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Article

Paradoxes of the Italian Historic Centres between Underutilisation and Planning Policies for Sustainability

1
Department of Urban Planning and Design, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou 215123, China
2
Department of Architecture and Arts, Università IUAV di Venezia, 30123 Venice, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2614; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092614
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 6 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
The paper presents the analysis of the statistical data on population and real estate in 20 small-to-medium-sized cities in Northern Italy and shows a high rate of vacancy of housing and significant shrinkage of businesses and institutions in the historic centres, where urban heritage is concentrated. Given these findings, the paper analyses the official city plans of the cities with the worst underutilisation conditions, to understand how the plans have reacted to the decline of the centre. The result shows the extensive planning and regulation activity has very limitedly registered the phenomenon and failed to propose the empty inner cores as resources to reduce land consumption and recycle valuable assets in a circular economic vision. Combining the statistical data and the findings from the city plans, the paper concludes that Italian historic centres are living paradoxes—a collection of beauty, icon of well-being, model of sustainability, but abandoned—and therefore, the dense regulatory mechanisms that were necessary to conserve urban heritage during the decades of economic and demographic growth must be reframed to implement a circular economy and adapt to new requirements for living conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban heritage; historic centre; regulation; sustainability; city plan urban heritage; historic centre; regulation; sustainability; city plan
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pellegrini, P.; Micelli, E. Paradoxes of the Italian Historic Centres between Underutilisation and Planning Policies for Sustainability. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2614. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092614

AMA Style

Pellegrini P, Micelli E. Paradoxes of the Italian Historic Centres between Underutilisation and Planning Policies for Sustainability. Sustainability. 2019; 11(9):2614. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092614

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pellegrini, Paola, and Ezio Micelli. 2019. "Paradoxes of the Italian Historic Centres between Underutilisation and Planning Policies for Sustainability" Sustainability 11, no. 9: 2614. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092614

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