The school of neighbourhoods

POC La Scuola dei Quartieri

The school of neighbourhoods

Preserving memories while taking care of the elderly, engaging foreign communities through the art of baking in a public oven, innovating with new forms of cultural production, distribution and fruition, creating manufacturing labs that bridge old and future skills. What if supporting local regeneration means providing citizens with the capabilities and tools to transform such innovative ideas into prototypes and actions?

Empowering citizens, fostering social innovation

“La Scuola dei Quartieri” (“The School of the Neighbourhoods”) is a Milan based 4-year program (2018-22) promoted by the Municipality to stimulate and enable social innovation practices in disadvantaged areas of the city. Rather than being a conventional incubation program, it intends to empower citizens to set and run lighter, yet impacting, initiatives, to bring quality change into the neighbourhoods. Within the current pandemic situation, La Scuola deiQuartieri becomes a relevant initiative to support, guide and foster projects that could match the needs related with the post-emergency conditions of the city, such as new models of aggregation, cultural production, food-related services and alternative forms of care.

A process of scouting and training 

In a continuous and diffused action of connecting civil society’s stakeholders, La Scuola dei Quartieri aims at building generative relations and organising purposeful encounters in order to scout and guide the emergence of ideas from neighbourhoods. By experimenting with online and offline formats, La Scuola dei Quartieridelivers a diversified set of light and advanced training activities targeting a broader audience, including a group of inventors selected in specific public calls.  The didactic contribution provided by Polimi DESIS Lab in co-design becomes relevant in a process where community engagement for prototyping is key.  

La Scuola dei Quartieri, in its strategy of supporting social innovation, envisions a more pro-active and participatory society, in which the contribution of citizens and their tacit competence of designing solutions is tightly connected with a broader supportive and engaged community of actors.

  • Project holders : Polimi DESIS Lab, Dipartimento Design – Politecnico di Milano, Commune di Milano & co-financed by the European Union : National Operational Programme Metropolitan Cities 2014-2020 (PON METRO)
  • Designers : Marta Corubolo, Chiara Galeazzi, Anna Meroni, Martina Rossi, Daniela Selloni with ChiaraPacchiarotti & Andrea Taverna
  • Stakeholders : Avanzi, Comunità del Giambellino,Dynamoscopio,Fondazione Politecnico di Milano, Gruppo Cooperativo Cgm, Kilowatt, Make aCube3, PerMicro,Spazio Aperto Servizi
  • Photo credits : Polimi DESIS Lab, Dipartimento Design – Politecnico di Milano, Commune di Milano