Manifetso2020 - Urban regeneration project

MANIFETSO2020 is a project created in early 2011 by a group of young students, researchers and professionals with diverse training and career paths who either for work, study, or simply for love of this city gravitate around Trieste.

MANIFETSO2020 is non-partisan and self-funded and aims to build in Trieste multidisciplinary teams, with variable geometry, able to propose a series of projects that materialize the requirements of the local population detected through recurring anonymous questionnaires.

Projects that have the ambition to tackle some of the dynamics that characterize contemporary cities worldwide, including Trieste: employment and economic crisis, demographic decline, shrinking cities, scarcity of resources, gentrification and the need to re-define a 'local identity - a functional competitive repositioning at the European level of Trieste.

The focus of the group is to keep the information acquired along the way completely open and to keep all the stakeholders involved along the various projects in development always updated. This to point are fundamental to allow people to interact and participate, with different levels of depth, with MANIFETSO2020.

Why a multidisciplinary team?

Because of the complexity of contemporary society. It requires multi-thematic approaches, capable of triggering processes of change, even outside the project itself.

Looking at the profiles of people who have already joined MANIFETSO2020 we can see how this desire has been caught, and we hope that additional nominations may expand the group, implementing new knowledge and additional points of view.

Briefly, we believe that contemporary society is complex, not complicated, and we think that the real challenge consist in improve the way to read it and interpreting  it correctly, with particular attention on finding the resources to be able to work effectively.

How do we deal with this complexity?

Looking for the real needs of the population, working on positioning Manifetso2020 half way between citizens and policy makers. Each tool, each single project conceived and realized from the group is the result of a process that starts from the “local demand” and arrives, after the construction of those multidisciplinary teams and after a series of moments of comparison and evaluation together with the Scientific Committee, to the construction of a network of resources (often heterogeneous) willing to realize the project, looking for a win – win strategy.

MANIFETSO2020 believes on building processes from the bottom in order to activate a urban re-generation who can promote a real change within the city of Trieste. Processes that take into account the existence of a new class of disadvantaged, which even the members themselves are part of Team MANIFETSO2020 and that has been defined, experimentally, the term “luxury unemployed”.

The team MANIFETSO2020 decided to determine needs asking to fill in an anonymous questionnaire splitting targets in two: first 18 -30 years old and in a second moment over 30. Within three months nearly 2,000 responses were obtained (about 1% of the population). The analysis of information (in collaboration with the Trieste SWG) helped the group to understand which were the main topic/issues to focus.

In the questionnaire we asked the participant to think of themselves in 2020 and to concentrate on what happened during the past 10 years. What changed for better, who where the groups who received more attention, which were the neighborhoods that improved their public services and facilities.

In this way our aim was to give the chance to participants to be more constructive and to identify solution better than problems. All the data has been published on line,  on local media magazines and on a special magazine, for free, around the city so that either citizens and policy makers could follow responces and think about projects.

More sections within the site at:

The project we are developing:

‘Si può fare’ ( ‘We can do it’): The problem identified in the survey was the low attention on promoting starting private and public iniziatives. Building a fast radio format, direct and concise, giving the possibility to a large number of people to promote their own ideas and project as example of best practices capable of a social change and in changing the current local situation. With the radio program such ideas can have a greater opportunity to be heard, enhanced through a series of suggestions from the audience and maybe, why not, find the money to be made in the shortest possible time. In addition, during each episode of the radio program, we present an unused or underused building. The program goeas on air each tuesday from a independent local radio station

M2020COLLECTIVE: bring together into a single digital platform with a global reach all the best artists and creative related to different art disciplines who for various reasons “gravitate” around the city of Trieste. In this way one hand we try to facilitate mutual understanding of such excellence as a function of future collaborations, on the other we collect contacts with potential customers (local and international), who will find from a single site all the information needed to get in touch with them.

