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2nd Peer Review Session in Rome 10-12 July, 2013

Edited on

06 February 2015
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2nd Peer Review Session in Rome 10-12 July, 2013

2nd Peer Review Session in Rome 10-12 July 2013

The evening before the formal Peer Review Session the Project Partners met for an after-eight drink and a walk around one of Rome’s historic districts.


The Peer Review meeting started with a guided site visit in the outskirts of East Rome, in the area of Tor Sapienza, where the target area of the RE-block project, the Morandi housing estate is situated. The tour started by visiting the new but empty, unused railway station and the connected unused parking lot. Passing by the industrial area, which several years ago provided employment for the people living in its vicinity, but now operates with very limited capacity, the group pulled through the residential area of detached and semidetached houses populated by middle class people. After visiting the legally set up gypsy settlement, which is steadily growing by those families who occupy the unused land next to the settlement, the group took a short walk in the traditional centre of the area, the main street of Tor Sapienza, which is still a lively commercial street with shops. There is a market in walking distance from the main street, but is not very popular among the residents, with only a small number of shops running their business there. Having popped in the home of asylum seekers the group finally arrived to the Morandi housing estate.



ULSG members, representatives of different NGO’s and civil organisations met partners’ representatives in one of the cultural centres of the area. A member of the ULSG – who is also the representative of the association running the cultural centre – made an introductory presentation on the local situation, which may be summarised as follows:




  • High number of local associations in the area, a relevant critical mass in the third sector, some local associations have relevance not just at local scale;

  • In the oldest part of the selected area, mainly built at the beginning of the 20th century, all services, facilities and amenities are available;

  • Multimodal mobility means available;

  • The neighbourhood is situated near main transport infrastructures (railway, main access roads to city centre)A rooted identity of inhabitants (memory and social/intellectual capital);

  • A number of industrial areas and SMEs’ areas are situated near the selected area;

  • Public Urban Policies Heritage (URBACT is not the first initiative in the area);

  • A number of urban facilities/services (schools, shops, church…);

  • Diversity in urban fabric (residential, industrial, agricultural land use is foreseen in the area);

  • Good urban density in the historical part of Tor Sapienza.




  • Especially in the Morandi Neighbourhood area, high level of unemployment, low level of schooling and a number of immigrant families living in occupied spaces (illegal and invented dwellings);

  • The Morandi settlement (Viale Giorgio Morandi) and the old part of Tor Sapienza (Via di Tor Sapienza) are not well connected by public transport and the physical pedestrian connections are not at the right places either;

  • The Morandi settlement is still an unconnected island within the peripheral urban fabric of Eastern Rome. This has determined a strong physical, cultural, social and economic isolation of the blocks area;

  • Many people living in the area, especially in the Morandi settlement, have/had criminal records, this determines additional prejudice regarding the perception of the area;

  • Network of local micro-economies, at neighborhood scale, is extremely fragmented and not relevant in achieving its critical mass;

  • Many public spaces are rundown and not usable by local inhabitants. There is a general need of refurbishing spaces and redesigned use of common spaces;

  • The presence of many illegal dwellings generated by immigrants and the Romi settlement positioned in via Salviati generate conflicts in the area, conflicts especially involving young people, often unemployed and low-skilled;

  • Due to the economic crisis, the isolation of this area is growing and socio-economic problems of families are increasing;

  • Social exclusion is already visible in the selected area, but no relevant specific local (regional, municipal) policy/initiative is in progress related to it, no relevant measures are currently taken for moving out this part of Rome from its condition of deprivation.


A dialog between the ULSG members and the representatives of the Partners was carried out about the key issues at the Morandi estate and in Partner Cities. Partners’ Knowledge Ambassadors also presented some good practices applied in their home towns in Södertalje, Vilnius, Budapest, Iasi and Malaga.



Initial ideas for the LAP of Tor Sapienza/Morandi were discussed next day with an extended circle of stakeholders, such as representatives of ministries and regional authorities involved in the meeting. The initial ideas of the LAP were structured around the following key issues:


  • Public Space (renewal of Tor Sapienza main axes, renewal of Morandi service area, relaunch renewable energy in the Morandi blocks, handling informal living in the Morandi service area);

  • Social Inclusion (engaging young people, assisting early school leavers and their families, improving the services provided by local associations);

  • Local Economy (training and counseling for SMEs, managing local labor market, generating new micro enterprises in recycling and urban agriculture).


It was also indicated how integrated approach can be applied in tackling each development issue with reference of the others.

The LAP intervention area: