A Tale of Two Cities in Local Democratic Innovation

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  • Title: A Tale of Two Cities in Local Democratic Innovation: The Experiences of the Participatory Budget in Milan and the Local Community Development in Reggio Calabria from the Perspective of Edu-Communication
  • Author(s): Andrea Volterrani, Maria Cristina Antonucci
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies
  • Keywords: Participatory Budget, Local Community Development, Edu-Communication, Urban Democracy, Democratic Innovation
  • Volume: 18
  • Issue: 1
  • Date: November 22, 2022
  • ISSN: 2324-7576 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2324-7584 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2324-7576/CGP/v18i01/1-14
  • Citation: Volterrani, Andrea, and Maria Cristina Antonucci. 2022. "A Tale of Two Cities in Local Democratic Innovation: The Experiences of the Participatory Budget in Milan and the Local Community Development in Reggio Calabria from the Perspective of Edu-Communication." The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies 18 (1): 1-14. doi:10.18848/2324-7576/CGP/v18i01/1-14.
  • Extent: 14 pages

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Abstract

Urban participation formats have experienced a dynamic season of experimentation in Italy in the last 15 years. In this period, two questions about the inclusion and representativeness of the participants in these formats of urban democracy have arisen: How inclusive and representative of urban communities are they? How does the selection of the participatory tools created by the cities collect the community of participants? In identifying a need for education in edu-communication, as defined by Freire, for a better and deeper civic participation to urban democracy, the article presents and discusses two case studies focusing on participatory budget (Milan) and local community development (Reggio Calabria). In the comparisons between genesis, format, and development, the two case studies present the same need for edu-communication functions: civic training, empowering diverse types of citizens for urban decision-making, supporting inclusive democratic processes at the local level, and enhancing comprehensive urban decision-building, open to communities. In this sense, we consider both theoretically and empirically the role of edu-communication as a leverage for better urban democracy, and we detect risks and opportunities in the two case studies that could benefit from a greater use of edu-communication, especially in the post–COVID-19 context and in light of international experiences.