AGENDA21: A series of workshops in local high school to help students understand strenght/ weaknesses, potential / criticalities, necessary skills / willingness of a possible choice after the conclusion of their course of study. Making them work in a way that has become standard practice within the universities and university offering the opportunity to converse with a number of young professionals who have followed different paths of growth and employment, it is hoped to increase the information available to these students, so that when he finished high school are more knowledgeable about possible ways forward.

CATALOGO SPAZI OPPORTUNITA’: One of the biggest issue underlieed by the responces of the survey was the severe situation of way to many buildings or entire neighbohoods in city: completely abandoned or not used at their best and efficient possibility. The catalogue's mission is to accelerate the building rehabilitation and job placement in these structures. The project will produce quantitative and qualitative analysis, preparatory to a cataloging of unused or underused buildings, highlighting the potential and weaknesses of each single case, in relation to the possibility of its functional recovery. The results, the map ,will be included in a public web platform internationally accessible. At the same time will be tested a series of techniques and methodologies of urban regeneration by applying appropriate software such as the investigation of spatial syntax.

Later meetings will be organized participatory forums which we call restricted opportunities for stakeholders who will be interested in being involved in the process of urban regeneration. These meetings will aim to meet in a synergistic and complementary way resources of all those involved so as to realize the intersection between supply and demand.

In this early stage of the project of CATALOGO DEGLI SPAZI OPPORTUNITA’ we are postingevery day on Facebook  one building either identified by us or by people who wants to be involved. In the post friends can interact with us and suggest ideas, projects  or activities to resettle in it.

Follow us on facebook: Manifetso Trieste


Hey Stefania, glad you could join us. This is really inspiring,  and wierdly enough when I went to the FB page I realised I had been following the project for some time now without knowing what it was called :slight_smile:

I am curious as  background story is: how and why you came to be involved in this and how you “got it started” And what has come out of the collective in the past…

W O W!!!

Welcome on Edgeryders, Stefania! Thank you for sharing this great project!

your work modality and your assertion “society is complex, not complicated” make me thinking to the Munari’s book titled “Da cosa nasce cosa”. The book opens with a saying of Lao Tse which says: "Production without appropriation, action without imposing itself, development without domination ', followed by the four rules of the Cartesian method i.e. the evidence, the subdivision problems in parts, the order of thoughts, completeness of thought.

I looked at this page and I think that your work process is so clear, almost “scientific” and well constructed that it could be absolutely scalable.

Also your position “half between citizens and policy makers” make me thinking to the “third places” enounced by J. Habermas. We talked about this during the Edgeryders Mini conference of two weeks ago.

Habermus defines the third place “forms of public spheres which emerge from civil society instances as brought to the political level. They are in between the private and the public spheres and are constitued through informal actions”.

you wrote about the open information like a tool to incentivate interaction and partecipation. I agree with you! does it really work in your case? what other tools are you using?

And the policy makers what are doing, what are saying about ManifeTSo?

could you explain more deeply who are the “luxury unemployed”?

and, last question, how are you managing the transition from needs identification and projects design to the realizations of all these projects? I think that the time and the human resources requiered to do this transition could be problematic if you are a little and self-funded group…

excuse me for all these questions, but I’m in love with ManifeTSo2020. :slight_smile:

Any political impact?

Wow, that’s an inspiring project, Stefania!

The first time that I was exposed to it I retained the pictures that will be part of the catalogue of the unused spaces, pictures like this:

The genius of the operation, in my opinion is this: people comment the picture (which is shared on Facebook) by suggesting or endorsing possible uses for unutilized buildings. This has two consequences: (1) it makes explicit what people would like to have in their city and (2) it creates political pressure against absentee real estate owners, who are sitting on all this wealth, are not using it neither allow others to use it. This is never said explicitly to avoid controversy, but it is an almost physical pull. And no wonder, in the comment people are speaking of co-housing, co-working, communal facilicities…

Was ManifeTSO successful in reorienting the public debate in Trieste?