The official launch of the Catania Local Platform (CLP), originally planned for March 2021, was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. It finally kicked-off on July 9th, 2021, with a public event in Catania.

The launch event was a blend of formal institutional elements and more casual activities that showcased the working style of the platform. Missed the event? You can catch up on it here.

In preparing for the local Kick-off, an initial guest list was created comprising stakeholders previously interviewed. The e-SAFE team expanded this list to include a broader spectrum of local decision-makers and policymakers to foster wider engagement.

The event featured a hybrid format that balanced formal institutional rituals, crucial for engaging elected officials and policymakers involved with the CLP, with informal segments. These segments were designed to facilitate mutual learning and co-production among institutional representatives and local stakeholders.

The event began with a plenary for institutional greetings by representatives from the City of Catania, the Catania Public Housing Authority, and the UNICT. Institutional greetings were followed by technical presentations from UNICT researchers on the relevance of the e-SAFE project for the EU and the Catania contexts; e-SAFE technological aspects and advantages compared to existing renovation systems; the overall e-SAFE stakeholders engagement strategy; working directions emerging from interviews’ analysis.

Participants had the option to join one of two working groups afterward. One group concentrated on energy-seismic renovations for both residential and non-residential public buildings, while the other focused on deep retrofitting in the real estate market, particularly in residential buildings with retail activities on the ground floor. These groups brainstormed on the interview findings and engaged in discussions to unearth potential synergies and collaborations.

Each working group selected a rapporteur to present their primary outcomes during the final plenary, which was graced by the presence of the President of the Sicilian Region. These presentations highlighted actionable initiatives that could be swiftly executed based on priorities and available resources.


The event wrapped up with the President addressing the audience, emphasizing the pivotal role of the CLP in guiding regional government policies on priority actions and methods. He also stressed the significance of enhancing energy and seismic renovations throughout the region.



The CLP Kick-off Meeting, and the working groups, in particular, was the first occasion for local stakeholders to act as a group. They were asked what they wanted to do together and their answers, together with data collected through interviews, were used to develop a draft work plan that was presented, revised and agreed upon during a second meeting, held on November 2021.

CLP’s focus on public housing needed to be supported by a specific analysis of the exact location and quantification of public housing in the City and an evaluation of the status of the property compared to real estate values. The analysis consisted of different phases:

  1. Study area identification: In the city of Catania, the most distressed urban areas have developed around “Piani di Zona” (the Italian expression identifying urban development originated in the 50s by an initial investment by public actors committed to promoting affordable housing) and are therefore right outside the historic center. The first step of the analysis was to use archival research to generate a geo-dataset of all residential properties owned by the two Catania public housing providers (the Municipality and the local Public Housing Authority – IACP, which is a project partner). Based on precise indications from the CLP, these were set to be the priority area for further steps of analysis.

  2. Analysis of property ownership: This step consisted of further analysis of property fragmentation in the public housing complexes. This research is needed since, in the Italian context, tenants can buy at an off-market price the flat where they live. This implies that within the same building, some flats may stay public while others may become private. This factor leads to a combination of high property fragmentation and low-income property ownership, making deep renovation very challenging.  

  3. Preliminary analysis of the applicability of e-SAFE  at the building scale: During the meeting on November 2021, researchers have taken on the task of developing a buildings analysis protocol to classify them based on their suitability for the e-SAFE  technology. For this purpose, researchers have identified three building types:

a) Buildings whose structural, functional, and aesthetic characters make them immediately retrofittable with the current e-SAFE  technology.

b) Buildings whose structural, functional, and aesthetic characteristics make them suitable to the e-SAFE  system, but only after further advancement of our technological knowledge.

c) Buildings that are not and never will be suitable for the e-SAFE system.

Together with the parameters related to e-SAFE  suitability, the survey protocol included data aimed at estimating the state of conservation of buildings. Both sections of the protocol, allow the identification of priority buildings, where high suitability is combined with bad building conditions.

In this first phase, the survey protocol has been tested and refined in a couple of Catania public housing neighborhoods, on residential buildings and will be further implemented in the next months.


Crowd-mapping defines an activity that involves a large number of people in the production of a map. This mapping approach is increasingly popular due to the spread of web-based GIS technologies, which are today largely used through smartphones and computers by users that more or less consciously share their data with crowd-mapping platforms (being Google Maps the most famous).

In the case of e-SAFE, a web-based crowd-mapping platform has been funded by the project to support an ‘interactive’ web-based communication campaign about the importance of deep renovation, under the assumption that people will more likely read web-based content if they have the possibility to interact with it (an assumption shared by most CLP based on previous direct experience of communication campaigns with similar goals). During the CLP meetings, participants have agreed on a crowd-mapping protocol that consists of 3 steps:

  1. Registration: Accessing the link to the e-SAFE  platform the user can decide to access the Catania map as a guest with view-only options or register as an active mapper. Registration required the subscription of informed consent. User personal data and urban-user data such as the city of residence and neighborhood of residence are collected during the registration phase.

