If you can't do the SPID...

From Polimi, 5 concrete proposals for Milan to be implemented in 18 months: part 3, how to make public services more accessible

In 2023, the Polisocial Awards contest (to find out what it is about, see (here) identified and selected five research projects to be funded with the 5x1000 Irpef donations, thanks to all the Alumni who decided to allocate them to Politecnico di Milano.

The researchers started in November and will work for 15 months to frame situations of gap and need in certain neighbourhoods of the city of Milan. At Politecnico, the 5x1000 contributions are usually invested in projects which can be implemented in the short term while aiming to be replicable and have an effect in the long term; they are generally case studies that concretise solutions studied in larger projects and allow students and researchers to put into practice what they have learnt.


Access to and use of public services is a challenge for everyone - and we are well aware of that. For foreign and immigrant families, linguistic and cultural distance exacerbates difficulties and, in addition to being an obstacle to inclusion, can lead to the denial of fundamental rights. Trivially, if a person does not manage to obtain a SPID, is not digitally literate or has no access to a computer, it becomes complex for him/her to even enrol his/her children in school or be assigned a GP. What if there is no one in a family who can read Italian?

This is also what the research groups at Politecnico di Milano are concerned with: not only technological advances but innovative solutions that address the everyday problems of the fragile. We talked about this with Maryam Karimi, a researcher working on the Città-IN project: ‘Innovation does not simply mean using technology or digitising systems. It is about changing mindsets, organisational structures and policies to promote inclusion and diversity'.

Empowering marginalised people (such as immigrant children and their families, but the same could apply to the elderly) to understand their rights - the right to inspiration, growth and learning - means real inclusion; and it is one of the first steps in addressing contemporary challenges, laying the foundations for a stable future for all.

The Città-IN project goes in this direction and represents the actualisation of a broader Politecnico project: the experimental application of 'Mediation Grammar', a quality standard for public services that facilitates interaction between people and their administrative rights. This standard was developed by Politecnico di Milano itself in the context of a European research project and adopted by the European Commission.

Learn more about the Mediation Grammar developed by Politecnico di Milano for the European Commission

Karimi and colleagues are working in the Off Campus space in the San Siro neighbourhood with around 40 foreign families, three comprehensive schools in the neighbourhood, and several local authorities providing school integration services. The first goal is to provide direct support to schools, families and students; but, in the long term, it will facilitate the development of a scenario to ensure the sustainability of this interface and build a replicable model for the evaluation and application of Mediation Grammar.

Learn more about the Città-IN research project and its applications