Problems and Purpose
“Jato Spazio Idee. Coordination and planning center as a space for democracy and legality "is a project co-financed with resources from the Action and Cohesion Plan (PAC), as part of the public notice" Young people of the non-profit for the development of the South - Young for the social ”, promoted by the Department of Youth and the National Civil Service of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
The general objective is to provide the community and local associations with the knowledge tools and spaces to initiate local development processes, social innovation and participatory territorial planning based on principles of legality, cooperation and sustainability "(link 1).
The territorial context is that of the Municipality of San Giuseppe Jato, in the hilly hinterland of Palermo (8,610 inhabitants).
"The idea stems from the desire to create new opportunities for social growth in which the Third Sector, made up of various civil society organizations, can confront and provide the community with an adequate reading of widespread needs, making the latent demand for services and at the same time designing intervention and local development strategies ”(link 1).
The project, co-financed by the Department of Youth of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, in line with the legislation that provides for the reuse of assets confiscated from the mafia (Law 109/96) and in agreement with the Municipality of San Giuseppe Jato, intends to develop its actions in various places in the area. These multifunctional centers will become places in which to experiment activities and methodologies typical of bottom-up programming, co-design and knowledge sharing. All aimed at promoting local aggregation, networking and the integration of the various resources and territorial realities "(link 1).
The expected products are:
- "the definition of the participatory local development agenda, a shared document resulting from the contribution of the community that will become the basis for the future planning of local development of the municipality and the district"
- “the organization of a Festival of participatory planning, which aims to collect local best practices and disseminate the results of the workshops [...]. The result of the cooperation of the subjects and associations that actively participate in the Permanent Coordination Table of the Jatine Associations, it will represent an event to learn about the opportunities, results and activities carried out in the territory by the Project and by the network of local development protagonists "(link 1 - The activities ).
Background History and Context
San Giuseppe Jato is a hilly, agricultural area of 8,600 inhabitants, which went into the news, in 1996, for the story of Giuseppe di Matteo, a 13-year-old boy who was kidnapped for two years and then strangled and dissolved in acid. Son of a repentant mafia and collaborator of justice, he had been kidnapped to force his father to retract his depositions. The main culprit is Giovanni Brusca, a native of San Giuseppe Jato, condemned for his active involvement in the Capaci massacre (23/5/1992), targeting judge Giovanni Falcone, and the via D'Amelio massacre (19/7 / 1992), with the aim of judge Paolo Borsellino. He was also charged in 2012 as part of the "State-Mafia Negotiation" trial.
Mayor Davide Licari, a member of the PD, led a center-left junta until 2017. Engaged in the fight against the mafia, in his mandate he contributed to safeguarding the memory of the De Matteo drama, promoting the culture of legality and collaborating with associations, to the reuse of assets confiscated from criminal organizations . The Christian Democratic political tradition, with a parenthesis of the center-left, has started towards an alternation and is currently populated by at least four groups, aggregated by as many civic lists, of comparable strength . It is in this context that on 24/6/2015 the temporary association of purpose (ATS) was established between the Municipality and the Arzilla Cooperative, a social enterprise that has been operating since 2009 "in the sector of educational activities to combat and prevent human discomfort, particularly that of minors, through the design and management of socio-educational, social and cultural animation services "(link1). Also with this in mind, in 2016 the Municipality adheres to the Participation Charter, promoted by the National Institute of Urban Planning and the Italian Association for Public Participation (AIP2) affiliated to IAP2 (International Association for public participation) . It is a charter of principles for "to spread the culture of participation and develop common languages and values and new structured and informed ways of involving citizens, the results of which are recognized as integral parts of the procedures for forming public choices and are translated in regulatory and administrative measures or in practices of active citizenship ".
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The operational core of the project is a temporary association of purpose (ATS) in which the Arzilla Cooperative, as leader, and the Municipality of San Giuseppe Jato converge.
