Milan – a City for Children and Young People
- December 2022
“This initiative lays the ground for innovation to be put to beneficial practical use within disadvantaged settings. The research approach is not merely geared towards progressive results, but is also innovative in its methods and challenges to implement avant-garde and forward-looking solutions”. Eugenio Gatti, Director Fondazione Politecnico di Milano.
WISH MI (Wellbeing Integrated System of Milan) was created to fight child poverty in Milan and ensure equal access to the city’s resources and opportunities. Recent major economic, demographic and social developments have set new challenges to education and wellbeing, including in how to bridge the educational divide between the city’s centre and its outskirts, and stem the flow of school truancy, absenteeism and dropout rates.
The initiative intends to establish a strategic plan to benefit children, with the aim of transforming Milan into a child and teenager-friendly city, a socially inclusive and cohesive place where young people are seen as a positive resource.
One of the actions set out in WISH MI is to build a digital platform to bring together in one location the services offered to children in the fields of education, culture, sport and leisure, and welfare. Another is to establish seven hubs in public buildings, where qualified staff are onsite to help families access educational and welfare services offered in the area of Milan, and ensure that these options are fully available to all.
The role of the Foundation
Fondazione Politecnico di Milano is a partner in the initiative
WISH MI has received about 5 million euros in funding through the European call for proposals on “Urban Innovative Actions” (UIA), being one of 20 projects chosen out of 175. The lead partner in the three-year project is the City of Milan, through its Education and Social Policy Departments.
The initiative was finalised with the support of Bloomberg Associates and will work in synergy with WeMi, a welfare portal that helps people access Milan’s home-based services, and with QuBì, a programme created by Fondazione Cariplo to tackle child poverty in Milan.
With its stated purpose of fighting inequality, WISH MI wants to make sure that no child is excluded from schooling and education, and that all children can access the services and activities designed for them. Furthermore, some services have been implemented with the help of young people, their families and several third sector bodies.