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Lucia Chaloin


Lucia obtained a master degree in Sociology and Social Sciences at the Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, gaining experience in qualitative methods for social research and urban studies. She developed a thesis on cultural approaches and welfare, valued with highest marks by the commission. Her formation comprises Community Welfare Management and Social Impact Management.

She gained experience in observing and analysing social innovation processes developing social impact framework for community welfare development working with Aiccon, Association for non-profit and cooperation culture. She has gained competences in research action methodology and co-design research, working for Horizon 2020 program ENLIGHTENme in collaboration with London School of Economics and Urban Innovation Foundation together with the Municipality of Bologna. She developed co-design competences as well as pedagogic skills to pursue a research-action on a district of the city of Bologna concerning youth and territory

Research topic

Updated sumaries

September, 18, 2023

Governance systems for social innovation in housing: risks, opportunities and new strategies for public action


The project derives its origins from the hypothesis that new forms of governance are needed to support innovative solutions in the field of housing. Innovative partnerships may better respond to fast-changing needs of the population, in particular with the emergence of new profiles of vulnerability. Even if public housing is at risk to reproduce social hardship in deprived neighbourhoods, it also represents resources of affordable housing. From this perspective, the project puts forward the need to reboot the mechanisms of social housing by finding new directions for public action in this field, since public housing neighbourhoods often coincide with fragility concentration. The aim of this research is to provide an assessment of governance systems’ ability to support innovative affordable solutions to housing needs. Target groups will be certain vulnerable sections of the population that face difficulties in accessing housing according to their needs and financial possibilities: young people and people with migration background. The focus will be placed on recent co-housing projects with innovative formulas for these two social categories, along with differences and relationships between them and between the newcomers and the other residents of the area.


The research will focus on studying arenas of encounter of new local actors that integrate systems of housing governance with more traditional ones. The challenge for renewing the social housing device is to connect institutional actors’ networks with bottom-up initiatives of social housing innovation and create new forms of governance. Therefore, this research aims at observing local networks through a social innovation analytical framework, and seeks to understand relational systems of stakeholders, assetholders and beneficiaries. The relational ecosystems that support local governance systems will be analysed to clarify the types of features (e.g. heterogeneity and plurality in governance) needed to provide impact-oriented housing solutions.


The research develops across two southern European national housing systems that share the same characteristics such as a small public housing stock and very limited public expenses on housing: Portugal and Italy. In the city of Bologna, in Italy, will be studied the case of the first Italian cohousing experience completely managed by the public administration within the field of youth policies. Based on the Lisbon municipality's experience in deprived neighbourhoods (BIP ZIP programmes), Portugal can provide interesting elements for widening the analytical framework and for analysing local public action in a European context similar to the Italian one. A case study will be then individuated in the Lisbon metropolitan area to be compared with the one in Bologna.


Mixed methods will mainly entail spatial analysis with an ethnographic approach. The spatial analysis will address historical reconstruction of public housing distribution across neighbourhoods and its transformations in new projects. This to understand the distribution of innovative housing projects across priority neighbourhoods and not. Furthermore, the ethnographic investigation along with that of chosen housing schemes will provide a deep understanding of risks and opportunities for the new forms of public action. New perspectives will emerge for facilitating the provision of housing that is both affordable for social groups that are excluded from the housing market and that contributes to the sustainable evolution of these neighbourhoods.

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