Urban Growth Control DSS Techniques for De-Sprinkling Process in Italy

Bernardino Romano, Lorena Fiorini, Francesco Zullo, Alessandro Marucci
2017 Sustainability  
This article relates to the concept of urban expansion reduction in limited areas, called "de-sprinkling districts", and methods of designation of their range, as well as modelling and management of their network. This concept was developed from research concluded in 2016, referring to 50 years of urban evolution in Italy, that investigated and diagnosed the forms of urban growth focusing on the Italian model. For this model, the authors of this paper proposed an alternative definition (urban
more » ... rinkling) with respect to the sprawl international standard. Certainly this urban model established in Italy during the mentioned years is due to an inefficient control of peripheral areas and new conurbations' development, both in forms and functions. The cause is to be searched for in the importance given to single towns' general plans and the minor role of strategic planning (province and region). The political and social assumption that urban development according to the extreme sprinkling model is no longer feasible is gaining ground. However, implementing de-sprinkling processes will not be easy. In this paper, criteria to create a decision support system (DSS) for administrators and municipalities is illustrated. These criteria aim at dealing, technically and politically, with sprinkling and planning medium-term containment. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1852 2 of 15 and ecosystem services' provision [8-15], but it is very hard to answer the question about this urban model's contrast and inversion perspectives. Certainly this urban model established in Italy during the mentioned years is due to an inefficient control of peripheral areas and new conurbations' development, both in forms and functions. The new urban development has in fact almost never been carefully planned, with very rapid growths that have seen mixed neighborhoods and residential buildings with industrial and commercial areas, in rural matrices, with no drafted road networks or organic utilities framework. The cause is to be searched for in the importance given to single towns' general plans and the minor role of strategic planning (provincial and regional). As a consequence, the result of land transformation stems from the action of 8000 small municipality administrations. These decide within themselves with little large-scale interaction. Moreover, town administrations, to improve economic response and the people's consensus, and enforced through timeless and ess-strict regulations, have allowed community-led processes and contracts with private companies. This has led to a building surplus all over Italy. The National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) measured this surplus in 2011, considering only residential buildings; the number measured was 12 million buildings (average of 1 per every 5 people); 816,000 of those buildings were built in the last 10 years (223 new buildings every day) with an enormous number of second houses (30% of the total; ISTAT). The Italian government, throughout the years, has given little to no signals towards a reorganization of municipalities for a noticeable administrative fragmentation reduction, and on the contrary, provinces have been eliminated. The government used to draft strategic plans, which, as weak as they were, at least were an interpretation of a larger scale of land transformation and town activities coordination. It is also true that the fast increase in the number of buildings has undoubtedly slowed for many years, compared to the situation in the 1980s, but it still continues with an appreciable rate. From 2000 to 2012, the satellite land monitoring service Corine Land Cover (CLC) showed a 12% loss of land to urban development, which was around 1650 km 2 (more than the metropolitan area of Rome) or 140 km 2 /year and around 38 ha/day. Considering that for Italy, CLC monitoring data is inferior to the reality (which is at least 30% more), the comparison with the 80 ha/day measured between the 1950s and the 2000s shows that the phenomenon has still
doi:10.3390/su9101852 fatcat:eynocqhl75ayncu5oufuxphgie