Innovative Collaboration Pioneers Sustainable Tourism Planning in Italy: Playing Sabbioneta

Acta is developing the “Playing Sabbioneta” project in collaboration with Open Lab and has been selected as one of the top 10 most innovative social enterprises, out of 100 candidates, in the framework of SocialTech4EU. The SocialTech for Europe for Resilient and Responsible Ecosystems, SocialTech4EU, is a two-year project that kicked off in September 2022 and is co-funded by the EU, more specifically the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) through the Joint Cluster Initiatives (EUROCLUSTERS) for Europe’s recovery (SMP-COSME-2021-CLUSTER).


In the realm of sustainable development, where technology and innovation intertwine with social and environmental concerns, our social enterprise has been making waves since its inception in 1994. Focused on cultural and creative industries, tourism, environment, and local development, ACTA stands as a beacon for promoting sustainable pilot projects across various levels—local, regional, national, and international. At the heart of ACTA’s activities lies tourism planning—a strategic process encompassing the design, development, management, and assessment of tourism activities within destinations to achieve sustainable development. Central to this process are objectives aimed at preserving cultural and natural resources, minimizing negative environmental impacts, supporting local community development, and enhancing the overall visitor experience.

However, the complexity of tourism planning needs clear and comprehensive information for stakeholders, ranging from central institutions to local communities and businesses. Addressing this challenge requires a multidisciplinary approach, integrating principles of ecological transition, digital transformation, and public participation dynamics. Recognizing the pivotal role of technology in shaping development processes, ACTA has embarked on a groundbreaking project in collaboration with one of the most innovative technological providers specializing in applied video games- Open Lab LTD. “Playing Sabbioneta” explores game mechanics and public participation dynamics in planning in the context of a XVI century UNESCO site in Italy, Lombardy Region: Sabbioneta.

The development of the game is proceeding simultaneously with the planning activities that ACTA is undertaking in a management project for the Municipality, focusing on hospitality, according to the criteria defined by the Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention, 2005). By leveraging digital imagery, gaming, and new technologies, the project seeks to inform and empower the local population in decision-making processes, addressing cognitive and informational asymmetry while fostering active citizenship. The integration of video games into public processes offers a playful yet impactful framework for stakeholders to visualize the effects of their choices and decisions, ultimately facilitating the design of more sustainable services. Moreover, the project’s scalability and adaptability make it applicable to various territorial contexts and public administrations, signalling its potential to revolutionize co-design processes and projects involving destination stakeholders.

To effectively implement initiatives related to ecological transition and digital transformation, it is necessary to develop projects that promote crossover between new tools, languages, and digital imagery, along with methodologies and techniques integrated, as in this case, from planning and public participation. ACTA believes that this principle can also be adopted in other domains and applied to various economic sectors, in addition to tourism.

Supporting Materials


Click here, to see the power point presentation of the innovative project.

Click here, to see the abstract of “Playing Sabbioneta” presentation at 6th Advances in Destination Management (5-7 June 2024)

Press review:

Pianificazione turismo sostenibile, Playing Sabbioneta é avanguardia. Click here

Ecco “Playing Sabbioneta”, il videogioco per pianificare il turismo sostenibile. Click here

Progetto Playing Sabbioneta. Click here


Click here, to see the video-interview to Pietro Polsinelli.

“This project has indirectly received funding from EISMEA- European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency, entrusted by the European Commission, via an Open Call for financial support to third parties issued and executed under project SocialTech4EU (Grant Agreement nr. 101074518“.

Copyright: Acta-Sensi Contemporanei srl impresa sociale –