URBIS is a tool offering a fair opportunity to young informal groups to establish a cooperative and develop an entrepreneurial project in the non profit sector
URBIS promotes and supports with grants up to € 40,000 the establishment of new micro enterprises responding to specific local needs in the weakest area of the city. A co-financing of 15% is required to applicants.
URBIS endorses the creation of local initiatives such as social gyms, bicycle repair shops, neighborhood concierge, recreational centers and other proximity services that can improve the life quality of the communities residing in the target area.
All the sustained activities are not for profit and the participation is reserved to existing nonprofit entities (voluntary organisations, social cooperatives, foundations, moral and ecclesiastical enti ties, associations) or to informal groups engaged in the establishment of a new nonprofit entity and the activation of a new service in the target area.

Resources needed

URBIS is developed and manged by the Municipality employees, from the Department of education. The staff is composed by policy makers, administrative and financial profiles, project managers and communication experts. URBIS is funded by the Axis 4 of the National Operative Programme “Metro".

Evidence of success

A first call launched in September 2018 gathered 91 project proposals from associations, parishes, foundations, cooperatives, social enterprises willing to invest in a urban area and setting off sustainable initiatives and proximity services oriented to vulnerable members of society.
With a total investment of € 2,503,610 the call financed 66 projects in the field of social innovation.

Potential for learning or transfer

URBIS achieves a strategy based on a co-governance and bottom-up participatory perspective. By ensuring a horizontal and collaborative local approach, it relies on the observation on real dynamics occurring in the urban area. This is considered as a key element for the success of the intervention, in order to better understand the requests coming from the territory and to direct the investments towards practical solutions to specific needs of the local communities. A practice such as URBIS is suggested to those public institutions that are running government programmes investing in physical projects for neighbourhoods, school and educational infrastructure, the reuse of public goods, cultural animation and the revival of trade.
Main institution
Municipality of Bari
Puglia, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
September 2018
End Date


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