IMMIGRATION POLICIES, PUBLIC DECISION-MAKING AND URBAN REGENERATION: AN ANALYSIS OF THE ITALIAN EXPERIENCE IN THE LIGHT OF THE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND CAPABILITIES APPROACH
Ferrara, Luigi; Villani, Salvatore (2016). 'IMMIGRATION POLICIES, PUBLIC DECISION-MAKING AND URBAN REGENERATION: AN ANALYSIS OF THE ITALIAN EXPERIENCE IN THE LIGHT OF THE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND CAPABILITIES APPROACH' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.
Several cities and regions in the world, through the implementation of adequate immigration and urban regeneration policies, have gradually succeeded in breaking the chains of path dependence and in rising again, like a Phoenix, from their own ashes. From steel and pollution capitals, they have become a symbol of innovation, sustainability and socio-economic regeneration, letting successfully coexist advanced techniques of industrial manufacturing and life quality. In Italy, however, any attempt to valorization and conversion of early industrialization areas has tragically failed because of the lack of economic resources and a national development policy. This failure has had, moreover, serious effects on the territory, especially in the metropolitan areas of Southern Italy in which it is possible to see every day the implications of an ineffective policy of prevention and prediction of environmental risks, an inoculated spatial planning and an increase in inequalities, in income and standard of living, leading to the exclusion and the marginalization of a growing number of citizens.
In Italy, however, the real causes which prevent the regeneration of urban and suburban areas, or abandoned industrial areas, are not only economic, but also political, considering the acknowledged current inconclusiveness of public decision-making processes. The reflections on urban regeneration raise, in fact, the issues relating to the multi-level governance of these processes by various public subjects, according to the system of subsidiarity shared between State, Regions and Local Governments regulated by Articles 117 and 118 of the Italian Constitution in the matters of environmental protection, crisis management and industrial reconversion, urban planning and territorial governance, infrastructural networks, reorganization of local public services, economic and social welfare systems (social protection and inclusion, education and training). In all these competence areas, the institutional players move among constraints of spending review, public procurement and opportunities in the shared internal ownership of a wide variety of European funds (including policies of regional cohesion, urban planning policies, integration and cultural policies, industrial crisis management policies and immigration policies).
The complexity of coordinating these subsidiarity systems and heterogeneous policies is well evident in legislative reforms and in case law (Constitutional Court case law and criminal, bankruptcy and administrative courts case law), which have concerned the start of the rehabilitation of polluted sites and the urban regeneration processes in Taranto and Bagnoli. Firstly, the Decree Law 207/2012 and the Constitutional Court decision n. 85/2013 on the ILVA case in Taranto and, recently, the Art. 33 of the Decree Law 133/2014, as well as the Prime Ministerial Decree 15/10/2015 on the environmental rehabilitation and the urban regeneration of Bagnoli, outlined a very complex legal framework on the current prospects of urban regeneration in Italy.
This paper is intended to contribute to the ongoing debate between urban planners and regional scientists about the most appropriate techniques for managing these processes of urban regeneration and fostering the economic and social valorization of territories, as well as the human development of people living in the areas concerned. For this purpose, in the light of the so-called Human Development and Capabilities Approach and with reference to the Italian experience, we will try to identify the kind of role which can be played in this context by the policies of management of migratory flows, whose strategic value is today underrated, and by a greater openness of public decision-making processes, currently lacking in transparency and scarcely inclusive of citizens’ interests.
In particular, the first part of the paper aims to verify how and to what extent the ethnic and cultural diversity can have a positive influence on the socio-economic development of a region and, in this way, contribute to increasing its regional resilience. The purpose of this part of the work is, therefore, to verify whether and to what extent the ethnic and cultural diversity can be considered as a resource, as a benefit to the social and economic development of a region, rather than as a problem. The analysis is focused on the Italian case and is organized into two steps. The first step is devoted to building of two quantitative indices of resilience and diversity ethnic-cultural. The second step is dedicated, on the other hand, the development of a quantitative exploratory analysis of the relationship between diversity ethnic-cultural and regional resilience. The second part of the paper contains, however, a reflection on the functioning of political and administrative decision-making processes in Italy. In particular, through a legal and economic analysis of the rules governing these processes, we will attempt to identify the reasons of their inconclusiveness and strategies that would allow to obtain a major involvement of stakeholders, i.e. of all parties concerned in the planned regeneration, adopting an approach which is intended to ensuring equal opportunity of listening and efficient management of the different interests at stake.