  2. Home-related mapping:The user is given the possibility to map his/her own home on the map, and then is asked to:

- Specify whether he/she is a tenant or an owner and the number of families living in the building (both this information can provide further data that are interesting to evaluate property fragmentation, which is one of the main obstacles to retrofitting);

- describe their perception of the seismic preparedness, energy efficiency, and aesthetic quality of their home

- share data in the case of the current or eventual use of incentives for deep renovation or on potential obstacles;

It is very important to underline that, being this highly-sensitive information able to alter public perceptions and real estate values, in order to reduce associated risks only mapped points will be publicly displayed while related data on perceptions will only be analyzed and presented in a non-geographic and aggregated manner.

  1. Mapping of public buildings in need of renovation: As a third step, the user is given the possibility to map non-residential and highly symbolic public buildings (schools, public services, etc.) in urgent need to be retrofitted, sharing the reason why that specific building is considered a priority for the city. Here the platform integrates ‘social media’ functions since it allows each user to comment on buildings that others have mapped.

The mapping initiatives has been officially launched in March 2022. Do you want to give your contribution? Click here!


On October 1st 2021, a workshop with stakeholders took place within the context of the Catania Local Platform, organized by the University of Catania in collaboration with BPIE and Moverim. Key researchers and experts, shared insights on engaging urban stakeholders in energy efficiency projects and effective communication strategies for local platforms. Participants had the opportunity to discuss these insights in the context of stakeholder engagement across various levels.

This workshop was a crucial part of the e-SAFE  project's stakeholder engagement and co-design strategy, fostering a bidirectional dialogue between project partners and stakeholders.

Do you want to know more? Read the full text here.


From November 2021, a series of engaging co-design workshops were held at the pilot site in Acquicella Porto, involving residents and stakeholders in the e-SAFE  project. These sessions were aimed at mutual learning and detailed planning of energy-efficient and seismic renovations.

The workshops culminated with residents and project students co-designing and refining project drafts, effectively bridging technical perspectives and resident expectations.

For a comprehensive look at the workshop outcomes and the final project details, click here.


Members of the Catania Local Platform, led by researchers from the University of Catania (UNICT) and the director of the Catania Public Housing Authority (ICAP) have committed to periodic meetings to develop an integrated approach to renovating public and affordable housing. This initiative comes in response to the recent availability of public funds and fiscal incentives spurred by recovery policies aimed at enhancing the renovation of public housing.

Despite the promising financial outlook, numerous hurdles hinder the actual execution of deep renovations that genuinely benefit local residents. To tackle these challenges, the working group has recognized the need to examine national best practices that could guide local initiatives.

In pursuit of this, Professor Massimo Bricocoli, director of the City and Regional Planning and Urban Studies Department at Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI), visited Catania on February 28th, 2022. Accompanied by his colleagues Marco Peverini and Anna Tagliaferri, Professor Bricocoli presented their book "Cooperative e Case Popolari. Il caso delle quattro corti a Milano," which discusses the Stadera neighborhood renovation in Milan. This project from the late 90s is notable for its cooperative-based approach that enhanced housing quality without privatizing public assets.

The presentation took place at the Trame di Quartiere cafeteria in Catania and was followed by a roundtable discussion involving all members of the e-SAFE  CLP public housing working group. The event highlighted how cities across Italy face similar challenges, prompting the POLIMI experts to suggest examining other best practices. Of particular interest to the local audience was the C.A.S.A. Aler project, which combines renovation with a multi-service local hub, integrating social services, public authority, and health assistance to provide comprehensive support to residents.

This event marks a significant step toward adopting innovative approaches to enhance public housing in Catania, with ongoing evaluations of successful models from across Italy to inspire and inform local efforts.



Il progetto e-SAFE ha bisogno di te per raccogliere informazioni su Catania in relazione alla ristrutturazione sismico-energetica

Catania local platform: si parte! 

Venerdì 9 luglio si è tenuto l’evento di lancio dei lavori della Piattaforma Locale di Catania. Segui la registrazione dell’evento per scoprire come la piattaforma agirà in sinergia con il territorio



Workshop con stakeholderS

Il 1° Ottobre si terrà un workshop con gli stakeholder della Catania Local Platform. L'Università di Catania, BPIE e Moverim presenteranno una review delle tecniche di partecipazione degli stakeholder. 





Engagement Portal at the local level is user-friendly digital platform that combines traditional web-based interactive strategies (blogs, forms, etc.) with participatory GIS-based features, aimed at supporting the project alongside all three options of engagement.