Community-led initiatives in Italy

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Transition in Italy

Main page: Transition in Italy

The Transition Network lists 7 initiatives in Italy[1] while the national network lists 29 projects in different stages of development on their website. A strong concentration of initiatives can be found in and around Bologna.[2]

"Transition Italia was founded in 2008 to facilitate and support the dissemination of this exciting collective process on the Italian territory. It acts as a local node (HUB) of the international Transition network on the basis of an agreement (MoU) signed with the Transition Network".[3] Transition Italia is a member of ECOLISE.

Permaculture in Italy

Main page: Permaculture in Italy

Ecovillages in Italy

Main page: Ecovillages in Italy

The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) lists 25 projects in their database. This number is however only reflecting the projects that have registered themselves on the database. The ecovillage database contains ecovillage projects of all sizes and in all stages of development.[4]

The ecovillages in Italy are organized in RIVE, the national network Rete Italiana Villaggi Ecologic. RIVE is an association founded in 1996 connecting and supporting 19 existing ecovillages, 11 ecovillages in development (2016) and 10 ecovillage projects.[5]

RIVE is also a full member of GEN-Europe, the European branch of the Global Ecovillage Network and a member of ECOLISE.


Damanhur, founded in 1975 is a Federation of spiritual communities of 600 people spread over an area of 15 kilometers.[6] In 2005, Damanhur received recognition from the United Nation's Global Forum on Human Settlements as a model for a sustainable society.[7]

World Cleanup Day in Italy

Main page: World Cleanup Day in Italy

The Italian World Cleanup Initiative has been active since 2012, starting spontaneously by civil society self-organising in the Vesuvius region and having the first cleanup under the Let's do it! World banner in May 2013.""Let's do it!", Vesuvius: the largest voluntary cleaning of the volcano". [ web portal]. 2013-05-04. Retrieved 2020-09-23. External link in |publisher= (help)

By 2020, World Cleanup Day in Italy has grown substantially and spread accross the entire country, involving thousands of volunteers.[8] In 2020, more than 2000 teams organised cleanups in most Italian cities and regions. "World Cleanup Day: 2mila azioni in tutta Italia per ripulire il mondo" [2 World Cleanup day: thousand actions throughout Italy to clean up the world]. Il Riformista (in Italian). 2020-09-20. Retrieved 2020-09-23.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)

[Italian Zero waste] network and Zero Waste Europe have brought in their expertise to the global World Cleanup Day initiative.

Community Energy in Italy

Main page: Community energy in Italy

Solidarity Economy in Italy

Main page: Solidarity economy in Italy

"In Italy (..) the Social Economy is one of the sector with the highest added value in the Country’s regions. It played and still plays a key role at the local level both in terms of social cohesion and as an enabler for the local development. Furthermore, the Social Economy organizations are an excellence in the area: the presence and activity of associations, social cooperatives and voluntary organizations help creating and strengthening the regional social and economic fabric". [9]

Retegas is Italy’s Solidarity Purchase Group (SPG / GAS) network. While there has already been a strong movement of GAS organising direct provisioning of food, the SUSY report of 2015 on Social and Solidarity Economy notes an increase of Solidarity Purchase Group also provisioning of "textiles and alternative” services such as renewable energy, sustainable tourism, or even dental insurance".[9]

REES Marche replaced the informal Regional Table of Solidarity Economy in 2006 and acts both as an association and a network promoting a new economic system in the Matche region. In 2015, "REES Marche had about 200 members, which include many legal entities (companies, cooperatives, associations, SPGs, not-for-profit organizations and local bodies), and has been engaged in setting up Solidarity Economy Districts (SEDs) in several areas of the region, through the engagement of economic stakeholders, associations and institutions working in different areas".[9]

Community Food Production in Italy

Main page: Community Food Production in Italy

"A national survey by the Farmers Union Coldiretti has claimed that 18% of Italians (about 7 million people) are allegedly involved in forms of collective production and supply chains. About 150,000 people may be involved in solidarity-driven collective productions and supply chains such as SPGs".[9]

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Italy

According to URGENCI, the International Network for Community Supported Agriculture, the first GAS (Gruppo di Acquisto Solidale – Solidarity Purchase Group SPG) in Italy were registered as early as 1994 but most groups were started after 2000 with the first CSA established in 2001. GAS are very similar to CSA with the major difference that „GAS are traditionally seen as consumer- centred initiatives with a strong personal engagement with the farmers but without a formal commitment towards them“. [10] In 2015, the URGENCI report "Overview of Community Supported Agriculture in Europe" names 1.000 registered GAS but notes that the real number is much larger as not all initiatives are registered.[11]

Initiatives & Projects

Arvaia, an agricultural cooperative formed by citizens and organic farmers, has been experimenting on a municipal land, that is public. "The organization’s main goals are: employment, growth of social participation, monitoring and protection of the territory, spread of organic/biodynamic farming, recovery of traditional crops, reduction of market and of monetary exchanges, use of the participated self-certi cation on products and development of a network of relationships with authorities, associations and individuals in Italy and abroad, motivated by the same goals".[9]


Collaboration with Local Government


  1. Accessed on June 10th 2018
  2. Accessed on June 11th 2018
  3. Accessed on June 11th 2018
  4. Accessed on May 23rd 2018
  5. Accessed on June 4th 2018
  6. Accessed on June 4th 2018
  7. Accessed on June 4th 2018
  8. Let's do it! Italy official website
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Troisi, R., di Sisto, M., Castagnola, A., 2018. Transformative economy: Challenges and limits of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) in 55 territories in Europe and in the World. Sustainable and Solidarity Economy, Firenze.
  10. European CSA Research Group (2016): Overview of Community Supported Agriculture in Europe. Accessed on June 7th 2018
  11. Volz, P., Weckenbrock, P., Cressot, N. & Parot, J. European CSA Research Group (2016): Overview of Community Supported Agriculture in Europe. Accessed on June 7th 2018