Grosseto, 'Lights in the Park' initiative presented

Rispescia the former colony is reborn in the sign of collaboration and innovation 

Collaboration and social innovation are the two keywords of the new experimental project being carried out in Rispescia, Grosseto, in the Grosseto Maremma park.

The councilor for the presidency of Tuscany, Vittorio Bugli, repeated it several times, speaking today in Grosseto at the presentation of the initiative.

This is the first "social impact" pilot project for the province of southern Tuscany.

A currently unused public property that is put to good use in new ways in the spirit of CollaboraToscana recalls Bugli, or rather the path started by the Region on collaboration. There is a management that involves citizens and associations. And the method of financing is also new, given that the citizens themselves, as envisaged by the law on the Third Sector, that universe which moves 8 per cent of GDP in Italy, will be able to participate by subscribing to social finance products.

It is not marginal that the purpose of the project is also to produce income, offering something that was not there before, also responding to an emergency but with the aim of creating a benefit for the entire community.

It is a new declination of social and welfare policies, which after the emerging countries is also starting to make its way into mature economies such as those of Europe, as an engine of social and economic development.

The disused property in Rispescia that will be restored, owned by the Ente Terre Toscane Tenuta di Alberese, is the old Enaoli village - colony, which in the 1950s welcomed the orphans of the peasants and will now become a meeting place. The Region banned it and a committee, which later merged into the Lu.Ci association, was awarded the concession a year ago.

The project involves several subjects: from the Region, and Ente Terre di Toscana, to the Ethical Foundation, from the diocesan Caritas of Grosseto to Confindustria Toscana Sud up to the TV9 broadcaster.

An organic restaurant will be created in the building with sustainable costs and zero kilometer products from the farms of the regional park; it will be managed by a cooperative, which will offer work to the unemployed, the disabled, ex-convicts, migrants and other people in difficulty but will also involve students from the hotel institute in the area. Part of the profits will go to a fund for future social impact projects. A rehearsal room will also be created in the building, available to young people, and not only, who want to play and be together. They will be able to perform in the evening in the entertainment area and those who benefit from it undertake in exchange to become 'teacher' of their instrument for a few hours, for the benefit of those who cannot afford the cost of a music course.

Innovation with a social impact will also be taught in the Rispescia building, with the involvement of the industrial association to help the startups that hopefully will be born in the bureaucratic procedures and there will also be a presence of Legambiente.

The Councilor for the presidency of Tuscany Vittorio Bugli explains, speaking in Grosseto at the presentation press conference:

The value of the project clearly goes beyond the recovery, albeit important, of a disused building.

New jobs will be created and the newly employed will have an income to spend that will benefit other local economic activities.
The institutions will benefit from it due to the higher tax revenue. The tourists of the Park will be able to enjoy it. By offering work to the most vulnerable people, the center will also be an opportunity for integration and participation and will consequently make the whole area safer.

This experimental project with a social impact stems from a process that over the years has seen the participation of the entire community through several private members and aspires to be a replicable model, for positive effects not only on the environment but also on the economic and social side.

We have long believed in collaborative politics and integrated security interventions that involve the active participation of the community. In Tuscany we have made all the most important reforms with this imprint of collaboration.

But the lighting center that will be born in Rispescia is also characterized by a further novelty, already mentioned by the commissioner. The costs for the restoration and regeneration of the space (200,000 euros) will in fact be guaranteed by a social bond issued by a bank with strong local roots. If it were, an example was given this morning, a certificate or a four-year deposit account, with interest at 2 per cent issued in the form of semi-annual coupons of which at least 0.5 is donated to the project, there would be 50 thousand euros available per year assuming a collection of 10 million. All revenues and their usage will be reported on a dedicated website.

Marco Locatelli, director of Ente Terre Toscane added:

In the former Enaoli area where the property is located, the creation of an agri-food center is planned. This Luci project is therefore in line with Terre Toscana's mission and is compatible with the idea of building a citadel of good Tuscan food in the future.
( – 13 September 2019)