Town Planning Review

Spatial strategies through land-use plans, urban projects and metropolitan visions: twenty-five years of planning in Turin

Town Planning Review (2018), 89, (3), 259–282.

Abstract

Planning literature has generally presented strategic planning as an alternative to top-down land-use planning and modernist urban design. Spatial strategies have been depicted as the product of more or less formalised processes of strategic planning, without fully acknowledging the nexus with other forms and scales of planning and large-scale projects. We use the case of Turin (Italy) to observe in practice this theoretical blind spot. Indeed, the city and region of Turin have been an important ground for experimentation in Italian and European planning. Its long-term continuity in politics, its close-knit policy networks and the substantial restructuring of its economic base have been the conditions for developing a strand of comprehensive and strategic plans and large-scale projects that, together, profoundly changed Turin between the early 1990s and the mid-2010s. Turin’s experience shows not only that spatial strategies derive from multiple modes of planning, but also that the involved actors may, on the contrary, perceive strategic plans as the main place for developing spatial strategies. The case provides insights regarding the intertwining of spatial strategies with urban design and planning at both urban and metropolitan scales. In order to understand how spatial strategies work and impact the city, one must look beyond strategic planning alone.

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Ponzini, Davide

Santangelo, Marco