An experimental, virtual currency is introduced to improve engagement in projects designed to help tackle social problems in a deprived area of Mantua.
A suburb facing a range of social issues
Lunetta, a suburb of Mantua, faces a variety of socioeconomic issues. These include high unemployment, a large number of social-housing tenants with rent arrears, a fragmented sense of community, limited regard for communal property and spaces, and social conflict partly connected with a large number of immigrants who face linguistic difficulties and other problems of integration.
A virtual currency is created
Lunattiva is an experimental project taking place in the municipality of Mantua which began in 2019. The project aims to improve well-being and community relations among social housing residents, as well as to nurture a sense of community. Lunattiva launched a participatory process based around social labs, supported by the innovative Puntiluna virtual currently scheme, whereby people actively involved in the project receive currency for their participation which they can use to reduce their rent arrears.
Helping residents pay off their debts
Puntiluna is an experimental method of engaging with social housing tenants. This system of virtual credit issues tokens with an effective value of €5 per hour. Residents receive credits for carrying out work or educational activities. Activities are proposed for the community or individuals, such as literacy workshops, family-budgeting talks, debt counselling or apprenticeships. The family unit can spend the accumulated Puntiluna credit to pay off rent arrears accrued, cancelling or reducing their debt.