Regenerazioni project aims to contribute to giving voice and protagonism to the Santa Croce district of Reggio Emilia through a participatory, inclusive and intergenerational path of appointments and workshops about good practices of sustainable development

Santa Croce is one of the oldest districts of Reggio Emilia, but it is also one of the most fragile districts, with an uncertain present.

Developed between the first and second post-war periods as a working-class district - thanks to the railway station on the Milan-Bologna line and the Reggiane industrial complex - the area of Santa Croce then underwent a progressive abandonment, with a high percentage of citizens of migrant origin (over 32%, while the municipal average is 17%). 
The elderly residents (equal to about 16% of the more than 4,300 inhabitants of the district), custodians of the memory of the territory, are in turn isolated in this district isolated from the rest of the city, and are particularly affected by the disruptive effects of the pandemic emergency (source: "Atlante dei Quartieri" of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia).

Today the area is experiencing a strong contrast: on the one hand the decay of the disused and abandoned industrial area, on the other an important and strategic urban regeneration intervention promoted by the municipal administration, which has made it a center of innovation and creativity. The Loris Malaguzzi International Center and the Parco Innovazione created in the abandoned buildings of the former Officine Reggiane are active in the area; it was also planned the future transfer of the Remida Centre to the Ex Mangimificio Caffarri headquarters in via Gioia, a few steps away from the International Center Loris Malaguzzi.

The Ex Mangimificio Caffarri headquarters in via Gioia, future home of the Remida Reggio Emilia Centre

The project, selected by Intesa Sanpaolo within the Formula initiative in collaboration with Cesvi Foundation, aims to launch a dynamic series of regener-actions, starting with the protagonism of all citizens - different in age, skills, cultures.

Regenerazioni intends to rediscover contexts and places that are still little used or abandoned in the neighborhood through an inclusive and intergenerational path of appointments and workshops on the theme of sustainability, enhancing both Remida's experience in sustainability education and the experience of Fondazione Reggio Children in projects for the wellbeing of communities.

Regenerazioni will strengthen the actions already in place in that area of the city but will also bring something new, starting from the theme of sustainability in terms of good daily practices (attention to consumption, savings, care for one's own territory and separate waste collection), and quality relationships with their community.

What is sustainability and how does it help us feel part of a community?

The project, lasting 18 months, therefore includes 16 workshop meetings, 2 public city events, 4 seminars and 4 Remida corners with waste materials and books to be put back into circulation. The workshops provide for the meeting of old and new skills in tailoring, in the creation of furniture with waste materials, in storytelling workshops, to name a few.

The strategy that Regenerazioni will implement is to create a Working Group which, together with the staff of Fondazione and Remida, will gradually take decisions on what to do. It will be a working group made up of residents of the neighborhood, who therefore know its resources, needs and problems, and heterogeneous (young and old, mothers and fathers, including those of foreign origin, attentive to the issue of disabilities).


350 children and young adults

from 3 to 14 years old

50 children and young adults

with special rights

100 parents

of children aged 0/14

100 inhabitants

over 60

150 remote beneficiaries

who will be able to take advantage of some initiatives held online for a greater inclusiveness

“Sustainability is about creating good bonds”: the final event

From 22 to 26 of march 2023 was held the final event of the project, titled “Sustainability is about creating good bonds”, quoting a phrase emerged during one of the meetings with Santa Croce’s people. Four days dedicated to sustainability with public meetings with experts from different disciplines like urban planning, art, education, biology, philosophy and literature for a confrontation open at the city at the Tecnopolo of Reggio Emilia and a final party sunday where the Neighborhood pinboard was inaugurated, created with the local associations, which will be an informative point also for creative activities in the area and for the Ex Mangimificio Caffarri, future headquarters of Remida Centre.

This three workshops have deepened the theme of sustainability relationed to three key words: Friendship, Future, Bonds.

On Sunday 26 of march, at the park of the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre, the final moment of the event with the inauguration of the Neighborhood pinboard, designed thanks to the collaboration of a lot of people, in particoular by a mixed teamwork formed by citizens and associations. A place and a tool provided for citizens and community, useful to leave messages, get informations, books-exchanges, grow a garden or stop for playing and tell stories.

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