Taranto is the latest Italian case of a clash between the industrialist ideology of unlimited growth, which characterized the era of the large factory, and the ideology of survival with its stubborn thinking about a future world, after death.
Problems and purpose
“The Strategic Plan« Taranto Futuro Prossimo »is a participatory process, aimed at planning and programming sustainable development and enhancement of the Taranto area” (Link 1).
"The Governance of the strategic plan (ie: the set of principles, rules, processes and organizational solutions designed to ensure the effectiveness of the Plan), is expressed through:
- The basic principle: "bottom-up reticular approach"
It means that everyone counts on the basis of their role, but above all on the basis of the strategic and operational contribution with which they collaborate in defining the Plan and its implementation.
- The first rule: "inclusion of civic participation"
Sustainable and sustainable development is achieved if the stakeholders take advantage of it, if the weaker groups become protagonists of decisions and actions (e.g. for the environment, quality of life, health, work, responsibility for entrepreneurial action), if each citizen is included among the protagonists.
- The second rule: «informed confrontation».
It is necessary to start from a base of objective data and discuss these. The Plan is effective if citizens are informed, aware and protagonists "(Link 1)
The program of participatory thematic focuses
The development of the Plan was accompanied by "a series of meetings, open to all, to focus attention on specific thematic axes [...] with the aim of:
- identify the specific resources and potential offered by the territory with respect to certain operational behaviors,
- identify critical issues and risks that could act as limiters of the strategies themselves,
- establish operational conduct that allows the maximum functionality, sustainability and effectiveness of the actions "(Link 1).
History and background context *
Taranto is an important port city, a military base from the unification of Italy, it became the Finsider iron and steel pole (a company of the IRI Group - Italian Government) in 1965. In 1936 it already had a population of 117,000 inhabitants, double of what it had in 1911. The shipyards are fully active and will attract workforce until the sixties, when they will enter into crisis. Since the postwar period the city grows further and rapidly, both in its municipal territory, up to 244,000 in 1981 (in 2020 there are 195,000), and in the its metropolitan area in formation.
In the mid-seventies the latest expansion of the factory was added, and some service companies to it, but a manufacturing induced by the processing of semi-finished materials did not develop. No green belt or empty space is created between production areas and residential districts, on the contrary the large areas of mineral powder are positioned close to the Tamburi district. The crisis of industrial society began in the 1980s, and the population began to decline. With the crisis in the steel market, European overproduction and economic and social transformations, the population begins to decrease, emigrate, while in the metropolitan municipalities it continues to grow relatively. About half of the workers are also small owners of land, vegetable gardens, olive trees and their homes and come from neighboring municipalities. The state-owned company is certainly not the last to succumb to the wave of privatizations and in 1995 it returned to being called ILVA, in the hands of the Riva family, for half of its value. The quality and safety of work deteriorate, the Bagnoli plant closes and the Genoa one is reduced, transferring its most polluting hot products to Taranto. In the nineties, groups of Taranto's civil society began to perceive more intensely the risk of the heavy pollution produced by the factory and solicited scientific and judicial investigations. In 2012 the Riva property (Emilio and 2 children) and the management of the plant, accused of intentional and culpable disaster, they are arrested, thanks to 2 expert reports ordered by the judge for the preliminary investigations Patrizia Todisco. The President of the Region, Vendola, together with other officials, will also be investigated. The support of the judge from the people is strong but the Government with the decree n.207 'save Ilva' of 2012 and the bulk of the political and business world supports the continuation of activities and will support abstention when a consultative referendum is held citizen in 2013. There are two questions: 1) the total closure of ILVA; 2) the closure of the hot area, a major source of pollution and the dismantling of mineral parks. Only 19.5% of the 173,000 voters will vote. The yeses, however, get 81 and 91 percent of the votes respectively. A second