Social cohesion

Social cohesion: what does it mean and why it is relevant

Social cohesion is the ability of a society to ensure the well-being of the community on the basis of strong social relationships and a well-defined territorial belonging. In other words, it corresponds to a series of mechanisms which, once triggered, keep society and community together, removing the risk of dissolving into small groups or individual fragments.

Among the factors underlying a solid social cohesion are: 

  • employment, housing, income, health and education; 
  • order and social security; 
  • active social relations as a function of exchanges of information, support, solidarity and credit; 
  • involvement of institutions.

These factors act as social glues, giving the possibility to create strong and favorable relationships between members of the same community and to consolidate the collective identity and sense of territorial belonging, and are basic requirements useful for evaluating the civil progress of a country.

It is therefore important to identify those individuals who, within a community, are in a situation of profound vulnerability and marginalization, to assist them and help them achieve full integration, eliminating all forms of discrimination and cultural and economic barriers.

The role of national policies

National policies are called upon to prevent all forms of social exclusion by proposing targeted and differentiated initiatives based on the scope of intervention and the tools available. An important step in this direction was taken by the United Nations Organization, which included the sustainability of cities and communities in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Specifically, the 11th goal of the UN 2030 Agenda promotes inclusive and sustainable urban development, through participatory and integrated planning of the interventions to be implemented. To be pursued by 2030, the most relevant sub-objectives in terms of social inclusion are the following: 

  • guarantee all members of a community access to safe housing and basic services and the redevelopment of poor neighborhoods; 
  • guarantee all members of a community access to safe, accessible and sustainable transport systems; 
  • enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization; 
  • guarantee all members of a community access to safe, inclusive and accessible green and public spaces.

Intesa Sanpaolo's commitment

In Italy the number of families and people in conditions of absolute poverty has grown significantly in the last ten years and today represents 7.0% of families and 8.4% of the population, with a peak of 12.6% for minors (15.7% in the South).

To counter this phenomenon and contributing to the socio-economic improvement of families and individuals and the reduction of inequalities, at Intesa Sanpaolo we aim every day at sustainable economic growth in the long term, supporting the creation of new businesses with dedicated products and services. development and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and supply chains, strengthening and modernization of infrastructures and public utility services.

The Bank's economic results and its solidity represent the basic prerequisite for a structural program of activities in favor of those who are in a disadvantaged position and who struggle to reach the minimum threshold of well-being and dignity that everyone should be entitled to.