Bologna, Italy

Actors involved

Social economy organisations, private companies, public entities, intermediaries, citizens

Thematic areas of SI

Urban regeneration, education, welfare and work, migration


SALUS Space is a multifunctional centre in Bologna for hospitality, intercultural welfare, and wellbeing, born thanks to the recovery and regeneration of an abandoned place, a former private clinic called Villa Salus.

The project was promoted in 2016 by the Municipality of Bologna in collaboration with 16 partners: associations, social cooperatives with experience in the field of community engagement, education vocational training, social entrepreneurship and micro-credit, social agriculture, multicultural catering and the arts (ACLI Bologna, Antoniano Onlus, ASP Città di Bologna, CIDAS Cooperativa Sociale, Associazione Cantieri meticci, CEFAL Emilia-Romagna Società Cooperativa, CIOFS FP Emilia Romagna, CSAPSA Cooperativa Sociale Onlus, Eta Beta Cooperativa Sociale Onlus, ICIE Istituto Cooperativo per l’Innovazione Società Cooperativa, IRS Istituto per la ricerca sociale, Microfinanza S.r.l., Associazione Mondo Donna Onlus, Open Group Cooperativa Sociale Onlus, Società Dolce coop) and universities (UNIBO–Department of Sociology and Business of Law/Department of the Arts; Department of Agriculture and Food Sciences). The project was selected and funded by the European Urban Innovation Actions (UIA) program, whose main objective is to identify and test new solutions capable of responding to problems and challenges related to sustainable urban development.

The intervention involves a zero consumption of the territory, using the upgrading of the complex as an experimental site that, in addition to being a flywheel for the local economy, aims to employ disadvantaged section of the population and at the same time train them professionally for the future management of the property as well as the creation of business activities for the benefit of the local area.

The purpose of SALUS Space is to include welcome centre immigrants within urban architecture, contributing to the social inclusion of migrants and refugees, urban poverty reduction, energy transition, and the development of new jobs. The initiative provides a pathway for migrants and refugees to foster self-entrepreneurship and promote the creation of social enterprise startups. It includes spaces dedicated to housing, art and craft, a theatre, a study centre with co-working stations, an emporium, a weekly farmer’s market, gardens dedicated to social purposes and production, and a refreshment point.