Pragmatism and Institutional Actions in Planning the Metropolitan Area of Milan

Authored by: Alessandro Balducci

The Routledge Handbook of Institutions and Planning in Action

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138085732
eBook ISBN: 9781315111230
Adobe ISBN:


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The history of the last 60 years of planning the Milan urban region has been the continuous alternation between the search for pragmatic solutions to govern the rapid growth of the city and the attempt to find institutional solutions for the same problem. The pragmatic solutions have been based upon voluntary coalitions, non-binding strategic planning documents, working on the power of ideas rather than upon formal power. When they have inevitably shown difficulties and weaknesses the response has always been to impose an institutional architecture which has turned off the innovative character of the experimental attempts without being able to really solve the problem of planning the urban growth, in a situation of crowded policy arenas and fragmented powers. This chapter describes the Milan case and tries to draw some policy implications from this story.

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