Metropolitan railway systems and Transit oriented development in Italian provincial coordination territorial plans

Luca Staricco


In the last twenty years, Transit oriented development (TOD) has received increasing attention all over the world. It is recognized as a planning approach that allows to pursue, on the one hand, more sustainable mobility patterns that are less dependent on car and more based on rail usage; on the other hand, it is in line with strategies that promote polycentric development in contrast to urban sprawl. In this sense, it seems quite suitable to be applied to Italian metropolitan areas, where recently many suburban railways have been reorganized as integrated Metropolitan railway systems (MRSs), and polycentric development is often set as a strategic issue in regional planning. The paper examines the provincial coordination territorial plans (PTCPs) of nine Italian Provinces in order to verify if and how they adopt a TOD approach to support their MRSs. The selected PTCPs are analyzed in terms of promoted settlement model, role assigned to the MRS, rules and recommendations concerning new residential developments and the localization of manufacturing activities and metropolitan tertiary functions. The results show that in most PTCPs TOD approach is referred in generic terms, and is not systematically applied or operationally defined; furthermore, in locating metropolitan tertiary functions, PTCPs often prefer accessibility by road rather than by rail. The only – but relevant – exception is represented by the PTCP of Bologna, where a TOD approach has been adopted to mutually support the sustainability of mobility patterns and a polycentric densification, with positive effects on both rail ridership and containment of urban sprawl.


Metropolitan railway systems, polycentrism, transport-land use coordination, Provincial coordination territorial plans

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CSE Journal - City Safety Energy is a semiannual journal (Two ISSUES per Year) published by Le Penseur in Brienza (PZ) - Italy | ISSN print edition 2283-8767 | ISSN online edition 2284-3418 - Journal registerd at the Court of Potenza (Italy) n. 219/2014