In recent years, the international debate on european cities has increasingly shifted its main focus from economic regeneration to cohesion and governance. After a long period of urban decline there are evidences that some major economic problems in several european cities have been partially solved. On the other hand, the question of a more effective balance between economic issues and social and environmental welfare is becoming crucial to urban competitiveness.In this conceptual framework, the paper critically explores the evolution of urban policy in Italy, paying particular attention to the effects of the European Union’s cohesion policy for the southern regions. Firstly, the paper provides an overview of the strategies for the urban areas both at national and regional level, trying to analyze the way in which cohesion and competitiveness have been recently conceptualized in the policy agenda. Attention it is paid particularly to the new stream of tools and local initiatives carried out in the field of strategic planning and within the regional policy framework. Secondly, by comparing results from reports at national and european level, the paper discusses the controversial impact of the cohesion policy towards italian cities, particularly in reducing the gap among southern regional capitals and the most dynamic european urban areas. In the final section the paper addresses some key issues for the italian urban policy agenda going back to the debate on cohesion and competitiveness in the light of the european context.
|Numero di pagine||12|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2008|