Universities as Drivers of Social Innovation

Theoretical Overview and Lessons from the "campUS" Research

  • Davide Fassi
  • Paolo Landoni
  • Francesca Piredda
  • Pierluigi Salvadeo

Part of the Research for Development book series (REDE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. The Role of University Campuses in Social Innovation Practices

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Davide Fassi
      Pages 3-14
    3. Davide Fassi
      Pages 15-27
    4. Pierluigi Salvadeo
      Pages 29-47
  3. On and Off Campus: New Models for Social Innovation

  4. campUS: Incubation and Implementation of Social Practices

About this book


This book reviews the social role of universities in their local urban contexts and describes a number of initiatives of major interest in terms of the impact achieved, the range of stakeholders involved, and the significance of the university campus and teachers as agents of change. It is divided into three parts, the first of which draws on the international literature to provide theoretical background regarding the role of universities and university campuses as drivers of and magnets for social innovation. The second and third parts each focus on four main themes of interest in the contemporary design setting: urban community gardens, social TV stations, mobile pavilions, and economic sustainability models. After a theoretical overview that also illustrates international best practices, it then focuses on the specific context of Milan, based on the pilot project recently conducted by the Politecnico di Milano, “CampUS - incubation and implementation of social practices”, which won the 25th ADI Compasso d’Oro Award (2018) in the social design category. The book is of interest to academics, students, those working at public institutions, and city policymakers.


design for social innovation collaborative services social innovation practices campUS incubation and implementation of social practices business modelling for actions long term sustainability urban spaces cross-cultural research co-creation urban regeneration

Editors and affiliations

  • Davide Fassi
    • 1
  • Paolo Landoni
    • 2
  • Francesca Piredda
    • 3
  • Pierluigi Salvadeo
    • 4
  1. 1.Dipartimento di DesignPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Management and Production EngineeringPolitecnico di TorinoTurinItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di DesignPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento Architettura e Studi UrbaniPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

Bibliographic information