Venice is a medium-sized city with approximately 200,000 inhabitants. The historical centre in the unique and fragile lagoon environment is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Increasing numbers of people are moving from the historical centre to the mainland area, Mestre, largely due to the rising cost of living and housing in the city centre. These two urban contexts are therefore very different in terms of daily life and mobility. In the historical centre, there is an increasingly lively neighbourhood life and socialisation facilitated by the absence of cars, while childcare and educational services are available within walking distance. In the Mestre area, by contrast, conditions are similar to those in a typical medium-sized city, with car-based mobility and the greater isolation of family units.
The Venice CityLab will be coordinated by Smart Venice. Local activities will be hosted mainly at the Laguna Libre cultural centre (which has two main rooms with an overall seating capacity for 90 people), as the historical centre is the main pilot site. Outreach to the mainland will be ensured by the Venice City Council Directorate for Educational Services and the Sumo-LabAltobello communities. Based on the already crowded community of families attending family-friendly events at Laguna Libre; on the communities that are part of, or linked to, the Aretusa and TesteFiorite associations and their Facebook groups; as well as on the parents’ councils of public kindergartens and pre-primary schools, a comprehensive mapping and needs analysis will feed into the organisation of co-design activities and meet-ups and, at a later stage, to the testing of the first platform prototype. The Families_Share services will build on the already strong neighbourhood relations and ties that are facilitated by the unique Venetian context, as described above.
The local implementation process will be steered by FBK, one of main members of the Family District consortium. Famiglia Cooperativa and Kaleidoscopio will also actively participate in the process with other organizations of the Family District. The Families_Share platform will enable the network of organisations within the Family District to share competences, best practices and initiatives among their employees.