Events and Press



lulea21 March 2018, Luleå University of Technology, Conference Room A117 @ Sweden, Luleå 20-22 March: CSW Arctic // Europe 2018

2:50pm Presentation by Chiara Certomà: “Much Ado About Nothing? Crowdsourcing for Public Governance in the European R&I Context”

Crowdsourcing processes can impact on governance model by restructuring governance models and fuelling the integration of environmental, social and economic priorities in the city. I’m interested in understanding when and how it is adopted in Europe, and whether crowdsourcing fits with the European Commission social innovation and participatory governance strategy. The results presented show how crowdsourcing for public governance is understood in scientific research and research-led projects supported by EC; and how it is actually adopted in local, non research-led projects (supported by networks of cities, local institutions, private associations or CSOs) in Europe. Eventually, I discuss whether, and under what conditions, crowdsourcing can foster virtuous processes of urban sustainability governance via participation social innovation practice.

Check the agenda!

4:51pm Panel discussion  “The New Network Economy – Impact Investment for a Sustainable Society”

Moderator: Kaj Embrén, CEO, CSW Europe
Panelists: Niklas Nordström, Mayor of City of Luleå, Xavier Damman, Founder, OpenCollective, Anna Chojnacka, Founder, GoodUP, Thomas Hörnfeldt, Vice President Sustainability & Public Affairs, SSAB – Swedish Steel Industry, Chiara Certoma, MSCA Researcher, Ghent University and Director of IRTA Leonardo

CSW Arctic // Europe 2018 will bring the latest developments in crowdsourcing to centre stage, focusing around trending topics such as Finance, ICO’s & Green Bonds, Energy & Sustainability, Innovation and CrowdGaming, Agriculture, Farming, Travel & Tourism in the Sharing Economy.




Feb 2nd 2018, 9am-18am, KU Leuven, Campus Gasthuisberg O&N 2, Herestraat 49, 3001 Leuven

CROWD_USG poster presentation at the 2018 MCAA General Assembly and Annual Conference


Photo on 11-12-2017 at 15.16Dec 11th 2017, 10am -4pm, Legambiente Nazionale, via Salaria 403

National Workshop “The challenge of green society. Participation, solidarity, volunteering, welfare, community, new enterprises, beauty, innovation, culture, rights” 

 (in italian) Seminario nazionale “Le sfide della green society. Partecipazione, solidarietà, volontariato, welfare, comunità, nuova impresa, bellezza, innovazione, cultura, diritti: le parole del cambiamento”

Esiste la green society? In questi anni stiamo assistendo ad una crescita progressiva di tutti gli indicatori economici e sociali che attestano scelte ecosostenibili da parte dei cittadini e, in misura diversa, delle imprese. Ma si può parlare di un tessuto sociale coeso e di qualità, di relazioni comunitarie, di un orizzonte di valori e comportamenti che determinano innovazione sociale verso l’ecosostenibilità? Sapendo che ci troviamo di fronte ad esperienze al confine documentate nel volume Alla scoperta della green society tra aspetti ambientali e aspetti sociali, immerse nei territori, spesso carsiche, di dimensioni ridotte e disperse, cioè non coordinate da qualcosa o da qualcuno, eppure in tutte queste storie si rilancia, in modo forte e radicale, il senso della koinè.


Nov 17th 2017, MSCA Facebook page

CROWD_USG presented by fellow of the week Chiara Certomà, find out more below:

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 15.51.25


Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 10.23.48 Oct 10th 2017, Lund University, Biskopsgatan 5, Lund

Papers presentation and Session organisation at Lund Conference on Earth System Governance

Earth System Governance is the largest social science research network in the area of governance and global environmental change. The Earth System Governance research alliance takes up the challenge of exploring political solutions and novel, more effective governance mechanisms to cope with the current transitions in the biogeochemical systems of the planet. The normative context of this research is sustainable development; earth system governance is not only a question of institutional effectiveness, but also of political legitimacy and social justice.

