The idea of revitalization of the peripheral neighbourhoods is a central theme in the political debate in Milan. The present Mayor, Giuseppe Sala, wants to invest 365 million € into the renovation of the suburban areas in the next five years.
At the beginnings of the 1990s, a similar idea led to the construction of many community centers in the city. One of these is the “Barrio’s”, a structure was built in 1990, but not used until 1997.
In this year, the cooperative “Comunità Nuova” obtained the management of the location and gave it the name “Barrio’s”. Barona, the neighbourhood where the Barrio’s is situated, is strongly characterized by different ethnic groups, in particular from North Africa.
The aim of this organization has been the active involvement of local citizens through a place-making process. The Barrio’s also has the role of promoting possibilities for the future of the young generation. Local businesses and organizations are involved in the creation of educational processes for the acquisition of working skills for young people. This goal has been pursued through tutoring and courses for the use of computer and the internet.
Furthermore, the Barrio’s promotes cultural events such as cinema and theatre festivals, and an orchestra consisting of local children. From its beginnings, the organization has been running a bar inside the building. (HERE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE INVOLVED AND HERBY GAIN WORKING EXPERIENCES. INTERNSHIPS AT A BAR? Yes) where it provides young people with working experiences and internships.
The current sub-urban context doesn’t offer good possibilities to its inhabitants. This is the reason why the Barrio’s is committed to the empowerment of this local community. The engagement is based on the interests and needs of locals.