"The working group is made up of young professionals who work in the multi and inter-disciplinary sectors of urban and territorial planning, political and legal sciences, economic and social sciences, architecture and engineering, information technology and of communication. The specific training courses and experiences in the field are considered an added value and an opportunity for the construction of a creative place for dialogue and comparison ”(link 1). The organization and facilitation was handled by Raffaele Basile and a staff of at least 3 ATS facilitators. Other collaborators are the curators of the RenUrban platform, an IT project (in the form of a social network), created by young Sicilians, which offers various georeferenced information tools (webgis, petitions, surveys, problem reporting, proposals, events, news, commentaries) and has as its particular recipient the municipal public administrations. The Municipality of San Giuseppe Jato was the first municipality to use this tool.
The overall participatory project is financed at 50% by the Action and Cohesion Plan (PAC) which offers financial resources, announced with a public notice "Youth of the non-profit for the development of the South - Youth for the social" by the Department of Youth and of the National Civil Service of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers "(link 1). During the course, other subjects who collaborated in its development joined forces; about twenty local associations, involved in sport, environmentalism, gender culture, there is no shortage of scouts and Catholic youth associations.
The National Urban Planning Institute collaborated on the project with its managers, including Donatella Venti of the “Governance and Citizens' Rights” Commission and other scholars, who animated seminars and participatory planning tables on 15 and 16 October 2016. Others subjects such as Pro Loco and Order of Architects and Engineers sponsored and collaborated in the activities.
Neither state nor other funding entities are indicated. The costs for the care of the project are not indicated either.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
There are no particular restrictions or sampling. Even if the project was particularly keen on involving young people, everyone was able to participate in the numerous activities that were organized, both those of a more negotiating nature in which stakeholders were more involved organized both in the design workshops and in the square ones, in which the overall population was involved. The institutional offices (mayor and councilors) attended and introduced the most significant start-up plenary moments and highly involved events such as the presentation of the results of the workshops and the Fajfesta, the festival of Jatine associations, organized within the same path,
Particular attention, from the project declarations, is dedicated to young people with disabilities: “No less important in terms of project impact is the commitment to employ young people with disabilities in carrying out the planned activities; this will represent the realization of the social inclusion which the project aims at, making concrete the message that we intend to convey to young people ”(link 1 - The methodology). However, there are no particular findings in the reporting on this objective.
The path was communicated through institutional sites, local media and social networks and word of mouth activated by the network of associations, also given the small size of the population. There is no information on other traditional media such as posters or brochures. For the final event, large-format posters and special street totems were set up.
Methods and Tools Used
The Focus group was used as a method of group interview in the initial stages of the process to identify the criticalities and potentials of the territory. In this case it is an informal group discussion (20 people) in which their opinions are expressed in turn regarding the question posed by the conductor. This allows you to quickly collect individual impressions on common themes, without going too far into personal aspects and obtaining a picture subjected to an informal review and a critical comparison without focusing on sharing it but on accepting different points of view.
The Forum is a term used to designate meetings with a sufficiently high number of participants, such as not to allow and therefore to require, unlike the focus group, stimuli for individual interventions from each participant. It is held in large spaces and is generally carried out with theatrical approaches (limelight / stage, actors, spectators, backstage), it includes "ritual" presentations of institutional offices, public figures or experts, speeches that arouse emotions or translate into language simple even very complex technical issues. It is generally used to communicate the launch of public or community initiatives, as in this case, to initiate the process and explain its purpose and path. From the public you can make interventions and questions within the set times.
The shared lunch is a collective lunch, in this case of about 30 people, which offers the opportunity to discuss and ask questions. The path that led to the place for lunch (agricultural land and farmhouses confiscated from the mafias, as well as the Giardino della Memoria, former place of imprisonment of Giuseppe di Matteo) is particularly suggestive. In this way it is possible to address issues related to the places in which one is, in the situation in which they find themselves, and ask the participants what to do with these places. "Specifically, the participants were invited to formulate hypotheses of valorisation of the confiscated property in which the shared lunch took place and to describe them, in an original way, using" creative tablecloths "as a support (Report of 22/5, p. 2 ). In addition, a questionnaire was administered.
Walks and excursions are also participatory methodologies if, through the suggestions induced by visits to particular places or paths, discussions and comments are stimulated which the organizers then collect, archive and return to the participants for the following discussion events, through special means and tools (eg maps or in this case plastic models).
