(January 2010) Urban Integrated Regeneration Programs in Italy: integration of actions, actors and policies

Urban Integrated Regeneration Programs in Italy: integration of actions, actors and policies image
Starting from the EU's Urban Initiative in 1994, a large number of experiences on Urban regeneration programs have been developed around Europe; this has generate different approach to the regeneration of run-down neighborhoods and new competences for the actors involved in those processes, both private and public (Palermo, 2002).

According to Urban principles, urban regeneration is a program of local innovative actions which are multidimensional (including physical, social, and economic actions, which go beyond redistribution and assistance policies), inter-sectorial, inter-institutional, aiming at forming partnerships and at involving inhabitants, with a special attention to social exclusion situations (CEC, 2007, Regione Piemonte, 2004).

In a wider dimension, the paper deepen the Italian case, in order to understand the way in which the Urban principles have been declined in the "Mediterranean Perspective (Janin, Faludi, 2005), related to the governance of the European spatial planning amongst different countries.

A closer look to the Italian case, and to the way in which Urban criteria have been developed in Italy, shows how these processes have had methodological fall out on local administration modus operandi, notably in the fields of subsidiarity and intersectorial actions, developing different organization models within the administration body, and in the relation with the actors involved in the process: from an exclusively public and hierarchigly organized action, to the participation of different levels actors alongside with non public actors.
Moreover, there has been an evolution in the Urban Regeneration Policy: formerly seen as a goal, now seen as a means for a cohesion and competitiveness policy (Governa, 2007).

 

In this context, the aim of the research is to analyze the way in which Urban regeneration programs in Italy have generated different ways of integration, referring to local policies: how they have been related to each others, and how they have been related within the local network of actors and actions foreseen by the program.
In particular, three kinds of integrations are defined: I) integration of public administration policies, II) integration between local actions, related to different city-departments, III) vertical integration, between public administration and local actors.

The aim of the research is twofold: firstly is to build a grid to put in relation local integrated "immaterial" actions (related to social, cultural and economic fields) with the various policies they came from, analyzing the reciprocal interaction and integration. Secondly is to apply the grid on three Italian case studies, to compare how different cities had approached to those projects and what do they have learned after the program in term of knowledge, new skills: to see how the Urban regeneration approach has changed the way of working of public and non public actors in the renewal of the cities (Haley, 1998; Briata, 2009).

The research is based on formal and informal documentation about regeneration programs brought to an end, developed in Italy in the last decade, and on a qualitative survey, with evidences from key informant, professionals, and public administrators, to investigate the way integration has been realized in those contexts and the learning paths that has generated.

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