Joy Village

Candidate ID

  • Institution : Égalité no-profit association
  • City : Rome
  • Country : Italy
  • Type of region : More developed

I am looking for

  • Lead Partner
  • Project Partners


The Joy Village is a model of social innovation revolving around an old farmhouse and adjacent land, on the edge between the Roman countryside and the working-class district of Magliana.

The basic idea is to recover the existing ruins and adjacent land - applying the strictest standards of green building, accessibility and agroecology - to create spaces for inclusive hospitality, meeting and work. In constant interaction with the community.

The Joy Village also aspires to demonstrate the benefits of infrastructure and services tailored to everyone. A living laboratory, at the same time, where to experiment with assistive technologies and solutions, sustainable mobility.

Geographical context and logistics

The Joy Village is an old farmhouse located in the middle basin of the Valle dei Casali, an area of more than 750 hectares protected and managed by the regional Roma Natura Protected Authority. The farmhouses of the Roman countryside, whose construction began in the 12th century, were structures of a residential and productive nature (cereal growing and breeding). 

Sudden urbanisation in the last century, however, has led to the abandonment of many farmhouses - such as the one under examination, currently reduced to ruins - or their destruction to make way for new buildings. The loss of interest in the land has caused an urban and para-urban desertification that also exposes the land to serious fire hazards.

Accessible hospitality

The project aims to recover a total of 806 square metres of ruins, currently divided into:

(a) 396 sqm on two floors, which are presumed to be former dwellings that have not been surveyed. To be restored for residential use, divided into:

-first floor, a 100 sqm dwelling and 2 mini-apartments of approx. 40 sqm, 
-ground floor, 3 mini-apartments (30 sqm approx.), to be rented on a weekly basis through b&b,

b) 406 sq m on one floor, former stables or storage sheds, to be converted to accessible tourist accommodation and meetings hub;

-ground floor, to be built, 12 mini-apartments of approx. 30 sqm, to be used as b&b,
-first floor, conference area (140 sqm) and bar-restaurant area (90 sqm), hall-office with meeting room (80 sqm), gym-therapy area (60 sqm), service rooms (20 sqm).

A swimming pool accessible to persons with disabilities and ecological, i.e. to be built with natural materials and maintained in service with biological technologies (without the use of chlorine) is also planned.

Every indoor and outdoor space will be realised in compliance with the ISO/FDIS 21542:2011(E) accessibility standard, with attention also paid to sensory and mental disabilities. To ensure this, the projects will be shared with a focus group of disabled people.

Parking, organic garden, green area and social eco-agriculture

The Joy Village aspires to provide a green oasis for its visitors as well as the local community. Parking spaces with charging stations will therefore be underground and covered with lawns and trees.

The space closest to the buildings will be dedicated to an organic garden with fruit trees and grape arbours. In a wider radius, a green area respecting the flora-fauna tradition of the Valle dei Casali (which includes cork oaks, willows, mulberry trees and broom) will be developed, with paths accessible to people with motor and sensory disabilities. 

The adjacent land will instead be dedicated to eco-agriculture for the production of fruit and vegetables and a micro-production of organic eggs. Space will also be reserved for traditional crops with the highest CO2 capture rates (e.g. bamboo, industrial hemp, Pawlonia Piemonte). Agricultural activities will be subjected to organic certification, the methods of which will also be applied to garden and landscaping. A social cooperative employing people with mental disabilities will manage these activities.

Accessibility, inclusion

Either the Municipality and the public services providers, as well as the private enterprises (i.e. sports centers, shops, restaurants and cafeterias, laundries, etc.) will be encouraged to join a common effort in making life easier for the wide community of persons with disabilities and frailties. By eliminating architectural barriers, and also sharing practical solutions on how to better include the overall population, leaving no one behind.

Égalité, a no-profit association steadily engaged in disability awareness and rights, will provide the first-hand contribution of its members who live with physical and sensorial disabilities. In order to help public administrators, entrepreneurs and their personnel, and the citizens of the neighborhood understand the needs and the values of a truly inclusive society.