Over 4 billion people live in cities today, six times as many as in 1950. In the European Union (EU) the share of urban population reached 75 per cent of the total, and 2050 scenarios forecast an additional increase of ten points. Until a few months ago, these trends were considered irreversible; the downsides of increasing concentration were seen as collaterals when compared to the advantages in terms of economies of scale, access to skills and services, interconnectivity and leisure. The COVID-19 pandemic is however challenging this view, leading us to reflect on the vulnerability of our way of living. Experts from various disciplines are pointing out the need to critically rethink ongoing urbanisation processes in a number of directions, ranging from a more sustainable reconceptualisation of urban mobility to alternative approaches to housing, working and public spaces. Other claims extend even further, advocating a contraction of urbanisation trends and the resettlement of underpopulated rural areas. In this viewpoint we explore the challenges and potentials of this last perspective. In particular, we focus on the progressive abandonment of remote rural areas, and on the scarce accessibility they offer to their inhabitants. In this light, we argue that policies specifically dedicated to counteract these trends and to enhance the actual liveability of rural areas are needed, in order to enhance the overall resilience of our societies. Whereas, until now, the EU cohesion policy has mostly reinforced existing intraregional development patterns, the leeway it offers to Member states in programming and implementation allows for the introduction of initiatives aiming at triggering place-based development in disadvantaged territories. In this concern, the Italian National Strategy for Inner Areas is as a promising way forward, that could provide inspiration for other countries as well as for supranational policy-making.

Rethinking urbanisation after COVID-19. What role for the EU cohesion policy? / Cotella, G.; Vitale, Brovarone. - In: TOWN PLANNING REVIEW. - ISSN 1478-341X. - ELETTRONICO. - 92:3(2021), pp. 411-418. [10.3828/tpr.2020.54]

Rethinking urbanisation after COVID-19. What role for the EU cohesion policy?

Cotella G.;Vitale Brovarone
2021

Abstract

Over 4 billion people live in cities today, six times as many as in 1950. In the European Union (EU) the share of urban population reached 75 per cent of the total, and 2050 scenarios forecast an additional increase of ten points. Until a few months ago, these trends were considered irreversible; the downsides of increasing concentration were seen as collaterals when compared to the advantages in terms of economies of scale, access to skills and services, interconnectivity and leisure. The COVID-19 pandemic is however challenging this view, leading us to reflect on the vulnerability of our way of living. Experts from various disciplines are pointing out the need to critically rethink ongoing urbanisation processes in a number of directions, ranging from a more sustainable reconceptualisation of urban mobility to alternative approaches to housing, working and public spaces. Other claims extend even further, advocating a contraction of urbanisation trends and the resettlement of underpopulated rural areas. In this viewpoint we explore the challenges and potentials of this last perspective. In particular, we focus on the progressive abandonment of remote rural areas, and on the scarce accessibility they offer to their inhabitants. In this light, we argue that policies specifically dedicated to counteract these trends and to enhance the actual liveability of rural areas are needed, in order to enhance the overall resilience of our societies. Whereas, until now, the EU cohesion policy has mostly reinforced existing intraregional development patterns, the leeway it offers to Member states in programming and implementation allows for the introduction of initiatives aiming at triggering place-based development in disadvantaged territories. In this concern, the Italian National Strategy for Inner Areas is as a promising way forward, that could provide inspiration for other countries as well as for supranational policy-making.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2850399