Problems and purposes
The Casa dei Beni comune is a project / process of participatory, inclusive and horizontal democracy, promoted by the Municipal Administration of Feltre in 2013 to promote and enhance the proposals and deliberative priorities of citizens in the choices of city government (Link 1 - The project) . The themes addressed by the project concern all administrative activities, develop a support for the elaboration of the administrators' programs as well as autonomous projects.
History and geography
Feltre is a town of 20,600 inhabitants in the Belluno Alps, on the slopes of the Vette Feltrine. The population since 1921 is quite stable, the few industries of the time (beer, aluminum, textiles) are still in business despite the wars, crises and transformations. In addition to agriculture, tourism also occupies an important part but it is not the central sector. The territory is rich in history, both in artistic and architectural heritage and in Alpine military memory, both for the first and for the second world war, in which it was the area of operations of tenacious partisan formations.
The local government, from the postwar period, was led by Christian Democratic juntas for a long period, until the nineties. After that, with the crisis of the historical parties, they have alternated between leadership of the League and center-right and center-left. The 38-year-old mayor Paolo Perenzin has been in office since 2012, with the support of a broad coalition made up of PD, civic lists, Sinistra - Feltrina. In June 2017, the formation is proposed again and wins in the first round with 52.33% of the votes, obtaining 10 seats. The Northern League coalition gets the other 5 seats with 32.64%. Compared to the previous municipal elections in 2012, despite the drop in the overall turnout from 57% to 52% of voters, Perenzin's coalition gains 235 votes, while the center-right loses 366 and the 5 Star Movement around 500.
Already since 2012, "Participation" is at the first point of the program with the aim of promoting "thematic consultations on specific topics", the elaboration of the "Action Plan of the City and of the Municipal Mobility Plan" by reorganizing the already existing Forum, institution a "Permanent Seminar for participation, inclusion and common goods at the university campus", "participation in the network of municipalities for common goods and networks of virtuous municipalities" . In 2017, his program focuses on more tangible aspects, on the lines of sustainable development, of sustainable tourism, not "a city-museum, full of visitors or wealthy buyers of second homes, but desertified in its social and civic relations. "(2017 Program, p. 2). In continuity with the previous project "the prospect of a new active and participatory citizenship must be elaborated, capable of relating to the entire Feltre territory and redesigning for it, in a choral effort, a renewed horizon" (Ib. P. 1) . We want to tend to the conversion of agriculture to the organic method, therefore we want to establish a "Biodistrict of a vast area" through a participatory and inclusive process (Ib., P. 11). Another process would be aimed at creating a municipal park of local, thematic interest, which connects the naturalistic areas of the area through appropriate ecological corridors, including the National Park of the Belluno Dolomites, the Grappa Massif, etc. (Ib., P . 12). Another goal to be activated through "participatory and group tools" is an "Observatory on emerging social and community issues", problems related to the "mental health of the community", such as "bullying, domestic violence, problems related to immigration, alcohol abuse "(Ib., p. 22). It is proposed to introduce the participatory budget with a quota of 100,000 euros for 2018 but above all it recognizes the fundamental contribution of the "Citizenship Laboratories" for the implementation of the 2012 program, so that it would be "now to consolidate this path with new challenges forward towards an ever more direct and deliberative democracy ”(Ib., p. 26).
The citizenship laboratories were established in 2013 and the Casa dei Beni Comuni (a new headquarters is planned) as well as wanting to become the civic, social, municipal recreational space (the identification of places where to establish the Casa dei Beni is planned Also common in the hamlets), is the place where citizenship workshops are organized, both real and online. With the establishment of the Executive in 2012, discussions began for the definition of the "implementing and management regulation of the House of Common Goods, defined and shared preliminarily through comparison and debate in dozens of assemblies and public meetings. approved by the City Council on 26 March 2013 "(Link 1 - Project).
