The pavilion 8 in the ASST center on Borgo Palazzo starts a new life. Today, after more than two years of work, the City of Bergamo has inaugurated the new Co-Housing building, implemented by the project CAPACITyES – Children Against Poverty Awake the city Education System, under the Urban Innovative Actions programme.
The Co-Housing apartments will accommodate 10 families selected in February 2020, in a path that’s more than a “plain” housing solution.
The inauguration of the Co-Housing is one of the main stages of the project started over two years ago: with a dedicated network of partners, CAPACITyES is developing a set of different actions to tackle urban poverty and especially educational poverty.
Within a few days the 10 families will move to the new apartments.
The main challenge: engaging the community
The constructions site to restore the building is completed and now a new work begins. The main challenge for CAPACITyES is engaging the community, working together with neighborhood networks, in order to encourage the involvement of citizens and improve social cohesion.
Participation is a key point since the beginning: the new Co-Housing is the result of a long work of co-design, listening to families and children ideas to shape the facilities.
Families and projects
The 10 families were chosen among the 800 registered on the waiting lists for social housing. Every family joined the project with an active mindset, to take part in this experience of collaborative living and mutual help.
All families have at least one child: kids in the Co-Housing are 22 in total. The co-housers of the CAPACITyES project have all been living in the city of Bergamo for over 10 years. One family obtained Italian citizenship during the project, while others are waiting for their request to be accepted.
Six families come from West Africa (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Mali) and three from North Africa (Morocco and Tunisia). A family comes from Latin America.
During their stay the residents will take part in training courses to hone their professional skills: this will facilitate their integration and access to the free housing market.
On to the next steps…
The Co-housing on Borgo Palazzo will soon be joined by a new hub dedicated to children all across the city. The Hub4Kids, in the former Cascina Serassi, will offer several cultural, sports and creative activities: this hub will give children the opportunity to fully exercise the right to social and cultural participation in the community, reducing educational poverty.