ZUP in numbers: reflections on the processes (and the challenges). Start a participation process

giugno 25, 2014

During the recent years, ZUP has elaborated a specific methodological canvas. The long experience on the territory of Noemi Satta and collaboration between different groups allows us to give you some numbers and dimensions that demonstrate the impact of the ZUPlab. Ready? Here we go!


For those who don’t know: ZUP was founded in 2011 as an experiment of a long, including, shared, multi-disciplinal and multi-sectorial process in the Dergano/Bovisa area in Milan, Italy. It is a project that doesn’t fit easy in a specific sector but rather ‘floats’ somewhere between culture, urban or communal gardening, social and commercial projects: in the past years it is exactly this mix of interest that has demonstrated to have a strong possibility to activate energy hidden in neighbourhoods, organizations, businesses, etc.

In this blog we will present you some figures that will give you a dimension of the impact of a ZUPlab on the middle and long term.

In the year after the foundation of ZUP, between March and May 2011, we had twelve volunteers that helped us to organize the ZUPfest. Another 15 realities – amongst others institutes, associations and commercial activities – were involved to make this party with 150 guests all living in the neighbourhood possible. A simple Saturday afternoon became a happy event in the public domain: with the use of a kitchen, creative input and the activation of networks we activated the guests to create ideas and later form groups that took care of them with the end goal to realize them. On top off the people involved in person, this was followed by 15.000 people on the social networks and another 500.000 people that read articles about the event in national newspapers.

The value of the activities executed in 2011 (ZUPfest, ZUPranzo and ZUPlabmini) was covered by investments, gifts, volunteers and (technical) sponsoring from the network of f-autori culturali, local commercial activities and institutes.

The numbers you find above might not be shocking to you, but meaningful if you see it in the context of a small neighbourhood where the individual until then seemed to be more important than the collective. This ‘fest’ enabled us to involve parties like local commercial activities or the restaurant owners. Some of them even opened on this Saturday of ZUPfest, to offer the participants one of the soups from the ZUPfest menu.

Yes. A ZUP can do this!



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