Co-city The collaborative management of urban commons to counteract poverty and socio-spatial polarisation

Co-city @ UNITO

Co-city is the winner of the first Urban Innovation Action Call of EU.

Co-city is intended to break the self-reinforcing circle of poverty, social segregation in deprived neighbourhoods and lack of participation. It achieves this by supporting the development of an innovative, polycentric “commons-based urban welfare” composed of generative communities centred on urban commons, low-cost service co-production, social mixing, and care of public spaces.

Co-city is innovative in its legal, managerial and technological aspects, providing:

an unconventional legal framework to enable citizens to take care of urban commons

an innovative ICT infrastructure for local social market and networking

management tutoring towards economic sustainability

The authoritative approach is replaced by a collaborative one that considers citizens as potential changemakers, agents of virtuous circular processes of commoners’ welfare. Meanwhile, the public sector evolves from being a service provider to being an enabler and a partner.

Within Co-city, the University of Turin is responsible for the Co-city Toolkit (WP4), involving different departments, such as the Department of Computer Science, Law, Economics, Culture, Politics and Society.

More information can be found here and here

  Prof. Guido Boella, Department of Computer Science - Project co-author and administrative responsible
  Dr. Claudio Schifanella, Department of Computer Science - Scientific responsible for UNITO unit


A Co-city version of the FirstLife civic social network is to map and organize projects on commons, and other local business activities involved in all initiatives. FirstLife, developed at the Department of Computer Science, is based on an interactive map and a timeline. It is a coordination instrument for citizens that allow crowdsourcing on the map of events, news, stories and create groups. All information is public and appears on the bulletin board of the neighbourhood the user is looking at. It allows the emergence of the network of persons who work, live, enjoy a town area, have the same interests and problems, but who do not necessarily already know each other.

  Responsible: Dr. Claudio Schifanella, Department of Computer Science

Economy of goods

Within the Co-city project, the new internisciplinaly group of the University of Turin on Blockchain technologies is responsible of the study of a local collaborative decentralized environment in which citizens that collaborate to the reuse of urban commons can benefit of new forms of welfare by obtaining credits in a cryptocurrencies (sort of job vouchers) that can be used in local shops and workshops or exchanged with different kind of goods, like, coupons, gift cards, loyalty points, aiming to create a sort of "local-based circular economy". Distributed Ledgers, and Blockchain technologies in particular, allow a qualitative leap in making several circuits interoperable. What blockchain solves is the problem of trust in the records of a third-party maintained database. Records are notarized and it is not possible to alter a transaction without having the resources to corrupt the whole system. The use of smart-contracts will allow the implementation of complex business intelligence.
The University of Turin Blockchain Initiative supports the Co-City project.

  Responsible: Dr. Claudio Schifanella, Department of Computer Science