Via Fondazza – the world’s first Social Street

Although there are exceptions, in modern European society we tend to live more and more isolated from those around us. How many of us know our neighbours well enough to invite them round for meals or ask them for a favour?

In the north Italian city of Bologna, a young couple felt this was such a pity that they decided they’d try to get to know their neighbours through a simple project they called Social Street. In September 2013, they set up a Facebook group called ‘Residents in Via Fondazza – Bologna’. The response was overwhelming and the model they created has gained international attention and popularity.

The Social Street project has won a national award and been endorsed by eminent sociologists and anthropologists, such as Professors Anthony Giddens, Richard Sennett and Marc Augé. It’s even been included in the European Commission’s Social Innovation Europe directory.

So how has life changed for Via Fondazza’s population? I went down there to find out.

(first broadcast on World in Progress, Deutsche Welle Radio, 8th July, 2015)

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