Rethinking a vast area: the Piacenza region

Designing the future
  • Location
    Province of Piacenza
  • Country
  • Customer
    Piacenza Provincial Authority
  • Team
    Politecnica Ingegneria ed Architettura Soc. Coop.
  • Service
    Spatial and strategic planning and advice to the Planning Office
  • Assignment
    Urban Planning
  • Project
    2021 - ongoing

Planning the future of the Piacenza area, the targets to be achieved, the related policies and actions to be undertaken. Starting from listening to those who live there. Politecnica's expertise at the service of the PTAV.


The new urban planning law of the Emilia-Romagna Region entrusts the PTAV (Spatial plan of vast area) with the definition of strategic guidelines for the territorial and environmental planning and care. Politecnica's task is to support the Planning Office within a multidisciplinary group with transport, environmental and socio-economic skills.

In addition to contributing their specialist skills in spatial planning, Politecnica’s consultants developed the methodology and detailed work programme of the project team, also providing examples and partly-drafted products for discussion. This was a challenging role, given that the PTAV is a recent instrument with significant aspects of innovation and experimentation.


The Project

At the crossroads of important communication routes and in the middle of the Po Valley, the territory of Piacenza is a highly attractive pole in the logistic field. With regard to the environmental and landscape system, it has high land consumption rates and air quality problems related to the high level of traffic. On the other hand, the widespread presence of elements of historical-architectural or testimonial interest in the main built-up areas and in rural areas is a strong point. Protected areas are mainly concentrated in hilly and even more mountainous areas and along the Po and Trebbia rivers, basically leading to the establishment of the two main biodiversity poles of regional or interregional importance.

In order to construct the territorial strategy, the relevant themes were rearranged according to three strategic axes.

Under the dimension Habitability and new needs, the issues covering demography, service system and people mobility, as well as the structure of the reference settlement systems, have been brought together. 

The Attractiveness of the territory and Sustainability of the productions dimension concerns aspects related to the productive activities settled on the territory (including agriculture and tourism) with their economic dynamics, settlement characteristics and related mobility problems and social, economic and environmental sustainability. The Natural Resources and Resilience dimension includes aspects related to the presence of natural resources with their related use/quality/criticality systems in terms of ecosystem services and territorial metabolism. This part also includes the issue of climate change. 

Through this methodological process, the challenges to be overcome to implement the Strategy have been defined, the Vision for future Piacenza is being developed, with the objectives to be pursued and the related policies and actions. The objectives are related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals but also to their declination on a regional scale.

Contribution to the SDGs goals

  • Establishing a shared programme of action with the communities in the places where we intervene is fundamental to urban regeneration initiatives. Co-designing makes projects rooted in communities, therefore more resilient in the long term.
    In the development of this project, workshops were held with local stakeholders and with the assembly of mayors of the provincial territory in order to share the analysis of the situation, the evolutionary scenarios and the challenges to be faced by responding to the requests for participation contained in the regional town planning law.