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European Union (Urban Innovative Actions) / City of Turin

TO-Nite: urban regeneration in Torino

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TO-Nite: urban regeneration in Torino

European Union (Urban Innovative Actions) / City of Turin

Urban renewal project to create social regeneration and address urban blight and decline along the Dora River waterfront of Torino

3 things to know

  1. Design ethnography and service design - Experientia is exploring the current culture of security (with specific regards to the night/evening experience) in two different areas along the Dora waterfront through the involvement of key stakeholders, local communities and citizens in research activities (in-depth interviews, surveys and explorative urban walks).

  2. Co-design with communities - Citizens are given the opportunity to co-define solutions aimed at improving social cohesion and protection in the use of public space at night/evening time during different phases of the project.

  3. Develop a human-centered approach to data modeling - The findings of the research on the culture and perception of security will be used to inform the technology infrastructure of the City.

Context Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is an Initiative of the European Union that provides urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test new and unproven solutions to address urban challenges. Although research on urban issues is well developed, potential solutions are not always put into practice because urban authorities are reluctant to use their money to test new, unproven and hence risky ideas. Urban Innovative Actions offers urban authorities with the possibility to take a risk and experiment the most innovative and creative solutions. The main objective of UIA is to provide urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test innovative solutions to the main urban challenges, and see how these work in practice and respond to the complexity of real life. Challenge The City of Torino, together with a range of partners including Experientia, participated in the 2019 call and won a €4.6 million grant with a project, called TO-Nite. TO-Nite seeks to create urban regeneration and to address urban blight and decline in selected areas along the Dora River waterfront, through collaborative policies based on social empowerment, active participation of residents and stakeholders, and social and technological innovation. Other partners are the Torino Wireless Foundation, SocialFare, Engineering, the European Forum for Urban Security, Espereal Technologies and ANCI (the National Italian Association of Municipalities). Research Experientia is particularly involved in activating communities through their involvement in research activities (in-depth interviews, surveys and explorative urban walks), defining areas of opportunities and requirements to facilitate civic empowerment and technology-based social sensing, thus allowing the City to implement multidisciplinary and co-designed solutions that will improve the livability of public spaces and the perceived security of our communities. We are now in the process of conducting ethnographic and social enquiry activities in target neighborhoods and engage key stakeholders to understand the current culture of security (with specific regard to the night/evening experience), define the enabling role of infrastructure technology that could be placed in those areas, and elaborate a baseline and a model in support to City’s policy and services; Design In a later phase, we will support project partner in co-designing with communities opportunities for urban regeneration and services aimed at improving social cohesion and protection in the use of public spaces at night/evening time. Impact oriented and sustainable co-defined solutions will be supported by dedicated acceleration programmes. We will also use the insights from our qualitative inquiry will help the team in developing an improved and integrated technology infrastructure (i.e. platform, beacons, geofences) to understand, analyze urban insecurity phenomena (security sensing) and to provide open intelligence (data as urban commons) to improve citizens’ awareness regarding their culture and perception of security. Impact To-Nite will contribute to the spatial regeneration of the Dora riverfront, providing new urban furniture and regenerating an unused space located in that area. The project will intervene in two different areas along the Dora riverside, where both the target phenomena take place: lack of frequentation and nightlife in residential areas. At the same time, the collaborative process will highlight possible night services to be activated, as well as new entrepreneurial ideas and models for residents and innovators.

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