Informal cities: how to reshape urban environment through collective action
Prof.Antonio Putini, researcher in Political Sociology at the Department of Political Science at Sapienza University of Rome, participated in the Learning Mobility in Portugal for the CSB project with a speech titled "Informal cities: how to reshape urban environment through collective action". His main research-fields are political participation and civic engagement, local democracy and governance, social movement and political parties. Here, the contribution of his study.
Cities represent complex ecosystems in which different interests and needs coexist and try to find mutual agreements through the political system. Their developments, changes and reshaping attempts pass throughout both formal and informal processes that represent a sociological and political field-study since the early part of the 20th century. After the economic and fiscal crisis of our national and local governments, the management of these human environments has become more and more difficult. What happens to public spaces when local governments’ tasks decay in a regulatory slippage due to financial cuts? The present contribution will try to depict how and to what extent informal communities and civic actors can contribute to re-shape and re-define our cities landscapes and uses through collective actions. By describing Italian cases coming from Rome and Naples, it will be discussed both the positive effects developed by these collective actions and their limits.