A photographic contest can become an opportunity to stimulate discussion. "The general objective on which the Contest was based was to build a photographic reportage together with the local community on the potential of the Jato Valley, prompting citizens to reflect, through images, on the elements that they consider symbolic of their urbanized and natural territory" (Contest Report, p. 2). The aim was also that of not limiting oneself to rational discursive forms but of “feeding involvement through forms and methodologies linked to art, communication and innovation” (Ib.).
The photos received (with a caption) were uploaded to the web platform dedicated to the project and the 10 that obtained the best evaluations were printed and exhibited in a photographic exhibition.
Workshop / Participatory planning tables. These are discussion meetings that allow you to combine a considerable number of people, in such a way as to communicate quickly to many concepts and work instructions, with discussion in small groups, so as to allow and stimulate the contribution of all participants. Plenary meetings start and alternate with work in the groups, usually ending with the presentation of the results of the groups in the plenary. Further phases can be dedicated to the selection of proposals (always in plenary - for example with rapid tools for quantifying preferences / priorities - or with communication methods more diluted over time, through web platforms or temporary exhibitions) and subsequent phases of deepening the chosen proposals . As in this case, graphic or plastic supports (carto) are often used. The meetings are moderated by a facilitator who guides the group starting from questions relating to proposals or areas of intervention.
The training workshops are meetings with experts on specific topics which however provide interactive forms of communication based on ideas or hypotheses formulated by the participants, on which the teacher then applies, transferring them, his own tools. They were an opportunity to introduce the participants to entrepreneurship planning tools such as the Business Model Canvas, the European planning methods, to learn about the real meanings of concepts such as Startups and how to access regional funding (Laboratory results report, 2017).
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
The path is complex and long-lasting. The design phase began with the establishment of the ATS on 24 June 2015. An operational headquarters were identified in the spaces of the premises confiscated from the mafia and a “virtual counter” was activated thanks to the RenUrban platform.
Processes of “building local development from below” were then carried out through the active involvement of partners, stakeholders and citizens, in the planning of “pro-active aggregation” activities (link 1 - Activities). These activities consist of design workshops, training workshops and the organization of cultural events and demonstrations.
The phases of real public participation began with an exploratory focus group, analyzing the territory, critical issues and opportunities. It was held on March 19, 2016, with 20 people, of both sexes, mainly young people under 35 years old. A report of the meeting is available but the results are presented in a very generic way: there is a list of "Summary of key elements" including: "social criticalities", but nothing else is explicit; "Economic-productive question"; "Analysis of meeting spaces", etc ... without exposing any content (Report Focus group, 3/19/16).
A little richer in information is the report on the Citizen Forum (8 April 2016) presenting the project in which some discussion tables were also held in preparation for getting to know and familiarizing with the methodologies of public discussion. 70 people participated and a dozen local associations joined, the INU scholars and the institutional offices of the Municipality were present. It was an opportunity to introduce the participants to the issues of public participation and, thanks to the exceptional presence of the INU leaders, the Participation Charter (link 2), to which the Municipality has adhered, was presented. Three discussion exercises were then proposed in groups with the help of the facilitators on two macro-themes: a) environment and economy; b) community and social relations. For each theme, the narration of experiences, an evaluation of the current state and ideas and proposals "for the development of the territory and the well-being of its inhabitants" were asked. In the first case, the territory in question was called "Valle dello Jato" (the name of the river that bathes San Giuseppe and the "Jatina community", therefore the context was extended to the neighboring municipality of San Cipirello. The resources are then listed. to be enhanced: eg the archaeological area of Monte Jato, the system of paths, the river and the system of mills, caves, etc., "and the need to start initiatives that re-create the community of the Valley, the need therefore to network between people, associations, administrations, through the development of new professional skills, tourism-integrated development, the enhancement of local culture "; therefore there are sore points very common to many Italian territories (eg" the paths are uneven and without signs ; absence of squares that encourage social exchanges; farmers do not know how to enhance their farms and therefore the territory; mills in a state of neglect ") and some proposals (eg" disseminating knowledge of local products; affirm the presence of environmental guides; recovery of areas through street art, theater and music, and tourism activities; enhance the river as a tourist attraction; e-commerce of local agricultural products "- Report Forum 8/4/16, p.4-5). On the second theme, starting from the dialogue in which the concepts of family, roots and community are intertwined and it emerged that the resources to focus on are: memory and the scars of the past; territorial identity and its integrated resources; associations and subjects already active for change; the will to change with respect to the marks left by the past. On this theme too, the discourse moved on to proposals (eg favoring artistic and sporting activities; nurturing participation processes; opening citizenship to the external territory; transforming hospitality into a resource for community development - Ib., P. 7) . In conclusion, it was an important moment of mutual knowledge and a favorable demonstration to continue the project in the spirit and manner just exercised.
