In Italy there are a lot of bottom-up initiatives related to Open Data and re-use practices: one of these is Open Genova. Enrico Alletto is one of the co-founders of the project.

I think we, as Italians, need to invest in participation as a vector and a backbone of the overall Open Government vision. We have forgotten the meaning of participation. It is really useful to start initiatives like this one from local communities.

Q: What is the Open Genova project? How did it start?

A: Open Genova really began in 2012 after a group of citizens with technical skills got together. The goal of the initiative was to create an informal citizens’ community where sharing ideas and suggesting modernisation at a local level were encouraged and enhanced, forming a community that is a valuable mouthpiece for local administration.

This informal community included both online and offline elements: enabling online participation it is essential to reduce the digital divide between participants. So we created an association that deals with Open Data, free wifi, IT bases and broadband connection.
Open Genova connects bottom-up projects. Citizens are free to join them voluntarily, indicating the hours that they can dedicate to work on these projects.

Q: What do you think Open Genova can do for PSI and re-using?

A: We can for example encourage Open Data releases through projects that use public datasets and common resources such as OpenStreetMap.

Open Genova proposes a mapping project for unused public properties, which can be used by citizens or associations.

We are currently running another project about collective memory. We are analysing a city district, working closely with local authorities, a school and other associations.

Read more on the full article published on

Commenta e condividi

Recently the municipality of Bologna has released an app to visualize Open Data datasets related to the council’s real estate property which is unused.

In the map, people may consult three kinds of properties: unused buildings (i.e. those that dont satisfy legal requirements are impracticable or are not large enough for public use), commercial buildings (with position and description) or buildings of value (with expected council’s interventions). The viewers can also suggest their own ideas for the possible usage of these buildings directly to the municipality, using this email address:

Data used is available on, the official Bologna Data portal. (three datasets are involved, one is on impracticable unused buildings, one on unused buildings to value and another one on unused commercial buildings).

It’s an important effort to make people more self-conscious about their own place and their own city. But there is a risk: there is a lot of fragmentation of efforts and initiatives. We, as Italians, already know it: it’s a typical Italian issue.

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Open Data in Italy has a lot to tell about some stories characterised by a really interesting bottom-up approach.
I like the idea that we should innovate without permission, as David Osimo said some time ago and many other experts agreed. “ We can make an augmented government with the right tools“.

Here are some notes on what’s happening in Italy around these topics.

Working Groups to help municipalities going through Open Data

There is a news on epsiplatform about Alessandria and its initiative related to a multi-stakeholders approach to Open Data. Alessandria is a municipality which has a default: it’s interesting how trasparency and re-use of data will help a better governance.

This isn’t a novelty: Florence had opened Open Data supported by Wikitalia, standing on the shoulders of its communities. We, as a community, can be a sort of “push” actors, and supporters against those who don’t understand the value of these actions inside the government and the administration.

There is also the case of Palermo, who has been publishing Open Data since the 23rd of February (which was the International Open Data Day). Palermo is working to make Open Data an ongoing process, and not only an event fixed during the time. A process which will involve all interested stakeholders who live in the city.

This is the reaction to another action, a blog post written by Andrea Borruso on the quality of the data released, and on the overall process. A post where Andrea made a new dataset from the data released, helping the municipality to think about the value of the quality of the data. This post was shared with the community of Spaghetti Open Data, and gained a lot of attention. The municipality, after a public meeting on this topic, has started a working group to make the overall approach to Open Data a better one. Palermo now wants to make more Open Data, with more attention on the quality of the data, and with a shared strategy with the community.

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Matteo Brunati

Sono un appassionato di tutto quello che ha relazione con la Rete, specie quando si trova tra tecnologia e società. Ho lavorato a #CivicHackingIT, un progetto curato assieme a Erika Marconato per divulgare il civic hacking in Italia. Se vuoi saperne di più vai su