Sessione 4

Welfare, space and public action / Welfare, spazio e azione pubblica

Coordinatore/i di sessione: Massimo Bricocoli (Politecnico di Milano) e Stefania Sabatinelli (Politecnico di Milano)


Testo della Call

Besides the extension and consolidation of large systems of monetary transfers, the Golden Age of the welfare state has been a fertile time also for the development and construction of physical welfare facilities that, often, displayed high levels of planning innovativeness and material quality, in relation to the standards of the period; some of these remain still today as symbolic artefacts of the past.

The major transformations related to the shift to post-fordism, with the fiscal crisis of welfare and the emergence of new social risks, have come along with an increase but also a diversification of social demands, with trends towards the de-institutionalization and de-standardization of policy solutions, the diversification of welfare providers, and a more active involvement of recipients. In parallel and as a consequence, they have also induced a profound change in the way welfare policies and services are conceived, organized and implemented at the local level.

All these changes bring along also a need of re-design of the physical spaces of welfare, ideally in search of a coherence with the approaches and objectives of social policies. The task is challenging both when it concerns the adaptation of old facilities, that either used to have physical qualities that have become outdated or were poorly built in the first place, and when it regards the necessity and/or the opportunity to build new facilities from scratch.

Space can be regarded as a visible and material dimension of public action, of forms of government, and of policies, not only those more strictly intended as urban planning. In this respect, at the crossroads between social policies and urban studies, empirical evidence and arguments may be useful in discussing issues that concern the normative power and the generative potential of designing and organizing the space in which welfare policies and services develop.

Assuming a definition of public action as the result of joint and disjoint actions by private and public actors, and places as terrains in which projects, intentions, strategies and public action devices are inscribed, welfare spaces can be regarded as public action made visible.

Space can be considered as a dense and complex informative basis in itself, and as the material context in which welfare policies and practices are embedded. Therefore, in its materiality, space is relevant to understand not only the setting, but also the nature of public action itself.

The session aims at exploring the intertwining between the new social organization of the places in which welfare is accessed, organized and/or provided and their material configuration. We welcome papers that tackle such issues from different disciplinary standpoints, including sociology, urban planning, policy design, architecture. The focus may be on different policy domains (first-access social services, community centres, temporary housing solutions, long-term care, early child education and care). Particularly welcome are papers that stem from the analysis of concrete case studies. We accept papers either in English or in Italian.


Paper accettati

Le trasformazioni spaziali degli spazi del welfare. Il caso del Veneto (Alessandro Boldo)

Spazio e politiche sociali. l’interazione tra ambienti costruiti¨narrazioni e pratiche di uso quotidiano nel caso di Padova  (Adriano Cancellieri)

Spaces at the frontline. Analysing the spatial features of first access services in Bologna, Italy (Benedetta Marani)

A Lifelong Neighbourhood. Alvalade in Lisbon (Antonio Carvalho)

Public facilities: a fragile, yet crucial urban capital. Modena as an example of Italian ‘in-between territories’ (Cristiana Mattioli)

Paper distribuiti

Governance¨ territorio¨ infrastrutture. L’organizzazione del welfare locale ai confini urbani. Una triplice investigazione in Italia (Lorenzo De Vidovich)

Spazi tra soggettività fragili e politiche sociali in un rione di edilizia pubblica (Lorenzo Betti)


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