In 2013, the municipality of Perugia (Italy) launched the European project SHARE MY EUROPEAN CITY (SME-City) with the Italian Forum for Urban Security acting as a partner in charge of the dissemination of the project.
The project SME-City is implemented in areas where situations of social conflict, including intense conflict, arise among young people, residents and shopkeepers over the use of public spaces.
Each of these groups needs to use public spaces in a certain way and at a certain time, which can increase the risk of a communication breakdown as each group protects their own individual interests. This can lead to a gradual erosion of social capital and cohesion in these areas, as well as a heightened feeling of insecurity, both actual and perceived. In these kinds of situations the visibility of anti-social behaviour increases (i.e. acts of vandalism and bullying, public disturbances and indecent acts in a public place).
Activities: testing a social mediation programme
The project aims to provide an opportunity for constructive conflict management.
Social workers will be working in the areas involved in the project to offer the target groups, in a creative way, the opportunity to participate and have a leading role in the life of their city.
The project will focus on all the groups involved in social conflicts and its programmes will target them all; each stakeholder represents an integral part of the problem and therefore an integral part of the solution as well.
Sme-City will test a social mediation programme by working in the neighbourhoods of Borgorete in Perugia (Italy) and Arcola in London (UK), as well as with the Intras Foundation for social work of Valladolid (Spain).
This programme will be developed through participatory planning in order to design common actions aimed at defusing conflict situations in the target areas.
The PolishUniversity of Business and Health Sciences will conduct research into this methodology. The research will examine the conditions that can support social mediation in conflict situations that have developed in a specific area where social gatherings occur around night-time venues.
The final conference of the project will be held in the first week of December 2014 inBologna (Italy).