Research database

na - Urban co-production and inclusive planning in marginalised contexts. Are Living Labs and the University capable of enhancing the active citizenship of fragile inhabitants?

24 months (2023 - 2025)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
Nationally funded research - PRIN
Funding body:
Project identification number:
PoliTo role:


The research project will investigate the limits and opportunities of implementing co-production and empowerment spaces in marginalised urban territories. While co-production may encourage the reactivation of a dialectic between public institutions, experts and society, most recent Italian and European experiences have faced difficulties in marginalised urban environments characterised by highly diverse socio-economic conditions. These territories often find themselves between de-politicised, technicist and procedural approaches and highly radical claims. Given such a tensioned field, it seems crucial to question what are the tools most suitable for effective co-production and what role academia can play in it. The research question concerns indeed also the role of the University and whether it can contribute to open spaces for participatory planning and co-production at the local level. The research will be carried out by three Operating Units (O.Us.) in specific marginalised contexts of Milan, Rome and Turin. These urban areas share some common features, such as lack of access to 'full citizenship' and development despite various public policies; active involvement of local inhabitants and stakeholders despite deprived conditions; the presence of Urban Living Labs (ULL) and other experimental forms for direct inclusion of fragile citizens; and the University involvement in public engagement attempts. The research question is investigated through four main goals and a series of objectives leading to specific findings. The first goal it to investigate empirical and theoretical circumstances where marginality or inclusion is generated concerning access to citizenship. The second goal is to find out which spaces and features are most suitable for effective co-design regarding the inclusiveness of fragile individuals and communities at the local level. The third goal is to investigate the University's role in the three research contexts and focuses on the characteristics and limits of situated research and university public engagement. The fourth goals aims at taking the two years of research as a learning opportunity at different levels, in terms of empirical insights - concerning both policies and practices in local contexts and the Univerisity's role - and theoretical advancement on these incipient but crucial topics in the academic debate. The research will add to the current knowledge on the assesment of different forms of citizenship in marginalised urban areas and on the implementation of ULLs in such territories. It will also aim at providing operative indicators for the public administration and the local actors engaged in alleviating the conditions of the most fragile urban communities.

People involved





ERC sectors

SH2_9 - Urban, regional and rural studies

Sustainable Development Goals

Obiettivo 11. Rendere le città e gli insediamenti umani inclusivi, sicuri, duraturi e sostenibili


Total cost: € 266,089.00
Total contribution: € 266,089.00
PoliTo total cost: € 83,045.00
PoliTo contribution: € 83,045.00