On 22 May a visit to the significant places of the project was organized by the Libera Terra Association, the land and farmhouses confiscated from the mafias and the garden of memory, the place where the young Di Matteo was kidnapped and Portella della Ginestra, the site of the famous massacre of workers by the bandit Salvatore Giuliano. A lunch was organized in one of these farmhouses, an opportunity to discuss places through original tools such as "creative tablecloths", in which participants were asked to creatively exhibit (drawing) their ideas on the reuse of places .
In addition, the 30 participants were given a questionnaire with questions on the knowledge of the place, the usefulness of its community reuse, the projects in place, the proposals for implementation (eg summer camp for children, youth hostel, camping for fair and responsible tourism. , agri-camping, home-family, popular school, etc.). The report also indicates the geographical origins of the participants, mostly from the municipality of San Giuseppe, but also from Palermo, from the municipality of San Cipirello and Altavilla M. (Shared Lunch Report).
The next initiative, called an “experiential excursion”, is of similar tenor but more demanding, a walk through mountain paths and a visit to the caves, 2 days with an overnight stay in a tent. About 80 people participated, 31 the average, 4 the youngest and 62 the oldest. It was an opportunity to talk about paths, environmental resources, their protection and enhancement. Legambiente, scouts and speleological groups collaborated. Most came from San Ciripello (Excursion report, 11-12 / 6/16).
The photographic contest was organized between July and September, a moment of involvement through the visual arts, photography as a polysemic communication tool. The over 100 photographs were delivered by over 30 participants and being uploaded to the RenUrban platform and 10 of them exhibited, they served as a stimulus for discussion for the workshops (Photographic Report Contest).
Participatory planning workshops were held between 15 and 16 October, preceded by a day of dialogue (14 October) on the Participation Charter, whose link to the report is not working (ril. 17/8/17). In the workshop, through a model of the territory, a first synthesis of what emerged in the previous activities was made, with the installation of flags concerning the problems listed. “From this starting point, the two models have become the working basis for starting participatory planning processes divided into groups. The themes made it possible to identify seven project tables which, with the technical support of the facilitators, produced tangible and achievable proposals. The intense hours of co-planning have seen the community in all its facets as the protagonist: members of associations, young people, professionals, adults and children, have faced the critical issues of the territory and enhanced its resources to mitigate the problems and insert new keys to the development and improvement of the quality of life "(Report workshop 15-16 / 10/16, p. 2). On the afternoon of Saturday 15 the design phase ended with the presentation of the proposals by the members of the working groups followed by conclusions of appreciation by the mayor Davide Licari and Donatella Venti (INU). Sunday 16 was dedicated to comparing the proposals received and the critical issues, translating the results into green flags, therefore the alternative proposals accepted by the community (Ib. P. 3). For each territorial area identified, dozens of proposals have been drawn up (eg equipment for the archaeological park, adaptation of driveway access for the handicapped and the elderly, census, arrangement and maintenance of the paths leading to the caves and mills on the river, equipping the panoramic points, restoration of the ancient road connecting San Giuseppe Jato and Piana degli Albanesi, etc ...) which overall exceeded a hundred. One table was completely dedicated to involving children. 50 people, mostly young and male, participated.
In the workshop on 1 December, 33 participants, through a questionnaire and a discussion in two groups, identified the degree of priority (high, medium, low) to be assigned to the over one hundred actions identified, confirming the propensity to protect local resources, to promote tourism and typical products (eg enhancing Monte Jato and promoting accessibility and promotion; redeveloping amphitheaters and squares, transforming the former slaughterhouse into a tourist and cultural center, promoting traditional and quality agriculture, nurturing the active participation of the community, etc...). Furthermore, the desire for immediate realization of one of them was expressed: "At the end of the day, it was then decided that the Jato Spazio Idee project will undertake to involve associations and citizens in the realization of the pilot project of a 'Pedibus' with safe pedestrian walkways for children in San Giuseppe Jato with the aim of rediscovering urban values and activating a sustainable mobility service in the community "(Report workshop of 1/12/16).
