Milan Metropolitan Government Between
Deregulation and Renewed Strategies
For two decades the urban region of Milan has been losing ground in the European urban hierarchy. How could the new metropolitan government about to be established re-interpret the recently approved national law (no. 56/2014), though inadequate and potentially harmful, in a desirable way? In order to answer this question the paper is organized in two main parts. The first part highlights the present weaknesses of the Milanese urban region: in particular its steady loss of competitiveness, mainly due to deregulation of planning and privatization of urban policies. Consequently, the Milan area has been unable to counter the assaults of real estate speculation and of mafia infiltration, and it has been burdened by worsening environmental quality and livability. The second part puts forward some critical remarks on Law 56/2014, especially in comparison with other European contexts. In particular, the new law on metropolitan governments recently enacted in France is analyzed. An exercise is proposed concerning the issues, the challenges, and the tools that the Milanese Statute could take into consideration in a desirable scenario. The conclusions are not optimistic, given the weak commitment manifested by the mayor of Milan and the ‘business as usual’ approach privileged in the recently adopted municipal master plan.
Keywords: Milan metropolitan government, metro governments in Europe, deregulation in planning metropolitan statute