Declaration of Urban Civic and Collective Use

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= legal tool to recognize buildings as commons, adopted by the city council in Naples, Italy


Gabriella Riccio:

"The Declaration of Urban Civic and Collective Use is the tool trough with we realize a new form of direct management of a public building. It is the result of 3 years public working group at l’asilo where members of l’asilo, artists, activists, researchers, jurists, lawyers with the collaboration of renowned scholars starting from their practices imagined and wrote a model of governance of the commons capable to overturn the political and strategic neoliberal rationality introducing a link between the common goods and the governance of the commons. This link are the ancient institution in the Italian Law still in force which regulates the so-called rights of legnatico (profit of the wood) fishing and grazing on common land of small an medium size rural hamlets. An extensive interpretation of civic uses intends to guarantee the social function of those public spaces declared as common goods.

The Declaration of Urban Civic and Collective Use sets out how to use the spaces, who is entitled to use them, how decision are taken, how to acquire the status of member of l’asilo guaranteeing the respect of the 4 fundamental basic principles of the civic uses: accessibility, usability, fairness and inclusiveness." (

Legal History

"* 24 May 2012 act nr 400 first formal resolution by the municipality of Naples, that commits the administration to “ensure a democratic form of the management of the monumental building called Ex Asilo Filangieri, according with the constitution-oriented interpretation of art. 43 of the Italian constitution, in order to facilitate the formation of a constitutive practice of "civic use" of the common good on the part of the workers of the immaterial sector“ + use destination for art & culture

  • 9 March 2015 act nr 7

second resolution fruit of collective work with the Neapolitan global justice movement, ruled that public goods can be administered, with a sharing of the operating expenses by the City, “where justified by high social value created by providing civic use regulations, or other civic self-organization models recognized in special conventions"

  • 27 December 2015 act 893

the municipality of Naples approved a new resolution, which fully recognizes the Declaration of Urban Civic and Collective Use l’asilo, thus becoming not only the set of rules to regulate the access and the use of the spaces, but a brand new model of the government of the commons in our administrative system. The Declaration of urban and collective civic use of l’asilo that we wrote and the document about the “numbers” were acquired as part of the resolution."


by Gabriella Riccio:

On the use in the Asilo project in Naples:

"* Paolo Maddalena honorary vicepresidente of the Constitutional Court wrote on La Repubblica the article article:

The Ex Asilo Filangieri and the Constitution

“the dominant thought of the economic neoliberism pushes to consider not positive this administrative act whose objective is not to pursue economic growth but to enhance cultural and personal growth of the citizens. The Municipality is mistakenly considered the “owner” being in fact at the service of the interest of the citizens.

Art 42 states that collective public property belongs to the people and is r es extra commercio (cannot be sold on the market) meant to satisfy the needs of the people.

Art 43 states that the general interests can be directly managed by communities of “workers and users”. In Naples the Italian Constitution is being significantly implemented and this is a reason to be proud of and not to criticise.

  • Tomaso Montanari on La Repubblica Napoli writes

Why the Ex Asilo Filangieri is scaring? “

The reason why the resolution concerning the Ex Asilo Filangieri is considered to be dangerous it’s because it puts back together legality and justice… Piero Calamandrei (a founding father of the constitution) would say that the community does what the public authority should do but doesn’t do, a private exercise of public functions voluntary assumed by the citizens at the service of the community in a country where in general the public power is used for private interests.

  • Maurizio Zanardi writes The Space of good encounters

“To be clear, if there is a patrimony, it is not the building Ex Asilo Filangieri, that one could also use in a bad way, but it is the practice that invents it a a place for good encounters." (