Planning Assignments of the Italian Metropolitan Cities. Early Trends

Keywords: Metropolitan city, Strategic planning, Territorial planning


The last stage of the process of establishment of the Italian Metropolitan Cities, which took place in 2014, follows of a few decades the start of this institutional reform. In 1990, in fact, the Act 142 (Local Autonomies Reform) had planned metropolitan areas as the administrative organization more suitable to provide these territories of structures for the management and the strategic development alike the best international models. The paper proposes to analyse the first activities taken by the Italian Metropolitan Cities in the sector of territorial government, three years after the enactment in 2014 of Act nr. 56.  Focal point of the analysis is the jurisdiction in the formation of two plans (the Strategic Plan and the Metropolitan Territorial Plan) and the following relationships among them, in the logical assumption that between them a necessary and strict consistency there should be. In the first part, the paper analyses some factors characterizing the metropolitan areas and the functions that the law assigns to the new institution in the territorial government sector. The second part outlines the updated situation with regard to the formation of the sectoral tools (Strategic Plan, Territorial Plan and homogeneous zones). The third part analyses the progresses in three Metropolitan Cities taken as sample (Milan, Genoa and Bologna) and, in general, to those of Southern Italy. In the last part, the paper exposes some considerations regarding the issues raised in the article, particularly about the innovativeness of the tools and the timeline for the implementation of the act.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Giuseppe Mazzeo, National Research Council (CNR) - Institute of Studies on Mediterranean Societies (ISSM)
Researcher at the National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Studies on the Mediterranean Systems in Naples. Adjunct Professor of “Environmental Impact Assessment” at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Parthenope University of Naples, and of “Urban Planning Technique” at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Naples Federico II. It carries out research activity at the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (DICEA, University of Naples Federico II) in urban and operative planning, strategic environmental assessment, and urban regeneration.


Barbieri, C.A. (2015). Dall’istituzione all’azione della Città metropolitana di Torino: il ruolo di una nuova pianificazione. Il Piemonte delle Autonomie. II(2), 8-14.

BBSR (2011). Metropolitan Areas in Europe. BBSR-Online-Publikation, Nr. 01/2011. Bonn: Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development.

Conticelli, E., Proli, S., Tondelli, S. & Vecchietti, S. (2016), Città Metropolitana di Bologna, Urbanistica Informazioni. 267-268, 41-45.

De Luca, G. (2016). The paradigmatic case of the Metropolitan city of Florence. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 223, 108-112.

Gastaldi, F. & Zarino, S. (2015). La Città metropolitana: compiti e ruoli nella pianificazione del territorio. EyesReg. 5(1), 11-13.

Hamilton, D.K., Miller, D.Y. & Paytas, J. (2004). Exploring the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the governance of metropolitan regions. Urban Affairs Review. 40(2), 147-182.

ISPRA (2016). Consumo di suolo, dinamiche territoriali e servizi ecosistemici. Edizione 2016. Rapporto 248/2016. Roma: ISPRA.

Kübler, D. & Heinelt, H. (2002). An analytical framework for democratic metropolitan governance. 30th ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshop. Turin, March 2002.

Mazzeo, G. (2009), Dall’area metropolitana allo sprawl urbano: la disarticolazione del territorio. Tema. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment. 2(4). 7-20. doi: 10.6092/1970-9870/100.

Mazzeo, G. (2015a). Specificità della Città Metropolitana di Napoli. Pianificare con l’emergenza. EyesReg. 5(3), 92-95.

Mazzeo, G. (2015b). Il Piano Territoriale Generale della Città Metropolitana. In F.D. Moccia, A. Sgobbo (cur.), Bilancio e rinnovo della legge urbanistica regionale. Dopo 10 anni di L.R. 16/2004. Urbanistica Informazioni. 259-260, 48-51.

Mazzeo, G. (2016). La città leggera - Smart City e urbanistica attuativa. FedOA Press (Federico II Open Access University Press), Napoli. doi: 10.6093/978-88-6887-008-9.

Nobili, P. (2016), Città Metropolitana di Milano. Urbanistica Informazioni. 267-268, 34-37.

Papa, R., Gargiulo, C., Franco, S. & Russo. L. (2014). Urban smartness Vs urban competitiveness: a comparison of Italian cities rankings. Tema. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment. Input 2014. 771-782. doi.10.6092/1970-9870/2555.

Pasetti, A. (2016), Città Metropolitana di Genova. Urbanistica Informazioni. 267-268, 37-40.

Pavitt, K. (1984), Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory. Research Policy. 13(6). 343-373.

Sassen, S. (2001), The Global City. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Salet, W., Thomley, A. & Kreukels, A. (2003). Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning. Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions. London: Spon Press.

Sbetti, F. (2016). Indirizzi per la pianificazione territoriale delle Città Metropolitane, Urbanistica Informazioni. 267-268, 28-29.

Spadaro, A. (2015), Le Città metropolitane, tra utopia e realtà, 14/01/2015.

UN (2015). World Population Prospects. The 2014 Revision. New York: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division.

How to Cite
Mazzeo, G. (2017). Planning Assignments of the Italian Metropolitan Cities. Early Trends. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 10(1), 57-76.