For many European cities the EU’s structural funds have led to a radical review of the way of approaching urban policy at different scales. For many others, particularly within the less developed regions, they also have resulted in a unique financial opportunity to carry out large infrastructural interventions as well as complex regeneration projects. After two decades of experiments, it is worth questioning to which extent the structural funds have impacted on the state of the European cities and whether Europanisation has promoted a real process of innovation in the making of urban policy.With this question on the background, this paper provides a critical analysis of the evolution of urban policy in the city of Palermo, the fifth Italian city by demographic size and capital of one of the largest less developed region of the European Union.After an introduction to set the case study within the national and international debate, a main section of the paper is dedicated to explore the different approaches to planning practiced by the municipality under the influence of the European urban agenda. Various programmes carried out in the urban area in the last two decades – from the Urban Initiative in the nineties to the projects under implementation within the Urban Agenda 2020 – are described with the aim of highlighting their spatial, environmental, social and economic motivations. This analytical work seeks to argue that the approach to urban policy in the city’s recent history is a complex mediation between different kind of priorities (and rhetorics), empowered by the European programming as well as by the arising of local priorities and long-standing rationales on development.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|