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Factsheet - La Spezia

Characteristics of the area

La Spezia is the second largest city in Liguria, Genoa. La Spezia suffered  transformations developing from a fishing village to a major industrial port in the mid-19th century. The development of the port had a profound impact on the city’s landscape and demographic composition, particularly in the neighbourhood located on the eastern part of the city, where the “YEPP” approach and methodology is being implemented.

Successive waves of industrial immigration changed the area’s identity and challenged its social cohesion, with migrants coming initially from other regions in Italy, and later on from Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The neighbouring districts of Canaletto and Fossamastra benefited most from the expansion of the industrial port, which provided local residents with new employment opportunities in the shipping industry. The pre-industrial lifestyle of fishermen and mussel farmers still finds echoes in celebrations such as the Palio del Golfo, a traditional rowing competition between villages. However, the growing diversity of the area makes it challenging to maintain a strong and inclusive sense of community. Another rising concern for residents is the impact of decades of industrial activity on the environment, in particular poor air quality and the lack of green spaces.

When did the YEPP Local Site become involved?

YEPP La Spezia started during 2009 in two district of the city. Since 2011 the whole city is involved in "YEPP".

Why did the Local Site start implementing the “YEPP” approach and methodology?

The municipality of La Spezia decided to implement the "YEPP" approach and methodology in La Spezia to give development opportunities to the young people inside their community.

Main issues and objectives?

In spring 2012 the second Operational Plan was completed. This plan forecasts:

1. maintenance and development of the youth center “Lo Spazio”,

2. to create Point.Y a place for young people in which it is possible to study and find information,

3. Artistic permanent laboratories called Lab.Y that allow young people to work together on artistic projects of their interest,

4. Y.nfo service that intends to extend the public information service for young people at the secondary schools and finally,

5. YEPPinfest(ivAl) a musical and artistic festival that involves young people.

Main goal of the project in La Spezia is to involve young people from all the three cities of the Gulf of La Spezia.

What are the projects and achievements to date?

The most important actions of the first operational plan was the creation of the youth center. “Lo Spazio” - a very succesfull project for our YEPP Local Site. In the first year more than 700 people frequented the center and a lot of activities (courses, party, concert, interview, etc.) took place.