The metropolitan strategic plan of Genoa has activated a participatory process, formally recognizing it as an indispensable methodology necessary for the effective functioning of the new body, the metropolitan city.
Problems and Purpose
Law 56/2014 (the so-called Delrio law), anticipating a constitutional reform proposal then defeated by the referendum of 4/12/2016, has effectively dismissed the old Italian provinces , introducing a territorial reorganization process of the so-called "vast areas", ie those intermediate territorial entities (between regions and municipalities) called "metropolitan cities" or provinces (still using the term provinces for small and medium cities), with strategic functions, general planning, management and coordination of public services, governance of the mobility and traffic system, promotion and coordination of economic development and information systems (Article 1). & nbsp;
Specific objectives of the participatory path here in examination are: & nbsp;
- participatory and shared analysis of the context of the territory and its external relations;
- participatory and shared elaboration of the strategic plan (CM Genova, 2017, p . 46).
Background History and Context
Appeared in Italy as the first experimental experiences towards the end of the nineties, strategic plans have become planning tools with the law 56/2014 (so-called Delrio law). Metropolitan cities must have recourse to them (art.1, c. 44) to redefine their territorial context, objectives and governance structures. & Nbsp; & nbsp;
Metropolitan cities are born with a law hastily prepared in April 2014, two months after the inauguration of the new Renzi government, with Graziano Delrio undersecretary to the Prime Minister. The latter already minister, in the previous & nbsp; and very short government Letta, of regional affairs and autonomies. & Nbsp;
The law carried out an institutional reform that would then be perfected with the constitutional reform desired by Renzi, then defeated in the referendum of 4/12/2016. Although the reform of the provinces introduced by the so-called Delrio law was only debated in Parliament in a short time, granting a sort of unusual center-left-center-right grand coalition, metropolitan cities have been at the center of an ongoing debate for decades on the need to restore the administrative structures inherited from the nineteenth-twentieth century configurations (from the Savoy state first and then from the Fascist state, for example in Italy) no longer suited to the geographical changes of the new advanced development areas, with a high socio-economic complexity and a delicate balance ecological due to an increasingly pressed and internationally connected territory. One of the most relevant and shared conclusions in this debate has always been the need for a path of inclusion in the decision-making process of the will of the actors and the population. & Nbsp;
"The new law has entrusted the Mayors and Administrators of the municipalities of the territory have the task of modeling the new system, based on the needs and development prospects of each metropolitan reality [...]. It is the ability to build a true unitary and effective governance that allows the new local administration to govern to find shared solutions to metropolitan issues and to carry out the difficult task of improving services, modernizing the public administration and renewing the relationship between citizens and institutions. . In this perspective we worked on the first strategic plan of the City "(CM, 2017, p. 3).
The message that it is" important to communicate, both inside and outside the metropolitan territory, the change of the Entity which is not a restyling of the Province, but the beginning of a new mode of governance of the territory open to synergies and external contributions, in which the Metropolitan City is the protagonist of the change itself, it is the main interlocutor to reach a shared and sustainable development of the territory is a place of attracting resources from the outside world ”(Ib., p. 9). & nbsp;
The political tradition of the province of Genoa since the war is linear. Starting as a Christian Democrat until 1971, thanks also to the growth of the workers' presence, there is a shift to the left, from that year governments began headed by presidents of the PSI and one of the PCI (Elio Carocci in 1985). Then, from 1993 to 2012, two exponents of the center left preside (PDS-L'Ulivo-La Margherita-Democratic Party). The last two years before the reform were chaired by an extraordinary commissioner appointed by the government. & Nbsp;
Since 2014, the mayor of the new metropolitan city coincides by law with the mayor of the capital, therefore the mayor of Genoa , which is Marco Doria, an independent leftist, elected to the municipal in 2012, in a broad coalition including SEL and the Federation of the Left. But after 5 years in the municipality and 3 in the metropolitan city, Doria almost resigns before the end of his mandate  and the new candidate of the center-left Gianni Crivello will be defeated by Marco Bucci of the center-right, thanks to an already fast-growing Northern League. However, the Metropolitan City is active and has its own statute unanimously approved on 19/12/2014. Among its principles in paragraph 1 of art. 31 public participation has a strong significance: "The metropolitan city informs its activity on the principle of involvement and broader consultation of the municipalities, individual or associated, and of the communities included in its territory". & Nbsp;