Promoters and lenders
The House of Common Goods was created by the Municipality of Feltre, with the establishment of the first Perenzin Council in 2013; the contact person is the Councilor for participatory democracy, common goods, environment and mobility Valter Bonan. A special secretariat was activated and during the years of the mandate collaborations were activated with trainers and facilitators of the IUAV of Venice and experts from other universities and professions. There is no data on the financial resources used.
Selection of participants
As per regulation (2013) "The Municipality of Feltre promotes the formation of the Casa dei Beni Comuni to guarantee democracy in the government of the city and in order to protect the tangible and intangible assets of collective and social belonging which are a guarantee of the fundamental rights of citizenship "[...]" This objective is achieved through the participation of citizens, including migrants, individually or in associated form "(Regulation, 2013, art. 1).
Citizenship workshops . Enrollment in the citizenship workshops can be done through the web portal of the Municipality dedicated to participatory processes through an online form or through a paper form that can be delivered to the participation desk. At the most, it is possible to enroll in 3 laboratories (Regulations, art. 5). Municipal Councilors can register for the workshops, but if they participate, even if not registered, they can only intervene at the request of the facilitator (Ib., Art. 6). The meetings of the workshops take place at the local availability of the Municipality and the members receive the notice by sending it by e-mail; the invitation is published on the dedicated web portal and posted at the Participation desk, at least ten days before the date of the meeting itself (Ib., art. 6). The workshops are public, but if you are not registered you cannot intervene. Councilor Bonan is often present.
Forum of laboratories . They are open "to the participation of all citizens including migrants, groups, associations, committees, networks operating in the Feltre area and all those who are registered in at least one Citizenship Laboratory as defined in Art. . 5 ". In the first annual meeting the coordinator of the Forum itself is identified collectively among its members (Ib., Art. 10). In these meetings the Mayor and the competent councilors are often present, as well as other experts based on the topic addressed. Although invited, there is no information relating to the presence of municipal councilors.
Thematic, fractional or neighborhood assemblies . The Administration must convene the thematic assembly at least once a year, or they can be "called by the Mayor or the competent Councilor, communicated to the citizens through the most inclusive possible means of information" [...]; "Citizens can request it with the presence of the Administration" if they deem it necessary or appropriate, upon a reasoned request, accompanied by an adequate number of citizens' signatures, addressed to the President of the City Council and discussed by the conference of the Council Group Leaders. If the Conference of Group Leaders deems it not to accept the request for calling the Assembly, it must explain the reasons to the applicants in writing "(Ib., Art. 11). Here, too, experts can be invited, it is not specified - as in all other cases - how they are chosen; presumed through direct contact with the Administration.
Methods and tools
Citizenship Workshops Conceived after a public discussion by the Municipality of Feltre in 2013, they are "a proposing body, expression of direct participatory requests of the population, with consultative functions and the elaboration of deliberative proposals to be submitted to the Municipal Administration in relation to the thematic areas of competence "(Regulation, 2013, art. 4). Being regulated by the Administration, it is an institution of participation to which the Administration itself submits with written commitments and procedures to be respected. There are 7 laboratories, each dedicated to a wide thematic area (eg one is dedicated to "Environment, landscape, agriculture, production, tourism"; a second to "Labor policies, trade, production activities" and so on); These are fairly informal meetings with a non-professional facilitator chosen from the group (art. 6). Their works are linked to the House of Common Goods portal where each one has a dedicated discussion blog space (link 1 - Laboratories), which contains the notices of the meetings and the forum of the workshops, as well as the summary minutes. Sometimes experts at national level are also invited.
Thematic assemblies of fraction or neighborhood . These are public assemblies established by a specific regulation (2013). "They are spaces for consultation and dialogue between the Administration and the Citizen on topical issues, strategic initiatives, specific fractional problems, or emergency issues concerning administrative action [...] and represent specific episodes of direct participation of citizens when the government action takes place. Thematic assemblies are not conceived as binding in administrative decisions, but are instruments of transparency and moments of discussion useful for then implementing shared decision-making processes ”(Ib., Art. 11). Here, too, experts are sometimes invited as for workshops.
