Luca Tricarico Rosamaria Bitetti Francesca Buonanno

Can We Shape Social Innovation-based Urban Policy? Reflections on the Fondo per l’innovazione sociale Strategy in Milan

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The article aims to conceptualise an urban policy cycle that incorporates the social and territorial innovation approach in all its phases. This conceptualisation will be supported by a case study analysis, the “Accelerator for the local economyµ, an urban policy promoted by the Municipality of Milan in cooperation with a group of local partners, and included in the governmental framework of the Fondo per l’innovazione sociale (Social Innovation Fund). The project under consideration has been designed to support an “acceleration programme for local businessesµ, implemented with a view to improving entrepreneurship, skills, and the creation of job opportunities in peripheral areas – a response from the Milan municipal administration to tackle urban marginality issues and the ongoing economic crisis resulting from the harmful effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The hypothesis to be tested is whether social and territorial innovation can be not only the content, but also the method for creating a territorial development policy, by acquiring the dispersed knowledge of actors and targets, by triggering collective intelligence processes in the redefinition of social needs, and by tabling shared solutions among stakeholders


  • social innovation
  • urban policy
  • place-based policy
  • urban development
  • territorial development


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