The idea of “social street” originates from the experience of the Facebook (FB) group “Residents in Fondazza street – Bologna” starting in september 2013. The purpose of the Social Street is to promote socialization between neighbors resident in the same street in order to build relationships, to interchange needs, to share expertise and knowledges, to implement common interest social bond

federico bastiani, bologna, Italy

Rational Analysis

The objective is to re-establish the importance of social relations and interaction focusing not only on developed urban areas but also a return to what was once a reality and way of life in the countryside and villages where relationship were historically of fundamental importance in daily life. This modern tendency to focus on the ‘self’ has an undeniable consequence, urban decay, lack of social control (ownership) of the territory, loss of a sense of belonging, people are essentially living in isolation.

We allow academics to speculate and study the root that caused this situation ,and also accepts what authority dictates to us (in terms of ways of living, so contrary to these approaches the ” Social Street model ” proposes a possible solution from the ground up and aims to recreate social ties and acknowledgment as well as changes in behaviours/interaction between neighbours

Strenghts

The shift from theory to practice, we’ve observed that the main features that probably marked success , ( in Quantitative terms – Given the growing number of Social Street(s) nationally and internationally ) are represented by :

Facebook — > to use a free medium and spread info via social network which is FB as facilitator of the transition from the ” virtual to real ”
Territoriality — > The decision to restrict the closed FB group in a predetermined territory of a small size .
Free — > at two levels, as internal trade ( exclusion of do ut des ) but also as macro structure being Social street as a model is absolutely free.
No structure — > every single group can act to reintroduce appropriate social relations taking into account the peculiarities of its territory .

Inclusion. It has been an important choice to focus on everything that brings people together ( excluding that which divides ) , also to be proactive in the face of the harshest criticism , not accept being against something without being constructive , the exclusion of languages ​​not acceptable to all members of the group .

Using a specific territory, well defined, as a unifying element helped in the dismantling of all other categories in which people recognize themselves dividing belonging groups ( social classes , interests , age , political affiliation , country of origin )

The fact that from inception we have completely ruled out any economic and legal aspect , proved the innovative aspect that has characterized this experience differentiating markedly from all other structured experiences (associations, committees , etc. ) and we have continued on this path further attracting the interest of more people.

These elements have been, although in retrospect, fundamental and successful. The more than 350 groups born in Italy and abroad in just over a year , are the demonstration of the latent need for infinte changes in the way we socialise and interact not dependent on any economic aspect, defined or expectation. The interactions cannot be defined or quantified in financial terms.

The interest demonstrated by the academic world , seems to support this analysis.

In addition to dozens of dissertations and research ranging from the field of psychological, anthropological, sociological, economic and urban studies, this experience has been endorsed by important personalities such as:

Prof. Anthony Giddens (Sociologist,Professor and former Director of London School of Economics
Prof. Marc Augé (Anthropologist, former director Ecolé des études en Sciences Sociales in Paris)
Prof. Pierpaolo Donati (Professor of sociology at University of Bologna)
Prof. Anna Cossetta (Sociologist, University of Genova)
Prof. Stefano Zamagni (Professor of economics at University of Bologna)
Prof. Jacques T. Godbout (Professeur émérite en sociologie Université du Québec)
Rob Hopkins (Founder of Transition Town)

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