Openrampette. Experimenting agile policy making

How can we enforce a public mobility law collectively? Openrampette rebuilt the broken relationship between the City Administration, private businesses and disadvantaged people by co-designing public places accessibility solutions, through the collective intelligence of a wider audience.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

In 2015 with the City of Milan to passed the Building Regulation article 77 that required all bars, shops, restaurants and craft activities bordering the road, to provide easy access to people with limited mobility (13,189 in 2007). 12 months later, the City of Milan assessed only 2.000 businesses complied out of 18.000. This pushed us to speculate about the most effective way to enforce a regulation.

This is when Open care approach came handy. Open care is an EU funded project that City of Milan is running together with WeMake (a Milan-based fab lab) and other four international partners to create a culture of open collaboration leveraging on collective intelligence. City of Milan and WeMake started listening and talking to as many people as possible, to understand what was not working and tentatively get it straight. We started from of the City Administration sectors that were involved from the beginning like the Major Cabinet, the Urbanistic Dept., the Public Land Dept. and lately Urban Economy and Employment Dept. The building regulation was conceived in one department, the implementing regulation was written in a different one, and published through another one. That gave a lot of room to officers for interpretations and tightening the instructions for businesses to prevent opportunistic behaviors.

As the collaboration with the trade association became closer, we’ve understood more of the problems that businesses were facing to comply with the regulation, such as: high costs, complex red tape, lack of understanding of the most suitable solution and existing products too standardized to fit all the situations. Since red tape is partially due to complex implementing regulations and the unclear communication follows, we started facilitating a dialogue between pieces of the public administration, businesses and associations.

We have started Openrampette in a limited area of the city that has everything it takes. The Isola area has a functioning District for Urban Commerce, a civic center devoted to urban regeneration (ADA Stecca), active businesses and a long tradition of civic participation. This made easy to engage stakeholders into co-design sessions pivoting around their individual necessities. Dealing with collective intelligence. Sharing every step, intuition and piece of information within the local offline network and with the Opencare digital community helped.

Opencare lives de facto in a digital platform called Edge Ryders, connecting some 4,000 worldwide activists, social innovators, data scientists and whoever else is passionate about our collective future. Any input from the community would add value to our project.

We have not predefined any design outputs, but rather kept the sessions open to any outcomes. The Openrampette co-design culture helped the participants to feel at ease in bringing criticism, problems, ideas, resources and relations into the preliminary discussions that addressed the work to a dual objective: 1. Simplify the procedure to comply with Municipal regulations. This resulted in redesigning the online application protocol for an improved usability, including: a. Interface. The percentage of people who completed the interactive task reached 60% b. Taxonomy. Jargon simplification and terminology disambiguation helped users to choose among the three options that the current regulation offers. c. Architecture.

Creating easily accessible areas, where people feel welcomed, leveraging on the collaboration of shop holders and people with limited mobility may also bring a feeling of inclusiveness that benefit businesses as well.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

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Year: 2017
Level of government: National/Federal government


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