decree 'saves Ilva' n. 61/2013 and the state commissioner continue to keep the activities alive, albeit at a slower pace. In 2013 a group of citizens will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, in relation to the two decrees of the Italian government for failing to protect the health of Italian citizens. After a trial that lasted 3 years, with the sentence of 24/1/2019, the Court recognizes the violation of art. 2 and 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention, morally condemning the Italian Government in addition to the compensation of the legal expenses (of only 5,000 euros) of the applicants. Although materially the sentence is irrelevant, as an international legal precedent it has a very important political effect. In the following years, from 2015 with the advent of Emiliano to the regional presidency, a common front was created, between committees, associations, the municipality and the region, with administrative appeals and disputes with the Government and later between the Government and the new Arcerol management. Mittal which from 1 November 2018 entered into a plan for the controlled acquisition of the plant. The result comes after a long process that began with the call for tenders launched in January 2016 by the Renzi government and continues with the Gentiloni government, again with Calenda as the minister of development. With ongoing negotiations, and contracts already signed, in the summer of 2018 the new M5S-Lega government is formed and Di Maio is the Minister of Labor and Economic Development. According to the investigations requested by Di Maio, the tender would have been flawed, but according to the State Attorney's Office there are no grounds for canceling it. Thus, Di Maio - according to him - accepts a certainly disadvantageous contract but by improving its conditions, obtaining the hiring without article 18 of the employees, therefore no redundancy, a renewal of the plants, environmental adjustments and a plan to relaunch production; but in the contract there is criminal immunity for everything that has happened and can come up until 2023. In September 2018, the agreement is submitted to the referendum addressed to the 10,700 workers, who approve it (with 94% of the consensus and 70% participation in the vote). 
It is in this period (October / November 2018) that the listening process for the Strategic Plan of Taranto takes place. In the meantime, the new M5S-PD government is also reformed.
In November 2019, the dispute between Arcelor-Mittal, the Government and commissioners, the judiciary and local authorities reopened. The first threatens closure, the Government is said to have offered the alibi of the withdrawal of the penal shield, the commissioners have not completed the adaptation of the blast furnace 5 and ask the judiciary for time to order its closure, the mayor places an ultimatum to the continuous polluting emissions, workers strike, people protest, misinformation is not lacking, other committees keep watch. The issue continues and is accentuated even during Covid, with threats of closure, program reviews with new production cuts and redundancy payments as well as environmental threats continue, accentuated by windy phenomena - even extreme ones - which are not rare in Taranto . 
Organization, support and financing
Puglia Region, Presidency of the Region. He supervises the governance of the strategic plan, specifically activated with the Regional Law of 25 January 2018, n. 2 ("Guidelines for development, environmental sustainability and economic and social cohesion of the Taranto area"), the Strategic Plan is a concertation tool, useful for promoting the necessary and desired change in development guidelines, through integrated actions, oriented towards environmental remediation and sustainability. 
Asset, Regional Strategic Agency for the Ecosustainable Development of the Territory"background-color: transparent;">. It is an operational technical body in support of the Region (created with regional law n.41 of 02/11/2017) for the definition and management of policies for mobility, urban quality, public works, ecology and landscape , for the prevention and protection of the territory and of hydrogeological and seismic risk. “Asset is the new regional agency dedicated, as public engineering, to strategic planning, integrated programming, design and implementation of public works” (Link 2 - Mission). He dedicated a group of 7 people to the drafting of the plan (including the manager Michele Luisi, and the director, Raffaele Sannicandro). The freelance facilitator, Fedele Congedo, collaborated in the conduct of the thematic focus groups.
Municipality of Taranto . In the person of the Mayor Nicola Melucci, he promoted the activation and provided logistic support and spaces for the meetings held in his offices in the historic center.
