by Franco Archibugi

Routledge - 2005

[also available in Italian]



Town-planning literature has recently been enriched by an impressive series of monographic studies on a multitude of cities all over the world, among them the ‘capitals’, obviously, attracted the most attention. Rome was also object - maybe more than the others - of a great amount of historic and analytic studies, with which the possibilities of interpreting the town-planning development of cities have been increased.
This book is the product of a complex, theoretical discourse on planning and its relations to urban analyses (to which Prof. Archibugi has dedicated a not marginal attention in the course of his life as a scholar). And - in conclusion - after a widespread critical view on more than a century’s urban activity as regards Rome and its town-planning schemes, the result is a proposal for a new, updated planning strategy for Rome.
The book, in his analytical and historical part, has limited itself to only a few essential arguments and characteristics connected to the suggested strategies for the development, or to criticism of the mistakes made by the ‘town-planners’ in the past or by the town-planning discourses which are going round.
Nevertheless, this proof, when speaking of Rome and its history with its town-planning problems, expresses also a vision of a ‘town-planning problem of big cities’ which goes beyond that of Rome and regards that of the whole modern town-planning.


Editor's Introduction
Preface to the English Edition
Preface to the 1994 Edition

Chapter 1
The Peculiarity of the Rome Problem
1. Rome's Historic Centre: Breadth and Survival
2. Rome: A "Post Neo-Classical" Development

Chapter 2
An Insufficient and Inadequate Strategic Response to the Rome Problem
1. "Umbertine" Town Planning
2. Fascist Town Planning
3. Post-War (or "Modern") Town Planning
4. "Popular" and "Ephemeral" Town Planning”
5. The Last Ten Years
a) The “Continuity” of the Attached Personnel
b) The Missed Renewal of Town Planning Culture Applied to the Administration
c) The Trap of the Jubileum (of 2000)

Chapter 3
The Socio-Economic Effects of an Absence of Planning Strategy
1. Excessive Dispersion and Fictitious Decentralization of Activity
2. Obstacles to Economic-Commercial Development
3. An Erroneous Evaluation of Sectorial Development
4. The City Spill-Over 53
5. The Social Costs of the Scattered Tertiary Settlement
6. The Social-Economic Costs of the Unsuitability of the Structures
7. The Costs of the Habitational "Reflux"
8. The Socio-Economic Cost of "Second Homes"
9. Territorial Disintegration
10. The Paralysis of Traffic and Accessibility

Chapter 4
Towards a New Planning Strategy
1. Monocentrality and Polycentrality
2. Monocentrism and Polycentrism in the Rome Urban Dynamic
3. Disguised Monocentrism and Fictitious (and Weak) Polycentrism


Chapter 5
The New Strategy for Rome

1. The "Catchment Areas" of the New "Urban Centres"
2. The Spatial Distribution of the Catchment Areas
3. What decentralization of services for the new "urban centres"?
4. What "City Architecture"?
5. What Strategy for "Urban Greenery"?
6. Programmed Mobility
7. A "Metropolitan" Residentiality


Chapter 6
Essential Instruments for the New Strategy
1. Planning at the Level of the (Metropolitan) "Urban System"
2. Financial Planning: A Factor of Plan Credibility

Chapter 7
The New Master Plan of Rome: A Plan Without Strategy
1. Summary of the Past Master Plans
2.The Most Recent Debate on the New Master Plan
3. The New Master Plan
4. A New “Type” of Plan?
5. “Urban Plan” and “Strategic Plan”: A False Dichotomy
6. About the Absence of (Systematically Related) Explicit Objectives
7. Policies, Objectives, Instruments: Some Confusion
8. The New “Centralities”: A Misleading Application
9. Rules and Norms, Instead of Objectives
10. The Shortcoming of a (Structural) Reference to the Users of the Plan
11. The Absence of a Truly Integrated Land Use-Transport Approach
12. The Absence of an Adequate Territorial Strategy and its Effect on the Architectonic Policy and the Green Policy
13. The Overwhelming by Micro-Design
14. General Conclusions: Everything Can Be Improved

Bibliographical Refererences