Traditional models of urban development are no longer adequate to describe current metropolitan transformations. These are now at the centre of a debate concerning management and administration. In Italy, delays in resolving problems of urban and metropolitan government, despite the legal framework provided by Law 142/90, have weighed heavily on the larger urban areas of the country: Rome, Naples, Milan, which have not been able to tackle the issue of metropolitan government. Recent legislation, while not providing a pre-defined institutional solution, allows separate administrative districts to collectively establish metropolitan institutions of `variable geometry'. The Milan urban area is not one city, but a system of mutually-dependent cities, linked to each other and the rest of the world by a transport network still requiring much investment. The vitality of its economic structure (especially its small firms) is held back by seriously inadequate infrastructure and low external economic efficiency. The provincial capital may boast `historic centrality' but the most interesting potential for development is to be found on the periphery and in the administrative districts immediately surrounding it, in the recovery of derelict industrial areas and dormitory towns established in the 1950s and 1960s, especially to the north. Recovery of derelict areas, green areas, and better transport links within the urban area and with the outside world are the key elements in the reorganization of `Greater Milan'. In this situation of rapid transformation the most appropriate political strategies involve negotiated planning.
axis of developmentGreater Milanmetropolitan governanceprovince of Milanurban renewal