Neighborhood in Italy

Context according to the answers of the questionnaire

Based on the answers given during the interviews, Arcella, although large in size,seems to be an all-around well deserved area. Public transport offers connection to the city-center, shops and amenities are covering basic needs. Sport Centers, Parks and a few cultural options – though not efficient nor sufficient according to the answers given by the respondents – complete the overall offer.

The population in the district is very dense and diverse. The multi-ethnic and intergenerational factors tend to predominate. A recent gentrification trend seems to emerge as active couples from the center tend to establish themselves in Arcella.

Though mainly composed of working-class families, the socio-economic differences are strong in and out of the neighbourhood.

The answers given by the few respondents indicate a lively neighbourhood ready to implement change and willing to take action in order to change the bad perception of the area (violent and drug-dealing neighbourhood)

Opportunities and threats

Opportunities
The overall feeling from the interviews points to the multi-ethnicity and what it can bring as a positive change in the neighborhood and also to the residents themselves and what they can bring to the other residents in the area in general.
Addressing the cultural and recreational aspect of the existing offer seems crucial: there are not enough cultural / entertainment offers. Basically, meeting points for the local residents which could help create a broader sense of community
Reinforcing existing services / businesses and assessing if and how they respond to the local demand.
Urban regeneration fuelled by the renewed interest in the district by the municipality
Co-working areas
Public sport areas
Specific public calls
Better accessibility through public transport    
Threats
Due to low security perception and mis/pre conceptions of others, the positive effects of a diverse neighborhood might not arise. An effort regarding mediation could be done, be it age or ethnicities. As well as a better coordination between all major stakeholders already at work in the area. Communication has to focus on people’s positive aspects and the common goal to create an area filled with possibilities and the means to achieve them.
Few or no specific funds from the municipality to support local entrepreneurs
High rents
Urban dispersion, where to focus the actions?
Social determinism due, in part, to the low-income status of the inhabitants
Need of a global vision

Conclusion

There’s a clear opportunity to implement an incubator in order to help (re)shape Arcella’s future.

Be it:

  • To promote new services
  • To help boost morale
  • To initiate or enhance a sense of support and community
  • To introduce new technologies in existing businesses
  • To refine already operating services
  • To build specific training paths
  • Or to educate and infuse entrepreneurial spirit amongst the local youth.

Nudging policies and new creative and economic incentives could also help improve the existing situation and induce the creation of new businesses or services.

For synergy, other leverages of the economy should best be also developed such as suggested in the opportunities.

Regarding training, Elena Ostanel Professor in urban planning at IUAV (Venice), focused on Arcella has to say about it: “There is a need to build specific training paths in close relation with the community. The objective of the training paths should be very specific. It is important to coordinate the action with the other social entities already working in the neighbourhood. A long-term action is preferable.»

In other words, the Incubator could benefit from / get inspired by / rely on the local heritage and the local communities.

In any case, for the incubator to work, the perception, inside and out, of the neighbourhood has to be addressed and needs to shift. It seems crucial then to tackle the issues reported by the respondents. These efforts, backed by a well-organized web of local actors (social, economic, cultural) should help spark change in the area.