University, Peripheral Neighbourhoods and Social Innovation: The Case of ‘Rete 3B’ in Milan

Keywords: urban sociology, social innovation, urban neighbourhoods, third mission, milan


The paper aims to highlight the role of the territorial dimension in the diffusion of social innovation initiatives, specifically the case of “Rete 3B”, developed within the URBANA event, an event promoted by the Department of Sociology and Social Research of the University of Milan Bicocca. The specific reason for the interest in this topic has been inspired by the growing centrality of universities in the diffusion of a knowledge-based approach to urban development. Starting from the peripheral positioning in the city of Milan, Bicocca University, leader of the initiative, involved Politecnico di Milano and Università IULM to take part at the event. The sharing of the same territorial experiences and the same reasons that led to its genesis, allowed to encourage the creation of a network between the three universities. Since the Covid-19 pandemic occurred just before the kick-off of the activities, “Rete 3B” has been put on stand-by and none activity has been yet organized. Another complication come from the total exclusion of students in the Italian universities, which lasted until few months ago. For these reasons, the paper is not intended to offer data about the effects put in place by the universities’ activities, but to offer an in-depth overview of the processes underlying the connections between the three academic institutions by using qualitative data collected during the event “URBANA 2019”. The sharing of the same type of positioning in the urban context and the strong connection with the neighborhoods made possible a smooth collaboration within Bicocca, Politecnico and IULM, casting the right path to start, as soon as possible, the setting-up of shared activities of local social innovation.


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How to Cite
BottiniL., & BernardiM. (2022). University, Peripheral Neighbourhoods and Social Innovation: The Case of ‘Rete 3B’ in Milan. Fuori Luogo Journal of Sociology of Territory, Tourism, Technology, 13(3), 197-209.