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
Metropolitan City of Genoa, General Management of the Metropolitan City, Planning and Internal Control Office, Territorial Planning Office . The promoter, organizer and financier is the metropolitan city itself, with mayor Marco Doria, deputy mayor Valentina Ghio, its management and offices, as well as its councilors. Although the process appears to have been carried out largely with human resources within the institution itself, there are no data on the costs related to the collaboration with INU (National Institute of Urban Planning) Liguria or other expenses related to the process itself. & Nbsp; & nbsp; p >
INU Liguria - The regional section of the National Institute of Urban Planning, in particular its representative arch. Matteo Pasetti, provided advice on the whole design and general organization of the process (Link 1 - Participation). It is declared that the collaboration is the implementation of the memorandum of understanding between INU and the Metropolitan City (CM, 2017, p. 48), but the document is not published and any salaries to this institution are not advertised. & Nbsp; p >
Various bodies and municipalities of the Genoese area - The mayors and councilors of the municipalities of the Genoese metropolitan area, representatives of the Parks, health districts, Chambers of Commerce, local foundations (eg the Economic Society of Chiavari founded in 1791) have provided support to the process by making their venues and officials available for meetings (Link 1 - Participation). & nbsp;
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Meetings in the territory - 7 public meetings structured in two parts were held. A first part in plenary with the presentations of the authorities and experts and one in discussions in tables using the focus group method: 27 tables in all, attended by the participants in the meetings. Overall, 67 municipalities were involved with 126 presences (mayors, councilors, councilors, structure managers, officials); 36 representatives of other entities (Region, Ministry of Labor, Superintendence, Park Authorities, ASL, GAL, CONI, Pro Loco); 42 trade unions and the business world, 44 professionals and experts (University, INU, Labò Foundation - Young Urban Planners); 50 presences of associations and services; 7 press and media; 30 councilors of the Metropolitan City (Link 1 - Participation). & Nbsp;
The meetings took place on weekdays starting from the early afternoon (14: 30/15: 00) between 23/11 / 2016 and 8/2/2017, in Genoa and in other 6 locations representative of the homogeneous areas of the district identified by the organizers (Recco, Chiavari, Arenzano, S. Olcese, Torriglia, San Colombano). The plenary sessions were introduced and chaired by the mayor of the host municipality who then gave the floor to the mayor Doria or the vice-mayor Ghio, the INU consultant and the officials of the metropolitan city who introduced the theme of the strategic plan and the fundamental issues . In addition, the interviews carried out with key figures in the area were projected. Several councilors from the metropolitan city were also present at the plenaries, as well as the actors and citizens of the area. For each meeting, the number of participants divided by membership category, photos and brief minutes is reported. The methods of recruiting participants are not known; it is assumed that they mostly took place through targeted invitations via e-mail or by word of mouth through key figures in the various territories. The methods of publicizing the meetings are not indicated.
Tables (focus groups) . Each table was assigned a color. The tables were led by a moderator with the support of a recorder, roles always performed by managers and officials of the metropolitan city; a final speaker chosen from among the participants concluded and summarized the work of each table. The summary was then reported in plenary. Each table report begins with the list of the names of the participants and the respective role they belong to and ends with a final paragraph dedicated to requests for any changes or additions to the minutes themselves (Link 1 - Participation). every meeting, it is noted that the presences under the category "citizens" were very low (1 or 2 presences per meeting); while the most important are represented by officials and elected representatives of local authorities (Link 1 - Participation). The method of recruiting participants at the tables is not detectable. & Nbsp;
Surveys and online contributions - During the meetings, at least, the possibility of accessing the website and filling in a questionnaire in which the same questions submitted in the focus groups could be answered, as well as a space open to the formulation of proposals. The collection ended on February 15, 2017, with 122 questionnaires sent, a high response from citizens (44%), in addition to 34% of questionnaires received from municipal councilors and 23% from actors (CM, 2017, p . 51). & Nbsp; In addition to the questionnaires, contributions both in paper and electronic form were received in both paper and electronic form, from municipalities and actors (INU, CNA, Valle Scrivia Committee, etc ...). & Nbsp;
Video interviews . There were also 11 video interviews with key management figures in the area (eg President of Confindustria, rector of the University, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, etc ...) and a couple of students, which were screened during the meetings.
