Local spatial planning versus UNESCO WHL Management Plans: a comparison of two cases inSicily

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This paper aims to investigate the relationship between tourism and planning in UNESCO World HeritageList (WHL) sites, with special reference to the relation between Management Plans and other (local andregional) planning instruments and policies able to influence the promotion of sustainable and responsibledevelopment. This will be explored through a confrontation between two important tourist locations in Sicily:Agrigento (the Valley of the Temples) and the Aeolian Islands, which have both been recognized as WorldHeritage Sites by UNESCO. The analysis of these case studies will point out the challenge of integratingdifferent management and planning regimes – which mainly refer to a performative model – in a (still) veryconformative planning system. The article will show how supranational policies often lose their efficacy inrelation to regional and local planning systems, being in opposition to such systems. The selection of the twoSicilian case studies is particularly appropriate under this perspective, as they represent significant or evenextreme examples of the gap between the supranational performative approach of the UNESCO WHL MPmodel and the conformative nature of the Sicilian planning system; this is due to the different nature andcharacteristics of the Sicilian planning law and regulations and the UNESCO WHL MP guidelines.The comparison, proposed in the paper, will explore the influence and mutual relationships between the twoUNESCO sites and the planning instruments and policies. The main questions of the paper are: In which waythe above mentioned framework of planning instruments takes into account the UNESCO sites? What is therole of planning instruments and policies to facilitate integration and reconciliation? Which are the strategiesimplemented by the planning system and its regulations in order to manage and improve the tourist flows,according to a sustainable planning approach? On the other hand, does the UNESCO heritage label (and itsrelated policies and management plans) guarantee international and global control over local changes andplanning decisions?The paper will underline how the interrelation among the WHL MP and other (local and regional) plans is onthe one hand necessary and on the other hand problematic, due to the diversity of planning systems in eachcountry. Consequently, the paper will consider the legal implications for local planning systems due to thefact that each national and local reality has to spot the most adequate configuration for WHL MP, in the lightof existing laws and specific cases. The paper will also show the difficult integration between planninginstruments operating in the same area, but managed by different actors, with different time schedules,resources and law effectiveness.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteAESOP 2012 E-book. 26th Annual Congress
Numero di pagine20
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2012


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