Milan is affected by changes which, though not yet analyzed in detail, are reshaping several features of the social setting of its population. Among them, the increasing rooting of foreign presences, who, according to early post-census statistics released by the Statistics Bureau of the Municipality of Milan, overtook 200,00 residents at the end of 2012 (that is, a 16 per cent of total residents). The highest share of children was reported in the Chinese, Egyptian and Moroccan communities; while the highest share of children born in Italy is reported for the Filipinos. The birth rate among foreign residents is 1.91 (compared to 1.2 for Italian women). An increase of second- and third-generation school pupils who were born in Italy is also reported. The figure of foreign students attending Milanese schools is also constantly growing.
The ReGenerations project stems from the long-standing work by ICEI and the Municipality of Milan with young people, notably second-generation youths, focusing on language, intended as the more or less appropriate use of terms, concepts and tools which identify the second generation in the common sense and assign them a role in society. Language is also the main tool for breaking prejudice and introducing new perspectives and ways to intend citizenships. In order to intervene effectively in their context it is important to approach young people, to speak their language, to use their communication tools, to make them protagonists, to use their interpretative schemes.
The project activities culminated with the third edition of the ReGenerations festival and many occasions for young people’s protagonism, for dialogue with the citizens and collection of contributions and insights. The aim of the event is to promote citizenship rights associated to a concept of plural identity, in order to valorize the cultural heritage of young residents of foreign origin and second-generation youths, as well as to enhance cross-cutting protagonism of all Milanese youths.