Civic Collaboration and Urban Commons. Citizen's Voices on a Public Engagement Experience in an Italian City


Abstract


The article focuses on "public engagement" and recent modifications in citizen participation through a case study regarding the "collaborative governance" of urban commons in the city of Bologna (Italy). Civic collaboration is an experimental partnership which is being implemented between public administrations and citizens in order to develop, treat and reuse commons with a view to improving the quality of life in cities. The goal of the project is to understand whether, and how, civic collaboration is also transforming citizen participation in local public policies. This article presents the results of research which was performed by interviewing citizens who are involved in the collaborative governance of urban commons. This contribution aims to connect the literature regarding "open government" and its impact on participation with the consolidated debate regarding the role of culture in the conception of citizenship and civic engagement and, as a consequence, in the effectiveness of collaborative governance. Particular attention was paid to citizen engagement, and to the role performed by both public and private platforms and digital media.

Keywords: civic collaboration; civic engagement; collaborative governance; Italy; participation; public engagement; urban commons

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