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Il cortile


Laura Calderini


In the years following World War II , the reconstruction policy drove millions of people to migrate to Milan, looking for jobs and for a better future. Entire boroughs of the city experienced an unprecedented growth; among them the Giambellino was particularly marked out by a high concentration of new buildings for social housing, intended for working class families.

Today, more than fifty years later, the borough suffers from the poor management and negligence of the city“s administration. Decadent blocks are the background to poverty and criminality, where youth is at risk and integration with the growing immigrants is difficult. Tired of the poor initiative of the City Council, the occupiers of number 146 in via Giambellino, seven years ago created a self-managed committee to provide maintenance of the premises and security for the people living in the flats, especially the elders who were constantly targeted by swindlers. Throughout the years the initiative brought to an actual improvement of living conditions, thus showing the people the possibility of a collective and direct participation to debates and resolutions on common problems.

In October 2008, the people living in the blocks, together with the `Centro Diurno di Aggregazione Giovanile“ of Via Bellini, Giambellitaly association and Murialdo“s oratory, organized a lunch in the courtyard of block 146 to celebrate the beginning of their collaboration, to share the committee“s experience and to promote integration and social relations among the people living in the area. The tenants of block 146 enthusiastically cooked some typical dishes from their own countries and shared a day that would ideally be an example of socialization as a starting point to seriously face the many problems which trouble the suburbs of many Italian cities.

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