After the deindustrialization of the ‘70s, Milan has privileged a regeneration model for the reuse of derelict lands that, by the point of view of the author, must be considered as one of the main causes of its recent transition to a ‘Mecca’ for nance and real estate investments. Since the ‘80s, the Milanese local administration has pursued a strategy of deregulation in urban planning and a back-to-the-market approach, which looks quite peculiar if compared with the capacity of self-correction shown over time from other advanced European cities as never subject to a critical review. Analyzing demographic and employment trends in the 2000s, strengths and weaknesses emerge clearly: Milan region is still con rmed as the most economically dynamic in Italy, but a growing decoupling in the development trajectories of the core (accommodating all the job growth) and the ring (accommodating all the demographic growth) is apparent, as the result of an alarming lack in regional planning. Analyzing in more details the reforms implemented in local urban planning and, in particular, the regeneration projects made through an unbalanced and inequitable public/private partnership approach (an approach that has guaranteed large private advantages and poor gains for the commons, that pursued densi cation instead of intensi cation, that enhanced growing segregation of land use, social polarization and skyrocketing corruption), a further possible explanation is given to the unrelenting downgrading in the course of time, since the 80s until today, in the competitive positioning of Milan inside the European urban hierarchy.
Keywords: Deindustrialization; Metropolitan revitalization; Deregulation in urban planning; Urban re generation schemes; Public/private partnership.