DLxmb2jWsAAah7qphoto by ESG Conference Staff

Program of interventions

  • 11.00-12.30 Chiara Certomà and Federico Martellozzo  present the “Cultivating justice? A critical analysis of the correlation between Political Gardening and Spatial Injustice in Rome” in the conference session Science and activism-Civil Society (check the Book of Abstracts for a complete abstract)
  • 13.20-15.00 Jeroen van der Heijden, Harriet Bulkeley and Chiara Certomà organise and chair the session Urban Governance harvesting book projectThe Politics of Urban Climate Futures: Increasing Agency and Contested Empowerment”. This initiative will lead forward an edited volume of accessible chapters that bring together earth system governance scholarship on urban climate governance. It is now evident that urban responses to climate change involve a diverse range of actors as well as forms of agency that cross traditional boundaries, and which have diverse consequences for (dis)empowering different social groups and effects for questions of justice. Friction between novel forms of agency, new agents of change and (dis)empowerment is a missing focus in existing scholarship. This edited book addresses this knowledge gap, and raises important issues for how we understand urban climate responses. Questions that will be addressed are: What novel agents have emerged in urban climate governance since the early 1990s, and in what ways do they act? How is authority given to or taken by them, and how do they exercise agency? Who gains and who loses from a growing number of agents in urban climate governance? To what extent and how does including novel agents in urban climate governance empower them? Whether and how can (dis)empowerment in urban climate governance be studied, made visible, and challenged? The general outline of the book and the book chapters will be discussed at the 2017 Lund Conference in two sessions. These are open to all conference participants. This initiative is led by Jeroen van der Heijden (Australian National University, and Lead Author of the New Directions in Earth System Governance), Harriet Bulkeley (Durham University, Earth System Governance Lead Faculty), and Chiara Certomà (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Earth System Governance Research Fellow). Amongst the others, Fracois Mancebo and Chiara Certomà present the paper “Planning Urban Futures: Addressing the Sustainability-Justice Nexus in the Light of Urban Agriculture.”

Poster 1

September 29th, 9-11 pm, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Aula 3, Pz. Martiri della Libertà 33, Pisa

“Vuoi una città più verde? Clicca mi piace e condividi!”. Sostenibilità e partecipazione nel web interattivo

Speaker: Chiara Certomà

Interactive workshop and visual exploration of forefront experiments in web-based citizens’ participation toward greater democracy and sustainability in European cities.

The workshop is organized in the context of the EU Bright Night of Researchers 2017 in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Development – CDO, Ghent University and the Scuola Sant’Anna – Istituto Dirpolis and Istituto di Management.  

Informationa material have been realised with the support of  Marie Curie Alumni AssociationMarie Curie Alumni Association.


Photo on 31-08-2017 at 18.56Aug 31st 2017, 4:50 – 6:30 pm, Royal Geographical Society, Lowther Room, London

Making Injustice visible: cross-disciplinary representational techniques and processes of Spatial & Environmental Injustice and Environmental Conflicts

Session at RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017

Organisation and Chairing: Chiara Certomà and Federico Martellozzo

Supported by Geographies of Justice Research Group

The section is aimed at improving the theoretical and methodological background to investigate spatial justice via a cross-disciplinary research; in particular we focus on the spatio-temporal distribution of socio-environmental conflicts, on the mix of qualitative and quantitative methods that can proficiently support environmental justice definition/recognition, and on the linkages with policy oriented research.
Since the early ‘70s the debate on spatial justice attracted a broad scholarly interest by showing how the circumstances in which different social groups live play a major role in determining their wealth, opportunity, health outcomes, educational attainment and virtually influence all aspects of life’s quality (Harvey, 1973; 1996; Lefebvre, 1991; Soja, 1989, 2010). The unequal distribution of reseources and possibilities overlaps the unequal economic and social power distribution occurring through the social body (I.M. Young 1990; Haughton, 1999). More recently, social research established that, amongst other burdens, environmental problems are not randomly distributed in space and they do affect some people more than others. The link between spatial justice and environmental issues (Homer Dixon, 1994; Agyeman 2005; Dryzek 1987) engaged scholars’ debate and fueled the disputes regarding its etiology, consequences and controversies. As Agyeman points out (2005), environmental justice has not only to be interpreted from a negative perspective but should also be seen as a proactive tool for accessing and distributing the environmental benefits necessary for sustainable societies with a high quality of life.
In order for this to happen, activists, research bodies and the academia shall attempt at providing an accurate, detailed and punctual representation of spatial&environmental injustice (e.g. and the related conflicts (e.g.
Nevertheless the fuzziness of theoretical definition, together with its breadth (spamming across a vast number of disciplinary fields) made it difficult to fully appreciate the multilayered and cross-scalar consequences of spatial injustice, most notably the socio-environmental conflicts. The narrative and the representation of spatial&environmental injustices and subsequent conflicts through geographic, qualitative and quantitative data (which can prove to be reliable, scientifically accurate and complete) is of capital importance for a full consideration in both academic debate, and in decision support system and policy-making processes.