Media - In addition to the dedicated website, active from 3/6/2016, date of the first news, to 20/6/2018, date of the latest, press news and other forms of communication were disseminated (local radio and TV, local web information portals, institutional web pages on the Liguria Region website); there are no profiles or campaigns on social media, nor traditional campaigns with billboards and flyers (Link 1 - Press review). After 20/6/2018 (the collapse of the Polcevera viaduct took place on 14/8/2018) there are no more news on the Strategic Plan web pages despite a section of the menu entitled "The path continues" (Link 1) with the possibility to send contributions for the future update of the plan. However, it is not possible to see the contributions sent by other users at the moment (ril. 14/10/19). & Nbsp;
Methods and Tools Used
Focus group strong>. The focus group method allows you to bring together a group of people and start a discussion with them around a desired theme, thanks to the leadership of a facilitator who is called to stimulate the discussion and to verify that everyone can express their opinion. Through this methodology it is possible to collect different opinions, stimulate a comparison and explore different points of view or reach an agreement. To facilitate the discussion, post-its can be used, which allow those who are not comfortable speaking in public to express their opinions and those who have difficulty summarizing to reflect on what the fundamental concept is. they want to express. In the case in question, the focus group was used in the tables with 3 identical questions for each table and for each meeting. & Nbsp;
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
The start of the process followed 3 phases of involvement.
Phase 1. Involvement of the active parts of the territory . With the aim of creating a "draft of an initial strategic vision, more spoken than written" (CM, 2017, p. 46), the project group (Metropolitan City and INU) turned to the "Coordination of Delegated Councilors, the Council and at the Metropolitan Conference ". These are offices and institutional structures that are already active but it is not specified in what type of meetings or what documents were produced. In this phase, video interviews were carried out with 12 key figures of the territory (see video interviews) mainly dedicated to a "context analysis of the territory and its external relations in a participatory and shared way" (Ib., P. 46 ). It is possible to review the interviews on the web pages of the meetings. They are interviews of about 40-60 seconds. A specific point related to their role was highlighted for each interviewee. The president of Confindustria "emphasized the need to recognize specific competences of the metropolitan city on economic and industrial development" (Ib., P. 54), the rector of the University and the president of the Chamber of Commerce have identified in doing team, in the cohesion and sharing between the entities throughout the metropolitan area, the fundamental element on which to set up strategies. It is necessary to get out of the infrastructural isolation, to relaunch tourism as the engine of the economy, to support innovation and research and the government program for industry 4.0, to favor collaboration between the University and IIT, the Chamber of Commerce and the Port Authority "(Ib. ). Others have pointed out the hydrogeological risk to which Genoa is particularly sensitive. Young people on aspects of transport services, the maintenance of roads and schools towards the hinterland and the coast, others on the promotion of the territory. There are no conflicting nodes but strategic axes on which the territory should focus and on which to create cohesion, therefore, an intention shared "by all". Therefore issues that appear a bit obvious and obvious but on which it would be necessary at least to prioritize. & Nbsp;
Phase 2. Strategic vision declined in thematic objectives . This phase involved a "participatory and shared elaboration of the strategic plan". The expected product was a “draft of a written strategic plan” (Ib., P. 46). In this phase, public meetings were organized with the related tables (see above) as well as the collection of proposals and on-line questionnaires. “The work of the“ workshops ”took place with participation in tables with a maximum number of 10 people per table, in addition to the moderator and the secretary, with a heterogeneous composition: citizens, political councilors and stakeholders. In the dedicated web pages it is possible to find the minutes for each table / focus group with the images of the post-its used in the discussions.
The focus groups were asked three questions: & nbsp;
a. What is the critical issue that most affects this area and is it such as to create a problem not only locally, but for the entire metropolitan area? & Nbsp;
b. What is the greatest development potential of this area which, if adequately supported, could create a development factor for the entire metropolitan area? c. The Metropolitan City is preparing the first Strategic Plan. In your opinion, which theme should the Plan focus on as a priority? " (Ib., P. 49). & Nbsp;
The responses to the focus groups have been summarized in the final report, although a link is made to the dedicated web page (Ib., P. 49). & Nbsp; "The criticalities - lack of a common vision / parochialism / poor communication - public transport on rail and road / mobility / isolation - viability / difficulty of the relationship between city and suburban territory / road maintenance - hydrogeological instability, etc. .. 2. The most potential shared at the working "tables" - tourism as a 360 ° resource [...] new technologies (IIT) / centrality of the Genoese area 3. The issues on which the PSM must focus more shared at the working "tables" - development of the fabric economic to create jobs - transport and infrastructures to guarantee mobility - policies to favor a cultural change and "mentality" - investing in schools, not only to guarantee the safety of buildings, but to create open spaces - public-private relationship: the role of Stakehol ders as a potential to strengthen citizens' sense of belonging and develop the territory as a “network” of actors. From the focus groups and the final debates some elements common to the territorial areas emerged: - a strong and unexpected sense of identity of each area that is recognized above all in the values, in the common history, but also in the needs - a unanimous request to the Metropolitan City of play a role of direction and coordination for social and economic development - the conviction of a widespread quality of the landscape and the environment that must be protected and enhanced - the request for greater attention to vital services, especially for peripheral and internal areas, such as traffic, transport, schools, social services. In addition, some specific contents emerged in the "working tables", which constitute food for thought: - the importance of large-scale projects, such as Blue Print - regional and national parks as a value to be protected and integrated into sustainable development policies; - young people and sport as an opportunity; support initiatives related to sporting activities and hospitality for young people; - the willingness to cooperate between Municipalities, with some requests for merger of Municipalities, rather than Unions, considered to be ineffective experiences; - promote and define the general territorial plan of the Metropolitan City to center territorial policies on the basis of homogeneous areas "(Ib., p. 51).
