Participation in Prato:
Active citizenship

Experiencing Macrolotto Zero

A network of associations dedicated to coexistence

Macrolotto Zero is a district next to the historical centre with a strong identity linked to the presence of many citizens of Chinese origin and numerous commercial activities and ready-to-wear shops. From an urban point of view, it developed during the years of the city's economic boom and is characterized by the density of buildings - both residences and artisanal workshops - and by the absence of public and green spaces. Today this is a district of the city with obvious and difficult problems of coexistence and social inclusion between the communities, and in need of significant urban renewal. In recent years these obvious issues have prompted many associations and other local operators to design community-based projects and plan the regeneration of private spaces, with results of a high cultural and social standard.
A small private parking lot, next to the PAM supermarket, has been upgraded by cleaning the walls, planting flowers, and installing benches; it has been renamed Piazza dell'Immaginario, and is now a public place that has become indispensable as the site of a great number of initiatives.

This project represents an important example of active citizenship, achieved through planning and communication skills, the cultural and social sensitivity of local Associations operating in the area (China and Dryfoto), the contribution of a private citizen (the owner of the PAM space), and local authority funding. These positive examples have strengthened the determination of citizens, associations and social groups to counter the district's safety and decay problems through the joint planning and implementation of initiatives aimed at protecting and revitalizing the area.

On February 2016, on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, the main street of the district hosted the Festival of Lights, a three-day event organized by Compost in collaboration with other associations, and with the support of Regione Toscana and the local government. Numerous activities aimed at social inclusion and urban regeneration animated the districts and involved many citizens. The district was unusually lively and many people from Prato and from all over Tuscany participated in numerous small and great events that animated the streets adorned with large Chinese lanterns. The success of the initiative and the great potential revealed by the joint effort of all the local operators have led to the formation of a coordinating committee of Italian and Chinese associations working in the district which meets regularly to discuss issues and plan cultural and social activities.
The network of association, called "Vivere il Macrolotto Zero" (Experiencing Macrolotto Zero), is based at the Curiel social club and currently includes: Chi-na, Santa Valvola, Futuro Domani, Viaggi e Scoperte, Dryphoto, CTG Prato, Riciclidea Prato, La Quarta Via, SPICGIL, Associazioni d’amicizia dei cinesi di Prato, Associazione buddista della comunità cinese, Associazione generale di commercio italo-cinese di Prato, Associazione Wencheng del Centro Italia, AAPC (associazione abbigliamento Prato Cina), and Comitato Via Pistoiese Macrolotto Zero.