Inspiring Approaches

NaplesThe Common Goods Charter

What is inspiring?

The city has launched an innovative commons goods charter (one of its kind in Italy) to create self-managed collective spaces. As a result, plots of land and properties owned by the City are considered part of the commons to be used for social purposes.


Comune di Napoli - Assessorato all'urbanistica (Naples Municipality - Department of Urban Planning)


How does it operate?

Common goods are defined through a process of collaboration between the city council and civil society. When a vacant building is or starts to be used informally by the local community for social, political, or cultural purposes and is recognised by the local Naples government to be of common public interest, a provision regulating its “civic use” is made. The provision defines the rights, duties and responsibilities for using the particular vacant building as a common good. The provision also defines the self-management structures, guarantees of public access and collective use, the principles of cooperation and co-management, financial resources for the site management, and sustainability principles. On the grounds of this provision, the initiative is officially allowed to use the building complex.

What is the outcome?

As a result of the charter, several services and initiatives aimed at migrants set themselves up in premises falling under the common goods scheme. The most important of these is a social centre that serves as a venue for political organising on migrant rights and the political representation of migrants and refugees.

Who initiated the project? How?

During the last decade, the city of Naples has been experimenting with new urban governance tools to give new life to abandoned and/or deprived buildings. Different movements and informal organisations have highlighted the need for such spaces to be used and managed by city inhabitants in common through self-organization mechanisms. The city of Naples carved out the policy based on several city council resolutions bringing city inhabitants to the centre of the decision-making process. By revisiting the legal institution of ‘civic use’ and adapting it to the urban context, the administration has formalised a new form of participatory governance that intends to go beyond the classic ‘concession agreement model’ which is based on a dichotomous view of the public-private partnership.

What is new in 2023?

The Naples City Council and UNHCR have signed an agreement to establish a multi-service centre in a "common space" model to improve the inclusion of refugees in Naples. The project will transform a confiscated building for social purposes. It was inaugurated in April 2023 at Via Vespucci 9 and symbolises the city's commitment to the support and well-being of refugees. The cooperation project will bring together various integration services under one roof and support refugees with administrative procedures, psychosocial care, language classes and employment programmes. The initiative focuses on active participation and autonomy within local communities, promoting inclusion.

All inspiring approaches