunity and growth in the territory and thus dialogue the urban center with the rural areas to be regenerated, not distorting the project's mission, aimed at harmoniously integrating urban and rural spaces.
The Agro-Urban Council should facilitate this process. The general principles on which the Council is founded are: transparency, equal opportunities, responsibility towards citizens.
Citizens will be able to take part in the Council by filling in a specific application form. Members will be updated every six months. By the end of July 2018 the first members will be announced.
The assembly will elect its own president and a Board of Directors, who will have the task of making its work functional. The Agro-Urban Council is permanently linked to the activities of the MAC project, therefore it will remain in office for the entire duration of the project. It will be able to organize meetings to support the activities of the MAC project partners, MAC_Lab, presenting proposals and useful solutions to improve the project’s activities.
The Agro-Urban Council was created to perform various functions, in order to make MAC - Monterusciello Agro-City – a project that’s popular, easily understood and shared by citizens. The first function of the Council is to give indications and support to the activities of research and action expected in the project. Besides, an important function is to represent the stakeholders of the project. It will also be a link between partners and stakeholders: the inhabitants of Monterusciello above all. The Council also has the role of supporting the second level partners in their activities. In addition, the Council’s task is to promote the Expressions of Interest (EoI) put in place by the MAC and the Municipality of Pozzuoli for all the activities related to the project. Last but not least, the Council is able to suggest a function for those lands identified for the project but remain unused. The proposal would then be evaluated by the Municipal Administration
The Municipality of Pozzuoli made available a public space as a temporary location for the Council, until the Agro Urban Center will be finished, which will be its definitive "home".
The aim of establishing these instruments is to connect people to the neighborhood through a network of relationships between local institutions, organizations, local associations and residents. Participatory planning meetings will further strengthen this aspect of the project. The latter is a point of fundamental importance for the vitality of the project, even after the financing from the UIA has finished. It places great confidence in a strong reaction of citizens and all interested parties.
MAC wants to #makecommunity with the UIA Initiative!
Author: The MAC Team