Urban Center Metropolitano is place for debate and information about Torino's urban transformation.
UCM is a non profit organization funded by the City of Torino, the bank foundation Compagnia di San Paolo and the Torino Internazionale Association to promote a more effective, integrated and equal involvement in the urban problem-setting, policy-making and planning processes using cityscape as a shared ground for discussion. UCM explores the role spatial policies can have to enhance a more proactive involvement of communities activating and empowering human capital, resources and energies, people and organizations.
The debate is supported both linking and bridging a local perspective towards the metropolitan/national/international level, and presenting study cases as means to introduce new issues at city/neighborhood level. Main activities:
> urban experiences (treasure hunt, urban itineraries, space-oriented performing arts): provide a concrete understanding of neighborhoods and communities, getting to know their dynamics of change.
> informational, cultural and learning activities (exhibits, lessons, conferences): storytelling city change, enlarging the perspective to other contexts/cities.
> debates and participatory activities: opening up the debate on local issues (i.e. parts of the city to be transformed in the future, planning processes at their initial stages), providing all preparatory activities to make the debate effective (policy analysis preliminary files, stakeholders and policy community collection, bridging communities and the public authorities).

Resources needed

Yearly total budget – 630,000 € (including 3 full time staff, 2 part time staff; including EU funded projects)

Evidence of success

Significant facts:
>audience: since 2015 the permanent exhibit at UCM has been visited by more than 10.000 people.
>partnerships: since 2013 UCM has been working with 24 local and national organizations, more than 20 national and international research centers, partnered with 10 foreign cities and city agencies, received sponsorship by more than 20 companies.
>agreements: supported by the City of Torino, since 2011 UCM has signed 4 national and international cooperation agreements

Potential for learning or transfer

Jointly with the City of Torino, since 2007 UCM works to spread a more effective civic engagement in the urban debate. Started at an italian level, this process of understanding, adapting and reusing of UCM as a practice is already ongoing, and includes:
>mentoring promoted by UCM towards the city of Skopje aimed at establishing a local Urban Center.
>operating a national network of urban centers. A formal agreement between the cities of Torino, Bologna, Bari, Brescia, Ferrara, Bitonto and Spoleto, has been signed on march 2017.
>(ongoing) constitution of an EU network of urban authorities and city agencies (EUCANET) aimed at reflecting on how to raise the standard of citizens’ inclusion, civic involvement, local communities empowerment, co-creation of urban commons, sharing theoretical, practical and operational knowledge, to offer the Pact of Amsterdam a Thematic Partnership proposal for a more effective and democratic implementation of the EU Urban Agenda

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
City of Torino
Piemonte, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2005
End Date


Aurelien Parsy Please login to contact the author.