Memorandum of Understanding to assess the social impact of real estate enhancement and urban redevelopment signed today as a collaboration between the city of Turin, the Turin Chamber of Commerce and Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, lasting until 31 December 2024 in the context of the Torino Social Impact platform.

The Memorandum of Understanding governs the collaboration with the aim of defining, through dedicated technical forums, potentially open to experts in the subjects of interest, including Universities, guided by the Impact Measurement Skill Centre, a system for determining the social impact of using (by lease or sale) a public property or transforming areas or buildings, which translates the impact into economic metrics that can influence the monetary value assigned to the asset or the quantification of costs and offsets of urban transformations and the subsequent monetisation.

The intention is to develop mechanisms for integrating and recognising the value of the social impact in the process of enhancing public and private real estate. The ultimate aim is to develop a methodology that allows the social value to be expressed in monetary terms, so that the accounting parameters of the assets and contributions due from private property can be up-to-date and adequate, to encourage the engagement of public and private actors on the basis of social impact objectives identified by government bodies. The methodology identified and the monetary equivalent of the social impact will clearly be applied after estimates have been produced by the relevant departments and must be aligned with the principles of public finance and fully consistent with current legislation, particularly considering their potential extension to other public administration bodies and national modelling.

The Mayor of Turin illustrated the importance of the social impact in the choices made by public administration bodies. Introducing this model aims to enhance real estate assets, particularly considering social objectives and the real effects this has for the community as a whole. The protocol creates a network of skills and new social impact assessment tools, and is also a cultural challenge compared to the models normally applied. For example, by considering the return on public investments through the savings generated for public administration bodies. It is a challenge that can open a new season of public investments.

The Secretary General of the Turin Chamber of Commerce underlined how the initiative, born as part of the Torino Social Impact platform and the first experience of this type in Italy, triggers a virtuous and innovative cycle:  not only does it offer greater guarantees to owners of the public utility and sustainability of the real estate project compared to the investment, but it also drives the development of social entrepreneurship which, by participating in redevelopment and new uses, increases its value in a certified way. The tool that will make this type of assessment possible will be the Social Impact Measurement Skill Centre, which will be created at the Cottino Campus under an agreement between the Chamber of Commerce and the Foundation itself.

The Secretary General of the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation highlighted that, for his organisation, urban and local regeneration represents is a key way to promote social inclusion and local development. As stated the 2021-2024 multi-year programme, the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation wants to experiment with initiatives that have increasingly greater social, economic and environmental effects on the local area. In this respect, with the Protocol signed today, expertise is made available to the public and a more strategic relationship is established between the Foundation and local public administration bodies to carry out rigorous impact assessments, and encourage the use of vacant properties and high social value investments.

It is important to note that the priorities highlighted for the future of the City in the political and administrative programme include aspects of urban regeneration, “which means caring for the existing fabric with an approach that seizes the opportunities of innovation, particularly as a result of collaboration between the public and private sectors”.

With this in mind, a project platform called Torino Social Impact has been developed between the City, the Turin Chamber of Commerce and the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation, which represents the metropolitan ecosystem for development of the social economy and social impact entrepreneurship.

Torino Social Impact is a platform that currently includes 250 public and private partners, profit-making and non-profit organisations, with the aim of strengthening the local system and turning it into one of the best places in the world for doing business and finance, pursuing economic, financial and social impact objectives together. One of the strategic objectives of Torino Social Impact is the establishment of the Social Impact Measurement Skill Centre, which helps local institutions, public and private actors, to integrate the generation of social impact in their economic development and technological innovation trajectories and their assessment of social, environmental and economic effects.

The City intends to take advantage of the opportunity created by the Centre through a collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation, allowing a method to be developed for measuring socio-economic impacts and calculating performance resulting from the enhancement of municipal real estate assets and private properties subject to enhancement and monetisation contributions.

SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities