Recovering the Commons. Tools for nonprofit-oriented regeneration of abandoned physical assets in Trentino

Research Area: Local development
Scientific coordinator: Flaviano Zandonai

Project status: ongoing

The Trentino Alto Adige region has a particularly rich public and private building stock geared to tourism which, for a number of socio-economic reasons over time, has to a large extent lost its attractiveness, been abandoned or is underutilised. This heritage is mainly located in rural and alpine areas, outside or in the vicinity of well-known touristic sites that welcome high numbers of visitors every day, such as farmsteads, “malgas”, mountain lodges, recreation centers, etc.


The purpose of the “Recovering the Commons” project is to develop, together with the social enterprise, an entrepreneurial model that fosters the nonprofit-oriented promotion of these assets from both a touristic and sociocultural point of view, evaluating and outlining their degree of attractiveness, designing tools and intervention strategies for reintegrating these assets in productive touristic itineraries.

Expected results

In terms of product, the project will:

– design a model of intervention that will be both original and replicable for the re-use of abandoned physical assets in the whole Region of Trentino Alto Adige;

– create a mapping of the most interesting abandoned physical assets in the territory, including local, potentially profitable resources;

–  develop analysis tools that will facilitate the understanding of the degree of attractiveness in economical terms of the abovementioned buildings, the potential social impact determined by the promotion of the abandoned assets, the environmental benefit produced by’s activity;

– elaborate a territorial marketing strategy for the host enterprise, boosting its ability to be recognized as an efficient economic entity.

In terms of process, the project will:

– explore the limitations and potential of as an agent of local development.

Through case study research, 2 or 3 abandoned assets will be investigated, in order to:

– contextualize the socio-environmental resources system of the areas where these assets are located;

– nderstand the economic significance and the degree of attractiveness of these currently underutilised facilities, in contrast with what local tourism has to offer;

– identify new possible purposes and uses of these facilities in their socio-economic context.


Funding: Fondazione Caritro – Bando per progetti di ricerca scientifica finalizzati allo sviluppo di iniziative imprenditoriali

Duration: June 2015 – June 2016

Last publications

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