Session program:

  • Injustice for whom? Spatial justices and the idea of development – Jukka Keski-Filppula (University of Oulu, Finland)
  • Negotiating “Creata” between the imperial space time and vulnerable places –Eija Merilainen (Hanken School of Economics, Finland)
  • Environmental conflicts in the new Chilean forest landscape: a political ecology approach – Enrique Aliste (Universidad de Chile, Chile)
  • Can the globally emerging movement of political gardening work as a correction mechanism for spatial injustice in the city? Chiara Certomà (Centre for Sustainable Development, Ghent University, Belgium), Federico Martellozzo (University of Rome, Italy)

screen-shot-2017-06-06-at-10-54-03-amJune 15th, 2.30 pm, CDO, Seminar Room, Poel 16, 9000, Ghent

CROWD_USG. Crowdsourcing urban sustainability governance. Open initial seminar

Speaker: Chiara Certomà

CROWD_USG is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research project exploring how ICT-people interactions are transforming the governance of urban sustainability.  Cities are increasingly depicted as the appropriate loci for tackling with a number of interrelated and complex issues – ranging from protecting the environment, to incubating innovation and granting social justice. The socio-technological networks, which progressively emerged for addressing the related tasks, are now significantly changing the traditional forms of urban governance. In these contexts, technologies are often presented as both facilitators and drivers of changes. Nevertheless, the assumption that broadening technological access will lead to people’s empowerment and make participation effective is questionable.  CROWD_USG project investigates under what conditions crowdsourcing (i.e. any open call format toward collective solution seeking by a large network of users) can actually turn governance processes into open and shared opportunities for advancing socio-environmental sustainability in the city. This seminar  presents the background, motivations, scope and expected results of the project, by exploring current scientific production and forefront applications of participatory ICTs toward urban sustainability. Theoretical and methodological approach are  open for discussion with colleagues, in reference to the case of Ghent.

Event on CORDIS

Event on MCAA and on MCAA calendar

Event on DG Research&Innovation

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 10.05.23Jun 8th 2017,  Scuola di Lettere Filosofia Lingue, Università Roma Tre, Via Ostiense 234-236, Roma

Giustizia spaziale, conflitti ambientali e loro rappresentazione

Session at XXXII Congresso Geografico Italiano

Organisation and Chairing: Chiara Certomà and Federico Martellozzo

La sessione si concentra sull’analisi del contesto teorico e metodologico per l’analisi della teoria della giustizia spaziale; in particolare vuole offrire un momento di riflessione condivisa sulla distribuzione spazio-temporale dei conflitti socio-ecologici, e sulle metodologie quali-quantitative che possono essere utilizzate per la definizione e l’osservazione di fenomeni di ingiustizia spaziale e con la ricerca sulle politiche volte alla loro risoluzione.

News and press releases


(7-9/02/2018) Chiara Certomà is respondent at the U&U – 9th edition of the PhD Seminar in Urbanism & Urbanization, Gent University, Department of Architecture & Urban Planning

Visual impressions of the event available here U&U-PhD Seminar


Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 15.47.17(17/11/2017) CROWD_USG is the project of the week on Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions facebook page



msca-anniversary-rome-1200(10/11/2017) Sharing tought on transdiciplinarity, mobility and diversity in research at “Celebrating Marie Curie’s Birthday in Rome” event by MCAA


Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 11.07.10

(25/10/2017) CROWD_USG special guest at Gert Pauwels’ presentation “Voordracgt: Hoe SMART zijn we in Gent?” hosted by Digitale Week in Gent



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(6/9/2017) Chiara Certomà joined the COST Action CA15212 Citizen Science


Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 3.41.31 PM(4/7/2017) CROWD_USG is now an affiliated project at the Earth System Governance Project; Posted on Earth System Governance


(15/6/2017); CROWD_USG included in “De Commons in Gent” mapping project; Posted on gentCommonsWiki



Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 3.10.53 PM(25/5/2017); CROWD_USG entered the Digital Social Innovation network; Posted on Digital Social Innovation.


chiocciolaLEO(10/4/2017) Borsa Marie Skłodowska-Curie a Chiara Certomà per un progetto su crowdsourcing e città sostenibili; Posted on



(07/04/2017) Partecipatory Urbanism 2017, il 7 aprile l’intervento della direttrice di IRTA-Leonardo, Chiara Certomà; Posted on


(27/03/2017) Project reference on EU Cordis; Posted on Cordis.



(26/03/2017) Are Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Driving Transformation of Landscapes and Taking Shape in Local Governance Structures? Sant’Anna Dirpolis and Management Institute Researcher Receives EU Funding; Posted on Sant’Anna Magazine.

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