The contributions provided by the 122 questionnaires collected via the web were comparable with those of the focus groups and were substantially coincident. Many proposals are formulated at the bottom in the open space of the questionnaires. Many of them specifically concerned one of the homogeneous areas affected by the plan. P.e. for Tigullio, an area of high coast, very refined, dedicated to tourism, with 42 thousand inhabitants and municipalities such as Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure, the following are proposed: "Actions linked to the development of sustainable tourism: responsible diving, low-cost recreational activities environmental impact (canoeing, kayaking, swimming in the sea). District services for tourism, sport and culture, replicating examples already started, such as the Tigullio Nautico Project and the joint initiative of the Chiavari - Lavagna - Leivi Municipalities (recognized European Sports Community 2017) "(Ib., P. 53).
Successful projects, public project management methods or metropolitan governance methods are also reported for the other areas, as in the case of the new Polcevera school catering service (Ib.).
Other contributions came directly from the actors such as CNA, Municipalities, Bodies, Associations and one from INU itself who was the consultant of the process, according to which - this is how the contribution was summarized in the report - "The strategic plan cannot be conceived in a reductive way as an only "organizational" tool of the Metropolitan City Authority, but it must offer the metropolitan community at the same time a vision of the future and concrete prospects for action "(Ib., p. 53). & nbsp;
Step 3. Final strategic vision . On the expected product of this phase, the Final Document of the Strategic Plan, it is not specified which actions the process would have implemented. In fact, there are no participatory tools activated at this stage. It is assumed that it is a summary of the work carried out by the project group (Ib.). & Nbsp;
The Plan - elaborated by the experts and officials of the INU-CM project group - was articulated for 3 axes.
3.1 The Metropolitan City as an entity in its relationship with the territory. As a coordinating body according to a spirit of cooperation between public administration, private subjects and the third sector, the issue of legality and transparency is strongly felt as "central and transversal": in its internal management as in the unitary working methodology with the municipalities. This is followed by the theme of cohesion with the intent of actions as incentives for innovative forms of social inclusion, implementing national strategies for inland areas and peripheries, identifying and developing actions for the reception of migrants and disadvantaged people. Then there is economic development, therefore attracting resources and productive activities, infrastructures, innovative blue & amp; green forms. Finally, resilience, therefore the fight against geological instability, noise control and management, air quality. Furthermore, the CM has to organize public services. Several projects in progress or waiting to be started are listed for each homogenous area; Here are just a few examples of the Genoese area: & nbsp;
- Pact for Genoa, infrastructure for mobility, reconversion of abandoned areas, hydrogeological risk mitigation, Erzelli scientific-technological center with new engineering headquarters , waterfront recovery, Paralympic European Youth Games, redevelopment of sports facilities;
- major works: Giovi railway crossing, Gronda di Ponente, Port of Genoa, completion of the underground line to the east;
- urban suburbs project with the reuse of spaces and buildings & nbsp;
- redevelopment of Val Polcevera starting from the idea of an 'open school', in which some complexes open to the city to become a 'civic center' . & nbsp;
3.2 The metropolitan city as an entity that must relate to the different institutional levels. It must know and “make dialogue and therefore cooperate with all the subjects who live in the territory [...] by offering the municipalities their managerial skills [...]”. Examples are "framework agreements in urban planning, in the digital agenda, in the single management of contracts for several municipalities, in European planning, in forms of consultation" (Ib., P. 59). On this topic, the examples concern satisfactory experiences such as:
- SUA (Single Contracting Station), a role that the Metropolitan City has played in awarding some public services for various municipalities, centralizing purchases and quality criteria; & nbsp;
- coordinated inter-municipal urban planning, which the Province first and the CM then carried out for various municipalities by drawing up aggregate PUC (Municipal urban planning plans);
- active involvement of the territory in governance, a role that the CM has played for this plan so it intends to follow the guidelines for the consultation of the Government of 9/3/17 by combining online and offline tools and recalling some recommendations for serious listening, such as maximum transparency (Ib ., p. 171);
Furthermore, the role of the CM is to represent the area towards the Region, State, EU and other entities. The projects indicated here are:
- "Liguria in the network" with the Region, for the dissemination of the Information Society and administrative decentralization
- the "Pact for Genoa" towards the State, in relation to large investments in infrastructures, land protection, development and health.