Deliberation, decisions and interaction with the public
From April 2013 the commissioner Bonan began to set up the works of the House of common goods as well as giving it a physical space at the University Campus in via Borgo Ruga in Feltre. Facilitators (provided for by the regulation, art.6) are offered a training course developed in 3 meetings (2 days and 1 evening) organized by 3 teachers, engineers and architects, PhDs, researchers in Italian universities on: techniques, experiences , good participation practices. In the blog of the site follow other communications from Bonan, and until August 3, however, there still does not seem to be a facilitator for the Common Goods group, or at least there are no communications on the matter, despite his appointment on the agenda. Bonan's communications are also transversal updates to the groups and warn about the “proposals of the workshops that make decisions” such as that of common gardens and open-air cinema . The participants and the number of the workshop of 10/9/2013 are not listed, however a facilitator, other than the Assessor, must have been found. There is talk of Action Plans for Energy, the Covenant of Mayors, and what measures to take to improve energy efficiency, increase the use of renewable sources and energy saving. The Energy Web Feltre project is illustrated to centralize information on energy consumption and the efficiency of buildings in the city. Indications are given on the document, on the rules (eg the emissions of fine particles should be more coercive); the need for a figure in charge of town planning who follows the energy aspect and checks are carried out. Providing a municipal register for the figure of the energy certifier, free competition must be protected and registration in the municipal register is okay only if it is a necessary condition for the posting of the municipal plate at the entrance of the property. For the plants of the municipality, remote control and remote management systems should be provided, to save employees. For incentives, the road is not easy because the urbanization costs have already been eliminated. The focus is therefore on training technicians and builders and raising awareness among citizens . Meetings are held approximately once a month. There are also conventions, conferences, opportunities for debate and laboratory forums. A revision of the draft energy building regulation is prepared.
As previously mentioned, Bonan's convocations are transversal and can concern, as in this example, several groups. On January 28, 2014, the agriculture, environment and common goods laboratories are convened, with the agenda: the update relating to the opposition to the construction of a hydroelectric plant on the Stien; the proposal for a public notice for the assignment of "Common Gardens"; the public notice for the assignment of land for agricultural production, the notice for the assignment of firewood for families in difficulty and initiatives in support of the “No GMO” campaign . The convocations - including those of thematic assemblies and meetings, seminars, cultural conferences - follow one another at a rate of 2-3 per month (eg new sustainable mobility in Feltre; tourism enhancement; data on air quality); meanwhile, the revisions on the building regulations regarding energy are sent to the Executive. Apart from this theme of the workshop, we do not always find adequate feedback on the rest (reports, reports, data on actual participation). From the forum on sustainable mobility on June 19 there is a video with only the introductory speech by the mayor (11 min.), There are slides to support an intervention by students of a high school on a path taken through the city of Feltre together with a disabled person in a wheelchair; and the slides of the new mobility plan, of interventions on light mobility infrastructures (handicap, pedestrian, cycle path, etc.), on car parks and regulations. There are no reports on anything else: any interventions, critical issues, etc. .