Recruitment and selection of participants
Thematic focus . From 2/10 to 20/11, 2018, 8 public meetings open to all, advertised with posters (of which the images are) and perhaps posters and social networks (but of which a communication plan is not given) held in its two locations of the historic center: Palazzo Galeota, the first 3 meetings and Palazzo Pantaleo (closer to the Tamburi district and the factory) the remaining 5. The meetings were open to everyone, they were always held on Tuesday afternoon, from 15:30 to 18:30. They included an introduction by the mayor and the commissioner / director of Asset, then scheduled interventions of in-depth analysis with a councilor and one or two technical officials. At the first meeting, for example after the introductions, the regional councilor for development, Borraccino, the director of the Laforgia Economic Development Department and Aldo Berlinguer of the Puglia and Basilicata Special Economic Zone intervened. Again as an example, at the second meeting after the introductions, the regional councilor for the tourism and cultural industry, Loredana Capone, the director of the tourism department, Aldo Patruno and Eva degli Innocenti of the Archaeological Museum of Taranto intervened. In the following meetings, in addition to the regional and municipal councilors and the regional and municipal department directors, the following took part: the presidents of Aeroporti di Puglia Spa and of the Ionian Sea Port System Authority, the commander of the Southern Maritime Command, the presidents Confcommercio, Confesercenti and Confindustria Taranto, a manager of RFI (Railways), the director of Arpa Puglia, the extraordinary commissioner for urgent reclamation of Taranto, the director of Dicar (Department of civil engineering and architecture) of the University of Bari. meeting was attended by Michele Emiliano (President of the Puglia Region), as well as the managers of the Regional Department of Health and Sport and a CONI executive.
216 attendees were registered : businesses, cultural associations, trade associations, public administrations, local administrators, professionals, students. Unions, committees, environmental associations are not mentioned. Some of the latter will send a document that has been put online in the pages of the strategic plan site, under the heading "participation" with a visibility equal to that of the "Listening diary", the document in which the conduct of the meetings is reported (Link 1 - The Plan - Participation).
Local media. The events were followed up and reported in the columns of the local news.
Taranto Plan . The 47-page document (undated and unsigned), delivered by the associations, is entitled "Taranto Plan" and was "delivered" by the Association "Committee of citizens and free and thinking workers", Ass.ne "Giustizia per Taranto" , Ass.ne “Taranto breathes”, FLM united Cub base union, group “Drums fighters”, “TuttaMialaCittà” movement. 
Methods and tools used
Focus group . I'mvery common ways to bring together a group of people and start a discussion with them around a desired topic, thanks to the conduct of a moderator who is called to stimulate the discussion and verify that everyone can express their opinion. Through this methodology it is possible to collect different opinions, stimulate a comparison between different positions and explore different points of view or reach an agreement. To facilitate the discussion, you can resort to the use of post-its, maps and sheets, which allow those who are not comfortable speaking in public to express their opinions and those who have difficulty summarizing to reflect on which is the fundamental concept they want to express. Focus groups typically host 12-14 participants. In this case they were more structured in conference format, in fact 3, 4 were foreseen, in some meetings 5 scheduled interventions and the participants (usually over twenty) were arranged in front of the speakers' table.
What happened: process, interaction and participation
Thematic focus. Below, for each meeting, some of the contents that emerged - the most understandable - as reported in the minutes of the Listening Diary are reported. The sentences are attributable to individuals and are therefore fragmentary. There is no synthesis and above all no obvious conflictual nodes or an order of priority emerge. It is not clear with which methodology the contributions merged into the definitive Plan.
02/10/18 - ZES, The Special Economic Zone of the Ionian Sea. Towards economic and employment differentiation. The SEZ is a development incentive, a 'defibrillator' for crises. Its perimeter around Taranto leads to bureaucratic facilities in that territory for the establishment of new businesses and for investment deductions on the tax credit. Basically, what has already been said and planned in other locations is noted: connections to mobility plans and cycle paths of Magna Graecia, improvement of the infrastructural connection with the port and logistic system, rail, road, airport. Innovating the economy of the sea, from food to tourism and research, also in the inland agri-food sector.