On 16 December, the Professional Institute of State Services for Agriculture and Rural Development of San Ciripello was involved. 20 girls aged 16 to 20 collaborated in 3 facilitated groups to design spaces and ideas (synergistic garden in the municipal area, redevelopment of an abandoned amphitheater, incomplete municipal swimming pool, redevelopment of the square used as a parking lot). The students drew maps, projects and identified possible threats such as the risk of vandalism of the buildings and the risk of mismanagement.
From this moment on, activities of a more formative nature aimed at young people begin. On 5 December a trip to Gibellina was organized to the CRESM (Economic Research Center for the Development of Southern Italy) born after the 1968 Belice earthquake, inspired by the works of Danilo Dolci and L. La Barbera.
From January 2017 to March, 3 workshops follow with a fourth final meeting related to the preparation of young people for entrepreneurship, conception, business planning, planning for access to European or regional funds.
The final events involved a further shared lunch, an educational excursion on memory and legality for children and the FajFesta (14-16 July 2017), the party of the associations of the Jato Valley, a celebration of the network, of one's resources and skills that was created along the way and of the many projects that have been put in place. From 100 to 200 people, of all ages and 22 associations participated. The newly elected mayor was present on 24 June.
The project is not yet completely concluded (ril., 29/8/2017).
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
The project is not finished (release 29/8/17) and one of the expected results, the most political, "the Agenda for local development" has not yet been produced. However, the path has found a social fabric that despite the severe suffering suffered has amply demonstrated to be able to regenerate itself, to welcome participatory methodologies with passion and to provide for its own development by counting on its own strength. It is not enough to believe, as often spontaneously arises, that a change of council is enough to make it less likely that the results will be implemented. In fact, the opposite could also happen. The constant and passionate presence of the mayors and other authoritative figures (INU) at the events nevertheless appears reassuring on the political translation of the results. To confirm all this, however, it is necessary to fill the serious information gap on the expenses and state funding obtained and thus be able to better evaluate the cost-benefit ratio.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
The characteristic that emerges in this project is the long duration, the need to introduce new concepts with the necessary calm and patience, involving the new generations in the first place and cultivating memory. The results are encouraging. We hope that public administrations will continue to trust their citizens, also with regard to the Local Development Agenda, as it has appeared so far along this path and will certainly be reciprocated. On the methodological level, much has been focused on social solicitation and education, less on political competition. In this regard, the method of counting preferences put in place to assign a certain degree of priority to the hundreds of action proposals is evident, which if left all on the same level would have weakened their credibility. Fewer people were involved in this workshop than in the proposal processing workshop, even if this selection phase required less time to choose but required more time for reflection and above all greater representativeness. From what emerges, the RenUrban platform seems to have been little exploited as an output of laboratory results (in the form of a survey for example) to collect a greater number of preferences regarding the actions to be assigned higher priority.
 Permission to Brusca, the mayor of San Giuseppe Jato: "We do not tolerate the return of the mafia", Il Giornale di Sicilia, 11 January, 2016> http://palermo.gds.it/2016/01/11/permesso -a-brusca-the-mayor-of-san-giuseppe-jato-we-do-not-tolerate-the-return-of-the-mafia_460392 / (ril. 17/8/17).
 Municipal elections 11-25 June 2017, La Repubblica> http://www.repubblica.it/static/speciale/2017/elezioni/comunali/san_giuseppe_jato.html?refresh_cens
 San Giuseppe Jato adheres to the "Participation Charter", Monreale News, 1/6/2016> https://www.monrealenews.it/cronaca/cronaca-varia/15444-san-giuseppe-jato-aderisce-alla - “participation-card
Report of each single activity / event can be found in pdf format on the project website ( link 1 ) in the static page “Activities”.
Jato Space Ideas. Coordination and planning center as a space for democracy and legality> http://www.jatospazioidee.it/
Participation Charter (INU, IAF, AIP2)> http: //www.inu.it/wp-content/uploads/Carta_della_Partecipazione_illustra ...