Sustainable local planning

The current new generation of local plans proposed by the National Institute of Urban Planning as the fourth generation of Italian city planning, is an expression of our urban and territorial history, characterized by the changing of government tools following the change of the social, economic and cultural framework. A very detailed planning followed the renewed legislation, to provide a precise description thanks to the complexity and diversification of the themes addressed: from the processes of transformation of the existing city related to the improvement of the architectural, energy and functionality quality, to the issues of reorganization and efficiency of the planning tools, the strengthening of participatory processes and the involvement of citizens in drawing up the plan.

In the mid-eighties, the principles of sustainable development were an answer to the arising of environmental issues in the territorial planning,  and the consequent increasingly compelling need for planning tools that would guarantee the protection of the environment, beyond the philosophy of the mere imposition of constraints.

The two-way relationship between environment and development, and also between the local and global dimensions, recognizes the validity of the integrated approach in planning and finds support in the implementation process of Agenda 21 (1992). The application of the revolutionary concepts of sustainability, marked the beginning of a new territorial governance philosophy, which entails a multidisciplinary work with a wide participation of citizens for a sustainable territory. A shared vision of the future, currently still up-to-date, was actualized in 2004 with the signing of the 10 European Commitments.

The new planning tools use parameters aimed at improving the quality of life, by combining the urban planning with a social system always in fast and continuous transformation. The new vision has particularly affected the configuration of the most popular planning tool, the new General Plan, providing a distinction between legislative aspects and duty aspects.

Integrated planning, looking at the urban system as a whole, is of great relevance as it operates in terms of: redevelopment and regeneration of degraded areas; recovery of landscape also ​​through shared public spaces; promotion and research of cultural identities; enhancement of inclusive policies tools.

European legislation has given over time strong impetus to the principle of participation of citizens in democratic life, based on the partnership between citizens and public administration, through the preparation of several programming documents.

The urban welfare issue, that is those living conditions that improve the quality of life in the whole community together with the seek of appropriate tools to achieve it, is recently subject of debate in Europe,  given the recognized social complexity of the contemporary city and the progressive diffusion of social degradation, insecurity, conflict, exclusion. Town planning started to consider also urban welfare when it became clear the role of urban spaces designed for socialization as strategic elements to understand the history of the city and also to promote its development. Italy is just at an experimental phase in this direction, and the relationship between urban spaces and community is expressed by sustainable urban regeneration programs, including interventions at environmental, territorial and urban level, in consideration of the role that these tool can play, especially in small and medium size municipalities.

Data and assessments used in the Chapter LOCAL PLANNING arise from the Project A21L 2014 reporting. The results of the monitoring, carried out by local administrations through specific questionnaires, are available in the database FILARETE on a website (currently both under renovation) dedicated to local sustainable planning at: