Innovative housing practices involving immigrants: the case of self-building in Italy
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This article presents self-building projects and policy in Italy and discusses their potential to respond to housing needs in contemporary cities. It first analyzes a specific regional policy designed to promote access to housing for social groups excluded from the housing market and at the same time to foster integration between Italian and immigrant families. Secondly, it looks at the development and implementation of two self-building projects, one within the framework of the regional policy and one outside it. Our aim is to provide an assessment of the related policy and the practices in terms of institutional and social innovation.
KeywordsSelf-building Social innovation Housing policy Immigrant integration policy
This research was partly self-funded and partly supported by a Nesta UK Research Grant in collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University, TEPSIE, Oxford Saïd Business School, the Social Innovation Exchange, and The Rockefeller Foundation. An early version of this paper was presented at the International Conference “Social frontiers: the Next Edge of Social Innovation Research”, Glasgow Caledonian University, London, November 2013; we are very grateful for the comments received during the conference. The authors would like to thank our colleagues in the COST Action IS1102, “Social services, welfare state and places”; we are grateful for the support of the COST programme and would like to acknowledge the contribution of all experts participating in this specific Action. Last, but not least, we would also like to thank Martina Valsesia for providing the empirical material of her Casalmaggiore case study and for discussing with us our interpretation as well as Roberto Crose for the policy material he shared on Paderno Dugnano and self-building in the Lombardy Region.
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