- Furthermore, CM's relationship with Europe, therefore the care of international networks and guaranteeing an integrated approach to projects Europeans.
- Finally, the relationship with universities and research. Some short-term projects are the framework agreement for school-work alternation, the CM-Unige agreement, concerning training internships, planning, finance, centralization of purchases and tenders, network services (waste, transport, etc ... ), computerization of the territory, definition of management, evaluation and monitoring methods with a joint steering committee (Ib., p. 179). & nbsp;
3.3 A new organizational model based on strategies. To implement new strategies, a new organizational model of the entity is needed that is able to optimize capital resources, personnel, etc ... (Ib.). On this axis:
- an ongoing project is the sharing of assets, to improve analysis and forecasts of the real estate market and initiate recovery strategies that meet common needs. For example, this plan provides for a single census of asset holders, a table and an observatory and an operational plan (Ib., P. 184). & Nbsp;
- The communication strategies on a territorial brand, intended both as a result and as a process to create a system of values common to the territory. This objective involves the construction of a plan, the structuring of a participation path, restructuring of the URP. & Nbsp;
The plan ends with the chapter of Monitoring and Evaluation < / strong>, where:
- a six-monthly monitoring to measure and evaluate the progress (procedural / implementation and financial) of the projects;
- an annual monitoring for measure and evaluate the progress of the strategies. & nbsp;
The intertwining and preparation of these two forms of monitoring will be able to deliver to stakeholders an " Annual Report of the Strategic plan "(Ib., P. 188). & Nbsp;
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
The plan was approved by the Metropolitan Council on 21/4 / 2017. Many actions continued, they were projects already in place before the plan. It is not clear what happened to the coordination of the plan itself. In particular, the news section blocked on 20/6/18 and the absence of the “Annual report” of the plan, which was never implemented. Probably the change of political orientation marked a partial discontinuity - however not evident - and the disaster of the Polcevera viaduct, that is the collapse of the Morandi Bridge, opened a wound with emergencies and other priorities. & Nbsp;
Analysis and Lessons Learned
The new metropolitan arrangements on the one hand centralize functions, on the other explicitly require, to the point of institutionalizing them, words such as “involvement of the territory”, participation, listening. There have been phases of dialogue, even if 7 meetings and a dedicated website do not seem sufficient for such a vast and complex territory.
The influence is uncertain, the care of the site is blocked and there is no explanation for the absence of documents relating to the monitoring and ex-post evaluation required by the plan itself. & nbsp;
The transparency relating to the discussions is complete, even if the costs of the process are completely lacking and the modalities of recruitment of the participants are not clarified as well as their representativeness / inclusiveness does not seem sufficiently curated; for example, elusive, marginal, weak or conflicting actors (committees, environmental associations, foreign groups, disabled people) are completely absent, both in meetings and in written communications. There is no preliminary phase of sharing the path with the actors and any effort at least to bring out if not to address the most conflicting aspects of the plan and the related actors.
 Genoa, the mayor Doria: “Non mi ricandido”, Il Secolo XIX, 8/2/2017, https : //www.ilsecoloxix.it/genova/2017/02/08/news/genova-il-sindaco-doria-non-mi-ricandido-1.30694665 (ril. 9/10/19).
 The idea of schools as 'civic centers' dates back to the Progressive Era (1900/10) of the United States, where figures such as Mary Parker Follett or Jane Addams operated.
External Links h2 >
1 - Genoa Metropolitan Strategic Plan - & nbsp; https: //pianostrategico.cittametropitati.genova.it (ril. 9/10/19). & nbsp;
CM Genova (2017a), City Genoa underground, Strategic plan of the metropolitan city, the first step to build the metropolitan territory together, April, https: //pianostrategico.cittamet ropolitan.genova.it/sites/default/files/psm2017/All.1_PSM%20aprile%202017.pdf (ril. 8/10/19). & Nbsp;