CommonsHood in the Garden. Social economies, civic blockchain and urban gardening in Turin

A new social innovation project has been just granted by the CRT Foundation to DIGGEO@ESOMAS: “CommonsHood in the Garden. A local network for the creation of non–monetary value at the Orto della SME by using civic blockchain” in Turin!

I will run it in collaboration with the Department of Management (Laura Corazza) and the Department of Computer Science (Guido Boella).

The project responds to the need to increase social cohesion of local economic networks in urban fringes at the cross-road of different socio-economic and cultural contexts, and to improve the quality of the environment and urban greenery, through the collective and circular management of public areas. To this end, it adopts digital tools for civic activism.
The project supports the student community and citizens in managing the collective garden Orto della SME of the School of Management and Economics, UniTo, created with the support of the New European Bahauhs – EIT Food according to the principles of inclusiveness and sustainability (eg. furnishings made with circular material and suitable for the elderly, the disabled and children). Participation in the activities (cultivation, maintenance, events) will be symbolically remunerated with “tokens” managed by the CommonsHoodblockchain app developed by the Department of Computer Science, which can be used in shops and local associations, to support local economic cycles and the urban social economy.

The project adopts and adapts the successful model of local currencies for the recreation of local social and solidarity economies and the care of green spaces accessible to citizens (e.g. the Belgian Torekes project). It provides for the territorial extension of at least 150 square meters of the Orto della SME in the area behind the School of Management (already approved by the referring Departments), on the border between the abandoned municipal spaces “ex-Combi” and the managed areas “OASI”, through collective management processes with the student associations of the University (e.g. Obiettivo Studenti and AIESEC) and the schools of the area (e.g. Asilo Nido il Micino). To enhance the work of the participants and increase membership, the easy-to-use CommonsHood blockchain app will be used, issuing local currency in the form of “tokens” that can be spent in the purchase of goods and services in the neighborhood, thanks to agreements with merchants, cultural associations and sports, district services. The products from the garden will be donated to charities in collaboration with the Mandala Association.

[photo by Chiara Certoma’: seeds bombs at Orto della SME]

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