some further details about Co-Mantua:
I. Background information on Co-Mantua In Mantua LabGov is about to give birth to what can be considered as the prototype of a “Co-City”. Co-Mantua is a prototype of an institutionalizing process to run the city as a collaborative commons and therefore as a "co-city". A co-city should be based on collaborative governance of the commons whereby urban, environmental, cultural, knowledge and digital commons are co-managed by the five actors of the collaborative governance - social innovators (i.e. active citizens, makers, digital innovators, urban regenerators, rurban innovators, etc.), public authorities, businesses, civil society organizations, knowledge institutions (i.e. schools, universities, cultural academies, etc.) - through an institutionalized public-private-people/community partnership. This partnership will give birth to a local p2p physical, digital and institutional platform with three main aims: living together (collaborative services), growing together (co-ventures), making together (co-production). The project is supported by the local Chamber of Commerce, the City, the Province, local ONGs, SMEs and knowledge institutions, such as the Mantua University Foundation and some local schools. CO-Mantua builds on the experience developed by LabGov through the "City as a Commons" project and the “Regulation on collaboration for the regeneration of Urban Commons” that LabGov contributed to draft for the City of Bologna at the end of that project. Its English translation is available here. Principles and rules embedded in the regulation inspired the drafting of the CO-Mantua Collaborative Governance Pact. Methodological process of creation of Co-Mantua as a Co-City The first action has been “seeding social innovation” through the launch of an a collaborative call for ideas “Culture as a commons” to make the social innovators in Mantua emerge. Second step has been the co-design laboratory "Enterprises for the Commons", an ideas camp where the seven main projects emerged through the call were cultivated and helped create synergies with each other and the city. The third phase has been the governance camp, a collaborative governance scheme prototyping stage which led to the drafting of the collaborative governance pact, the collaboration toolkit and the sustainability plan. Fourth and final phase is the governance testing and modeling through the launch of a public consultation in the city on the text of the Pact and a roadshow generating interest in CO-Mantua among possible signatories belonging to the 5 categories of collaborative governance actors. Definitions for the purpose of the Pact: - “commons” “Commons are goods, tangible, intangible and digital, that citizens and the Administration, also through participative and deliberative procedures, recognize to be functional to the individual and collective wellbeing, activating themselves towards them pursuant to article 118, par. 4, of the Italian Constitution, to share the responsibility with the Administration to cure or regenerate them in order to improve their public use ” - “social innovation” “social innovations are new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and create new social relationships or collaborations”; - “collaborative governance of the commons” “collaborative governance” of the commons is a legal/institutional device whereby the five actors of the collaborative governance - social innovators, public authorities, businesses, civil society organizations, knowledge institutions - co-manage urban, environmental, cultural, knowledge and digital commons of a city through an institutionalized public-private-people/community partnership. Values and principles of the pact: - Mutual trust: based on the public prerogatives regarding supervision, planning and control, the Administration and the active citizens shape their relationships to the mutual trust and they presuppose that the respective will of collaboration is oriented to the pursuit of purposes of general interest; - Publicity and transparency: the Administration guarantees the largest knowledge of the partnership opportunities, of the proposals received, of the forms of aid assigned, of the decisions taken, of the results and of the valuations made. It recognizes in the transparency the main tool to ensure fairness in the relationship with the active citizens and verifiability of the actions made and the results obtained; - Responsibility: the Administration values its responsibility and the citizens' responsibility as a key factor in the relationship with the citizens, as well as a necessary prerequisite in order for the partnership to be effectively oriented to the production of useful and measurable outcomes; - Inclusiveness and openness: the interventions of care and regeneration of the commons must be organized in order to allow any interested citizens to join the activities at any time; - Sustainability: the Administration, in the exercise of discretion in making decisions, verifies that the collaboration with citizens does not cause greater costs than benefits, and that it does not determine negative consequences on the environmental equilibrium; - Proportionality: the Administration ensure that the administrative requirements, the guarantees and the quality standards required for the proposal, the preliminary investigation and the execution of the collaborative interventions, are commensurate with the real needs of protection of the public interests involved; - Adequacy and differentiation: the forms of collaboration among citizens and the Administration are adequate to the needs of care and regeneration of the urban commons and they are differentiated depending on the type or on the nature of the urban common and on the people whose well-being it is functional to; - Informality: the Administration demands that the partnership with the citizens takes place in accordance with the requested formalities only when it is provided for by law. In the rest of the cases it ensures flexibility and simplicity in the relationship, as long as it is possible to guarantee the respect of the public ethic, as it is regulated by the code of conduct of the public sector employees, and the respect of the principles of impartiality, efficiency, transparency and judicial certainty; - Local democracy: the pact guarantees equality between parties and subscribers and the attribution of reciprocal rights and duties. The pact pursues the improvement of the quality of local democracy; - Public autonomy: the pact signatories act as "public actors", holding the ability to take care of the general interest; - Horizontal subsidiarity: the pact was made possible thanks to the participation of all the parties, which got activated in a collaborative and mutually supportive way, even delegating specific functions if acquitted by others more effectively, in the pursuit of the common good. According to this principle the care of collective needs and the activities of general interest are provided directly by private citizens (both as individuals and as members) and the entities involved in 'subsidiary' function, programming, coordinating and possibly managing; - Legality: the compliance with the principles and rules dictated or accepted in the legal system is the cornerstone on which the entry and stay in the pact is based. The law is intended not only as a means of guarantee for civil coexistence within and outside of the pact, but also as a fundamental tool of cultivation of social cohesion and competitiveness of the territory.
Internal and external governance The actors of Co-Mantua are divided in three groups; social innovators, the technical unit, and the collaboration community. The collaboration toolkit of Co-Mantua is a fundamental instrument to shape the collaborative process among the actors. Some of the contents of the collaboration toolkit are, for instance, methods and rules to shape collaboration among social innovators (coordination group, technical trustee, working groups, collaboration jams, citizens’ activations, new members scouting, personalised pacts), rules for the use of Co-Mantua as a physical, economic and collaborative services platform, rules of collaboration for partners, service providers and other external entities.
One of the outputs of the co-design process is the sustainability plan, realized in order to ensure to the platform Co-Mantua a long-term financial and economic sustainability. From a first analysis of data we can say that even the Mantua area is affected by the same peculiarities of the Italian system, in the presence of a high number of SMEs, but unlike the Italian trend, these SMEs, account for a larger proportion of working population. On the one hand, this could make it more vulnerable to the business system of Mantua, because the population involved in the instability of these companies is representative of a greater number of people than the national average. On the other hand this morphology of the business system is a feature that could be maximized through networking and collaboration tools, such as the initiative to CO-Mantua aims to do.