On November 14, 2014 a public Forum on the first year of experience of the House of Common Goods is convened, to take stock of the results, the critical issues that have emerged and the necessary organizational improvements. In the first year, 133 meetings were recorded (including assemblies, meetings, forums and events) and it is considered that some proposals that emerged in the Laboratories have already become operational choices in all sectors. The Feltre regulation has become a case study and has been borrowed from other municipalities in different regions. The report is available but there is no (not even estimated) attendance count, no photos or videos. Some data are reported, in addition to those already mentioned, it is specified that 8 proposals have become administrative acts, there are 281 enrolled in the laboratories and 64,934 are displayed on the dedicated portal and 80 are the published documents. Several interventions signaled the need to expand the dissemination of information on the laboratories which cannot be limited to the web portal alone, furthermore the laboratories seem too many and should be further aggregated for wider themes. When the meetings were decentralized in the hamlets, participation was wider. On the acts and proposals that tend to become deliberative, the associations of reference should be invited. The training of facilitators should be deepened. Each assessor should coordinate better with the laboratories and periodically present their work program to harmonize with them. In addition, the request for a quarterly convocation of the forum laboratories emerged in order to relate to the Board . On February 24, 2015, a post from the mayor confirms that he can proceed with the quarterly convocation of the Laboratories Forum and that this will serve to inform the programs of the Giunta so that the laboratories will be able to choose whether to focus on autonomous projects or whether to work on the actions of the Giunta. . Furthermore, this serves "to find a common working method, to produce a concrete impact on administrative programs" and this will be tested with "the participatory drafting of the 2016 Budget" and in order not to overload the appointments too much, it is decided to merge some laboratories. The dates of the meetings follow .
The meetings of the various laboratories proceed. On mobility, for example, after the various meetings and a couple of weeks after the conclusion of the final discussion in the Forum on the General Urban Traffic Plan (19/5/2015), the plan is adopted (8/6/15) In November 2015 the theme of the rural police regulation on the correct use and disposal of pesticides is added; national level experts are invited. On 20 June 2016, the General Forum of laboratories on the project for the enhancement and reuse of the former Zannettelli barracks, headquarters of the “Feltre” alpine battalion, was convened; an old barracks abandoned by the army for a few years. The barracks were cleaned with the help of the National Alpini Association and reopened for a public visit and a community meal. The participatory process is managed by a team of the IUAV of Venice and is divided into meetings in the hamlets, in the creation of a specially dedicated site (Link 2) of interviews and workshops, however the minutes of the meetings are not available, but only the summons. There are tables of the architectural reliefs but there is no information available on the barracks, its history and its current conditions and equipment of usability. The Facebook channel was also activated on this project. The workshops and Forums continue until November, the Biodistretti project and the Cittadella di Feltre lighting project start. On December 20, the General Forum is convened to discuss the final proposal drawn up by the IUAV relating to the process carried out. The meeting started at 6pm and ended at 10.30pm with a half hour buffet break with local products. Both for this case and for the others, like the joint convening of laboratories with the Executive and the thematic assembly at the end of the mandate, there are no minutes, no videos, no photos. No information was found on the role played by associations and municipal councilors for all sides. It was always ensured that the results of the trials were taken into consideration by the Executive and that their total or partial failure to implement them would be duly motivated. There are no communications on this aspect in the dedicated portal.
Influence, results and effects
The measures taken - according to the communications of Councilor Bonan - through participatory processes during the first term are the following:
- Project "The land to those who cultivate it" common gardens and farms.
- Resolution for the recognition of De facto Families.
- “The rediscovered memory-Tina Merlin” project.
- Action Plan for Sustainable Energy.
- Cinemaggiore Review.
- Regulations and organizational definition "The recyclone tree".
- Regulation for the requirements relating to the environmental sustainability of buildings and the use of renewable energy sources.
- Regulations for civil coexistence.
- Organization "The feast of the peoples".
- Identification of tourism communication and integrated projects "Feltre Borgo Verticale".
- General Urban Traffic Plan.
- Design elaboration of PI Piazza della Lana solutions.
- Rural Police Regulations (use of pesticides).
- Program for the enhancement and reuse of the former Zannettelli barracks.
- Elaboration of articles relating to the Common Goods to be included in the Municipal Statute.
