Transport and urban planning in Rome: an unholy marriage?

Aurélien Delpirou
Aurélien Delpirou brings a new perspective to the debate initiated by Luis Santos y Ganges 1. He highlights the fact that urban planning policy alone, even when based on the development of rail infrastructure, does not make for a city. The example of the Italian capital shows that, when it comes to integrated urban development, plans are there only to set the ground rules for a game played by other participants. These plans are confronted with not only the contradictions of sustainable
more » ... ustainable development, but also the inertia of relations between the municipal government and developers. 2 Since the early 1990s, the principle of sustainable development and its establishment as a standards framework have made integrated urban planning and transport policies the new benchmark for urban planning in Europe, to the point where it is perhaps even too frequently cited as a cure-all (Offner 2007). In Rome, the policy implemented between 1993 and 2008 by the centre-left city council was very much inspired by this paradigm-indeed, so much so that it became known as the "Roman development model" (Marcelloni 2003). This is a spectacular turnaround for a city that, until recently, was consistently dubbed the "bottom of the class in European urban planning" (Insolera 1962) and regarded as the quintessential example of public transport that doesn't work and the perverse effects of urban planning through speculative action. From "bottom of the class" to "the Roman model"?