About LabGov Italy

Picture of LUISS University in Rome, Italy with a stone bridge in the foreground LabGov Italy is the original and founding LabGov.  Based out of LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, LabGov Italy, which remains very active, was created as a space for experimentation and collaboration among students, scholars, experts, and activists to explore new and innovative ways to co-govern and co-own the resources, spaces, and institutions that comprise modern cities. 

LabGov Italy's primary goal was to identify ways in which local resources, whether tangible or intangible, in urban settings could be shared and collaboratively managed through the use of new social, economic and institutional ecosystems. These ecosystems, or urban projects, are based on an adaptation of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Elinor Ostrom's eight design principles pertaining to governing a commons, which were reformulated by LabGov Italy to apply in the urban context, which is vastly more complicated, regulated, and dense than most of the natural settings studied by Ostrom. LabGov refers to its object of study as the "city commons."  

An image of the "quintuple helix," the collection of actors that assist in co-governed urban projects: social inovators, knowledge institutions, civil society organizations, businesses and government actors LabGov Italy is based on the idea that, in order to achieve social, economic and institutional regeneration of urban areas, it is essential to first experiment with different forms of “urban co-governance.“ This requires the involvement or approval of public authorities, who are necessary to legally, and in some cases economically, create an environment conducive to the collective action of city inhabitants. In addition to government actors and city residents, knowledge institutions, NGOs and businesses also often play key roles. LabGov discovered in their empirical and theoretical research that the creation and successful implementation of any urban co-governance project often relies on these five actors, which are collectively referred to as the "quintuple helix."

As part of its activities, LabGov involves approximately thirty students in an annual series of workshops and co-working sessions, which blend theoretical and soft skills training with on-the-ground fieldwork. Considering its original nature as an in-house urban clinic and place of experimentation, LabGov also continues to act as a laboratory for future social and institutional designers, engineers and innovators, engaging them in research, training, project management, and communication activities.

A cartoon of a black skull with wheels and pulleys and levers, depicting curiosity, experimentalism and creative thought

LabGov engages with social organizations, movements and local governments in the development of projects, regulations, and policies related to the urban commons. It significantly contributed to “Le città come beni comuni” Fondazione del Monte project, helped to draft the “Bologna regulation on public collaboration for urban commons.“ led the “Bologna città collaborativa” Fondazione del Monte project (to design and implement the administrative infrastructure managing the Bologna regulation), helped to create the Office for Civic Imagination, and hosted the first international conference on the urban commons,  in addition to numerous other projects and initiatives.

Today LabGov is also an alumni-run independent organization that continues to study, train and practice on civic collaboration and the urban commons. LabGov’s activities are currently coordinated by Chiara De Angelis, Elena De Nictolis, Alessandro Antonelli, Benedetta Gillio, Elia Lofranco, Chiara Prevete, with the scientific supervision of professors Sheila Foster and Christian Iaione.a set of beakers filled with difrent colored liquids

LabGov Italy continues to work in close partnership and collaboration with the other LabGovs, including LabGov Georgetown.


More About LabGov Italy

A bunch of friends putting their legs and feet together to form one big circleRead LabGov Italy's Blog.





A cartoon image of a newspaper Read LabGov Italy's Common Post.





Some academic books stacked up with an apple on top Read About a Course Offered by LabGov Italy.




Headshot of Christian Iaione Learn about the LabGov Italy Team.