09/10/18 - Another face of Taranto. Perspectives for the cultural industry.
An overview is needed, with a control room that can be carried out by the Urban Center, for the dialogue with cultural enterprises. The riches, the cultural seasons are alive but there is a low propensity to network. Ethical pacts and joint projects are needed to be supported over time and throughout the Ionian Arch. The common goods, the buildings in the historic center, are to be enhanced with social activities from below with social inclusion and generative economic activities that group coherent contents through participatory planning paths.
16/10/18 - The ports of Taranto. Logistic development, integration with the city. Tourist ports can be built up to Santa Maria di Leuca; the swing bridge (historic arsenal bridge) should be adapted because every time a boat of a certain height passes by it must be opened and city traffic stops; nautical-sailing training center cogenerated by the Ionian-Salento managers in the islet of San Paolo.
23/10/18 - From the countryside to the sea. Tourism and production chains. Enhance local productions with a permanent center in San Basilio, with a permanent exhibition and a tourist reception center. Cycle routes and cycling tourism all along the coast; high quality remote-managed hotels for seasonally adjusted tourism. Redeveloped city and congress tourism.
30/10/18 - Accessibility and mobility. Integration of networks and services. The station cuts the district in two and does not allow intermodality, while it will have to become a hub with a cycle and pedestrian reconnection.
06/11/18 - Overcoming the emergency. Environmental protection and sustainable development.
Reclamation must be done quickly. an>
13/11/18 - Taranto polycentric archipelago. Strategies for urban regeneration. We need a governance with multilevel tables that function as independent cells with respect to political oscillations. The detailed plans offer concreteness such as the integrated urban regeneration plans such as the "Three Lands" and the Administrative Island. The micro-construction sites test the possibilities of the city and make the strategic elements visible.
11/20/18 - A healthy city. Health and sport in Taranto. Location of the new hospital in San Cataldo. A multidimensional assessment is needed for intermediate structures, daily health care, first aid, the network of social and health services. The 2025 Mediterranean Games will be held in Taranto, the only candidate. Emiliano and the authorities believe it is an opportunity to obtain a change in image and resources. But particular attention should be paid to basic sports facilities, which are currently insufficient in relation to demand. In the future, a nautical center, an Olympic swimming pool, an athletics field are in sight. Among the municipal news there is the school field.
Listening diary . This is the title of the report that returns the thematic focuses. In general, there appears to be “the need to reach, through strategic planning, a systemic and cross-sectoral framework, from which to move towards quick-start actions, that is, capable of triggering a tangible process of change in the short term. A need that seems even more pressing, given a community that during this cycle of meetings seemed to represent as a more general criticality of the Taranto area the difficulty of carrying out what had been planned for some time in long and complex sectoral paths of transformation and development . 
Taranto Plan. Document of the associations and committees that are fighting for the closure of the steel plant.
The document is very clear and first illustrates how the case of the iron and steel industry represents an unsustainable development model that prevents the city from reacting to the incontrovertible crisis of the model itself, with alternative visions and economic paths. Listed are the numerous injustices suffered, perpetrated by the central government above all, with the save-Ilva decrees, with enormous amounts of money distributed to support a loss-making production system, the enormous human and health costs, with concrete, daily repercussions on the quality of life and its bleak prospects. The proposals focus on the remediation of the industrial area as well as the neighboring contaminated land. An economic return of about half of the expenditure is sustained, albeit substantial, and perhaps the only possibility of activating a virtuous process based on the renewal of the city's image, on environmental and landscape requalification, on food safety and quality and on the economy. green that a large investment in remediation could trigger. 
01/05/19 - 30/06/19 - Online public consultation, gathering of views on the plan . Although this phase is declared in the project published in the Puglia participates pages (Link 3), it does not appear in those of Asset on the Strategic Plan (Link 1).
