Sedimentazione: nurturing civic engagement in Matera

Sedimentazioni: nurturing civic engagement in Matera

In February 2024, Materahub embarked on a transformative journey with the Matera community through the principles of co-governance.

How frequently do we pause? How often do we take the time to actively process our surroundings? Well, not very often. So, take a moment now and do just that. Sedimentazioni is the latest initiative developed by Materahub and the Municipality of Matera with the goal of supporting local communities in understanding the complexity of our surroundings.

The underlying idea is simple: we care about our community, and we recognize that we all experience confusion at times.

Therefore, Sedimentazioni serves as a tool to navigate this confusion, drawing from the experience and methodological approach used in three European projects currently managed by Materahub: Drop, Regeneraction and PlayAct.

These projects share a common objective of enhancing civic engagement, seeking to bridge the gap between people’s needs and the policies and strategies of urban transformation. This is particularly relevant in contexts where participation is often hindered, such as due to digital disparities, urban dissatisfaction, and rural isolation.

To do so, we started exploring the concept of co-governance and its contemporary applications across Europe, from Barcelona to Naples, comparing with more size-related cases. Through a comprehensive literature review and analysis of case studies, we developed a co-governance model that aligns international evidence with local indices and indicators specific to the three pilot cities: Ermua, Elva and Matera.

Then, we initiated a series of workshops aimed at bringing together stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, all sharing a genuine interest in their communities. To date, these meetings have attracted individuals from various regions of Basilicata and Apulia, representing a range of professional domains, as well as key stakeholders within the Matera community. Registration opened in February 2024, and by April 2024, we have received over 40 registrations.

Throughout our journey we embarked on a transformative cycle of Living Lab where we forged connections, acquainting ourselves with one another while delving into the multifaceted concept of co-governance.

Together, we navigated through the fundamental lexicon of this field, unraveling concepts like common goods, urban regeneration, circular subsidiarity, and participatory budgeting.

Our gatherings have taken place across numerous venues within the city of Matera, affording us the opportunity to engage with diverse organizations, unite like-minded individuals, and exchange best practices at the University of Basilicata we engaged with the pivotal themes of active listening and combating biases.

An enriching highlight was our interaction with a group of high school students from Liceo Classico Duni-Levi, infusing our discussions with fresh perspectives and vigor, providing an opportune moment to reflect on our personal experiences within community involvement, fostering open discourse, and charting new objectives for the team of Materahub.

Then we delved into the intricacies of collective decision-making, into various techniques aimed at facilitating discussions and exchanged insights on optimal decision-making strategies for larger groups.

Our sixth rendezvous took us to Laboratorio Oltre l’Arte, where we immersed ourselves in case studies of cities pioneering innovative civic engagement practices. Drawing inspiration from locales such as Bologna, Barcelona, Lisbon, and community-driven spaces like Spazio 13 in Bari, we gleaned valuable insights into effective community involvement strategies.

April 12th witnessed our seventh meeting, where we explored potential areas of intervention following a visit to locales under the stewardship of the “Io sto con te” organization. A fruitful dialogue ensued, prompting contemplation on the transformative potential of digital platforms like Decidem and MateraPartecipa. We collectively pondered on avenues for fostering enhanced communication between Matera’s administration and its citizens, laying the groundwork for future collaborative endeavors.

Thus far, it has been a remarkable journey, during which we have undoubtedly influenced one another, each bringing new perspectives from our respective fields.

Sedimentazioni is a reminder that amidst the chaos and complexity of our surroundings, we must come together, navigate the confusion, and forge a path forward as a community.

However, stay tuned. We’re not done yet: we’re returning for more!