U-RISE LAB MONTAGNA FIORENTINA, the report

25 October 2023 | News, Tales

From the 30th of August to the 2nd of September, San Godenzo was transformed into an innovative workshop of strategies and practices for the territorial regeneration of inland areas, hosting the U-RISE LAB MONTAGNA FIORENTINA, the first Living Lab organised in this area by the U-Rise Master’s Degree in Urban Regeneration and Social Innovation of the Iuav University of Venice, in collaboration with LAMA Impresa Sociale, thanks to funding from the PNRR culture.

The initiative was attended by 20 male and female students and young professionals from all over Italy who intend to work in the regeneration of inland areas by applying social innovation tools.

The participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of territorial regeneration, tackling the real challenges that emerged from the ‘Montagna Prossima’ participatory pathway through plenary sessions and group work, forming an interdisciplinary team led by expert lecturers and mentors from the U-RISE Master’s network.

During the four days of experiential learning, the young social innovators had the opportunity to engage directly with the City Council and its technical department, discussing ongoing projects and seeking innovative solutions for the local community. They also delved into the topic of ‘inner areas’ thanks to the valuable contribution of Filippo Barbera, Professor of Economic Sociology. They came into contact with the topic of forest management thanks to the excursion led by Andrea Barzagli, founder of Foglia Tonda and environmental communications expert for Compagnia delle Foreste, who made the deep connection between the community and nature tangible.

During the workshop activities, specific ideas emerged to facilitate links between San Godenzo’s neighbouring municipalities and Florence. Participants proposed solutions to sustainably enhance the natural heritage, transform vacant or underused spaces into places of culture and innovation, and sustainably strengthen the relationship between people and the forest environment.

At the same time, the self-building workshop group worked with a group of young local people to create an equipped area in front of Villa Gentili Park to promote social aggregation. This experience was not limited to physical realisation; it also involved deep reflection on the new space’s future and potential.

Participants also had the opportunity to immerse themselves in local life, taking part in the GoDenz aperitif – an initiative by a group of young people from the village, born out of the ‘Montagna Prossima’ participatory path – and discovering the excellent food and wine of the area, thanks to Caffè Falterona and the home restaurant Il Bachino.

The U-RISE Lab was not only an academic training project but, above all, an enriching experience that demonstrated the power of social innovation, promoting the sharing of knowledge and the creation of lasting bonds between people from different backgrounds.

U-RISE LAB Montagna Fiorentina was coordinated by Adriano Cancellieri, Marika Moscatelli, Martina Pestarino and Caterina Secchi. Arch. Paolo Robazza coordinated the site with the assistance of Rita D’Andola. Elena Ostanel and Lucio Rubini from the U-Rise Master’s programme supported the workshop activities.