Influence, results and effects
It is not clear how the contributions merged into the plan. However they themselves are generated by already incardinated actors. The speech that emerged from the Diary with respect to the Taranto Plan of the associations seems more bland and minimalist, much more cautious in proposing a massive reclamation intervention, also considering that the city does not want to stop the plant. Rightly, only the position of the pole - which believes itself to be the majority - which preaches the indefinite tolerance of the steel plant is channeled. No attempt at deliberative dialogue and confrontation was made.
Analysis and lessons learned
It is one of the last cases, perhaps the last, of the clash between industrialism and environmentalism in its late-twentieth-century forms. The phase ofbackground-color: transparent; "> preliminary sharing of the path does not seem to have taken place. The transparency of the process is complete but unambiguously reachable. Participatory activities are presented on the regional pages of Puglia partecipate, the participation portal. This case is also reported , but only the summary of the project and the phases, without providing links to the Asset site, where the documentation and reports are actually located. The contribution provided by external expertise was minimal, as were the tools provided: a hybridization between the conference front with a minimum of space for interventions from the public. The process did not deliberately address the question of the issues because it is implicit perhaps (the bulk of the Taranto society is still to tolerate the weight of Ilva?) or because it is out of reach (is Do I govern responsibility?) Or why not able to deal with a strong polarization with an instrument participates tivo? A braver attempt could be made. The referendum with quorum is certainly wrong. We need another participatory tool that is more dialogic but still decisive and that raises representativeness (eg enlarged citizens 'jury and referendum without quorum, deliberative survey, citizens' assembly and referendum without quorum). The Plan does not say much about the creative, the innovative, the strategic (a clever move to reach a goal contested by an opponent). Taranto will still remain an industrialist outpost and it will be until the issue is addressed as soon as possible, obtaining the greatest advantages, in one sense or another, or it will be suffered, even if, and more, they will be actants (non-human actors ) to solve it (see climate, market, virus, etc ...).
 Gautheret, Jerome, En Italie, le dilemme des ouvriers d'ILVA entre défense de l'emploi et lutte contre la pollution, Le Monde, 15/9/2018, https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/ article / 2018/09/15 / en-italie-le-dilemme-des-ouvriers-d-ilva-entre-defense-de-l-emploi-et-lutte-contre-la-pollution_5355548_3234.html (ril. 01 / 9/20), see also the version translated into Italian, Peacelink, 25/9/18, https://www.peacelink.it/ecologia/a/45702.html (ril. 1/9/20).
 Peacelink, ArcelorMittal: after dust cloud, suspended plant manager, 14/7/20, https://www.peacelink.it/ecologia/a/47847.html (issue 1/9/20).
 Asset, Taranto near future, Strategic plan, General document draft 01 , p. 5, http://www.tarantofuturoprossimo.it/docwebsite/PS_Taranto_Draft%2001_Feb febbraio%202020.pdf (release 1/9/20).
 Association "Committee of citizens and free and thinking workers" et al. “Taranto Plan”, http://www.tarantofuturoprossimo.it/docwebsite/-FOCUS%20TEMATICI%20-%20PIANO-TARANTO-Presiliazione.pdf (release 1/9/20).
 Asset, Diary of listening, Oct-Nov 2018, p. 4, http://www.tarantofuturoprossimo.it/docwebsite/Analisi%20di%20Sistema_DIARIO%20ASCOLTO.pdf (release 1/9/20).
 Association "Committee of citizens and free and thinking workers" et al. doc. cit.
- Asset, Taranto Future Next, http://www.tarantofuturoprossimo.it/ (ril. 30/8/20).
- Asset, http://asset.regione.puglia.it/index.php (ril.1 / 9/20).
- Puglia participates, Taranto Future Next, https://partecipazione.regione.puglia.it/processes/taranto-futuro-prossimo/steps (release 1/9/20).
* In addition to Wikipedia, information was drawn from Peacelink.it, an unparalleled source of information on the environmental issue in Taranto and much more.