From the election results of 2017, the government program - so characterized in a participatory key - seems to have worked above all in having truly transferred an important share of responsibility (empowerment) to a good number of citizens. The next few years - in continuity with what has been achieved - will serve as a further verification for the model or may open to considerations on the influence of other factors independent of it. On the real entity of the citizens involved, there are no official statistics, apart from the number of registrations which, as we know, can be multiple. In any case, we can say that they are no less than 154. The case has attracted the attention of non-mainstream media such as Comune.Info which briefly reported on the experience through an interview with Councilor Bonan . Even the traditional local media gave ample coverage to the case and to the various events, especially on the Zannettelli case.
Analysis and lessons learned
The dedicated site is structured as a sort of duplicate of a mailing-list, there are no real interactions and discussions but only alerts. The attached documentation is also scarce and incomplete. Thus, traces of the work carried out are lost and adequate transparency is not recognized . Inspections would be needed to understand if the community is not particularly attracted to digital media and does not refer to more concrete (perhaps paper) and local forms of historical memory and public archiving. Another aspect that underlines the lack of transparency is the total absence of data on the financial resources used. There is a lack of more detailed statistics on participating citizens, on the role of foreigners, for example, on vulnerable categories.
The timely call of the route seems to have been criticized because it was too delegated to the web portal, so there could have been a change of channel in progress. However, the conditions of inclusion and sharing of the path with the actors, even if no particular outreach actions have been activated (at least for the groups analyzed), for a citizen of that size seem to be fulfilled. Yet even here criticisms have come - at the end of the first year of activity - relating to the lack of solicitation of associations / organizations when addressing certain issues in the laboratories that can become decisions. Probably, once the criticisms have been received, the approach has changed, in fact in other cases the direct involvement of the handicapped is appreciable to carry out a survey of the critical situations of urban mobility for the purposes of drawing up the plan. The actors of the territory were then quite present; in particular, various acronyms were represented in the definition of the rural police regulation on the use of pesticides; the presence of municipal councilors was much less noticeable. However, the experts in the field are chosen by the administration which has explicit orientations and it is not possible to establish to what extent all the positions have been represented. This doubt remains, since, from the reports that can be viewed, it appears that the various processes activated never manage to bring out divergences and conflicts of a certain consistency.
There have been no particular efforts to increase the representativeness of the final stages preceding the adoption or the final decision. The convocations in the fractions proved to be more participatory (and the criticisms received had pointed this out and had urged a greater appeal) but it was not possible to detect if they had been increased, however more editions of the same convocation have never been created, to broaden the spectrum of participants based on the differentiation of times and places of convocation; and above all, less demanding tools, than a convocation, and more quantitative (eg surveys, interviews, questionnaires, messaging) have never been activated.
Program (2017) 2017-2022, Paolo Perenzin mayor> http://cdn1.regione.veneto.it/alfstreaming-servlet/streamer/resourceId/8028981b-81c7-4a64-acc8-d0976a5171f0/00_Programma%20PAOLO%20PERENZIN.pdf ( release 5/2/18).
Regulation (2013) "Feltre for the democracy of common goods" (Municipal Council Resolution, 26/3)> http://partecipo.comune.feltre.bl.it/regolazione-feltre-la-democrazia-dei-beni- municipalities (release 5/2/18).
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 Report Fourth Sustainable Mobility Forum, 16/6/2014> http://partecipo.comune.feltre.bl.it/report-quarto-forum-mobilit à-sustainable-feltre-16-June-2014 (ril. 5/2/18).
 Report Forum Laboratories first budget, 14/11/2014> http://partecipo.comune.feltre.bl.it/forum-laboratori-primo-bilancio-attivit à (ril. 5/2/18).
 Perenzin, P., Quarterly meetings of the Laboratories: let's go! 2/24/2015> http://partecipo.comune.feltre.bl.it/forum-laboratori-primo-bilancio-attivit à (ril. 5/2/18).
 Cacciari, P., If the assembly is citizen, in ComuneInfo, 2/8/2014> https://comune-info.net/2014/08/feltre-assieme/ (ril. 5/2/18 ).