Bologna was a winner of the 2018 Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award for its comprehensive strategy that allows residents to partner with the city to revitalize public spaces. The award elevates city-led strategies that most successfully engage citizens to help create and implement solutions to pressing local problems.
By adopting a “Regulation on public collaboration between citizens and the City for the care and regeneration of urban commons” in 2014, Bologna started a process that led to more than 400 collaboration pacts that allow citizens, informal groups of people, and private organizations to revitalize shared urban spaces, such as abandoned buildings and and green areas with the support of the municipal administration.
Thanks to the collaboration pacts implemented by citizens and students, 15,000 sqm. of city walls were cleaned; in 20 schools, the students provided for the care and regeneration of annexed green areas, and for artistic decoration and renovation of the school walls; 40 small and large green areas underwent a number of regeneration and cleaning interventions, which spurred social cohesion that led to additional actions, including the creation of community gardens, the planting of flowers and the development of two new city gardens.
Mayor Virginio Merola
Virginio Merola is serving as Mayor of Bologna since 2011. He was previously President of the Savena District of Bologna for two subsequent terms and after that he served as Deputy Mayor in charge of Urban Planning and Housing from 2004 to 2009. Virginio also served as President of the Provincial Council from 2009 to 2011.
Francesca Martinese, Head of International Relations & Projects Office
Francesca Martinese coordinates the international activities of the City of Bologna. She graduated in Social and Public Communication Sciences as well as in Interpreting and Communication and she’s been working for the City of Bologna Foreign Affairs Office since 1999.