Year XXXVI, 1994, Number 2 - Page 147




1. Introduction.
In recent years cities have returned to occupy a central place in political debate at the national, European and world levels. In Italy the discussion concerning the proposal to create new regional aggregations,[1] and the removal of ministries and other public organs from the capital has been re-launched.[2] This follows the example of what has occurred in Germany, where, for instance, in Frankfurt the Bundesbank, the federal railway body and the federal office for industrial economy have their headquarters, alongside other institutions of prime importance; the federal work tribunal is based in Kassel; the federal supreme court and the constitutional court are in Karlsruhe, and so on.[3] Furthermore, some Italian communes are building the metropolitan areas provided for in a recent law governing local autonomy.[4] In Great Britain and France the respective governments have launched a process of relocating public organisations concentrated in the capital to other urban centres, and recently, the French government presented a draft law to give the go ahead for the creation of seven macro-regions.[5] The Commission of the European Community has promoted a series of studies into the decay provoked by zoning policies and into the problems of urban areas that are undergoing industrial decline, with the prospect also of launching an active policy in this field.[6] Finally, the World Bank has argued that cities play a decisive role in the development of an economic system, and that therefore aid policies to the poorest countries must be rethought in light of this.[7]
The political orientations behind these studies, and the provisions that are proposed or approved, reveal two limitations. First, they do not deal with the problem of revitalising the life of city districts (or they do so scantily, as in the case of the “Green paper on the urban environment”), and of how to guarantee the compatibility of this vitality with the aim of cities’ economic growth. Secondly, since being considered in a local, or at best, national context, policies are elaborated that compete with other national or European urban areas, when instead the growing relationship between European urban systems, and the goal of European unification, should demand the development of co-ordinated policies. The creation of metropolitan areas provided for in a recently-approved law in Italy, seems itself, to the extent that it is not organised in the context of a global reform plan of the state and public finance in a federal sense, to be in practice an incomplete response that the bureaucratic and centralised state intends to give to the by now unavoidable requirement for the greater autonomy of local bodies from the central power.
The risk of all these proposals is that the areas which are more generously endowed in economic terms, and which are more efficient and better organised, will attract increasing amounts of resources at the expense of less fortunate urban areas, unless there is compensatory action at the supernational level. In practice, then, the real problem posed by these initiatives has become that of the organisation of a territorial policy that is articulated from the local to the European level. This article, that starts with the problems of cities at the local level and continues on to the European one, aims to analyse three aspects of the urban problem that make it urgent for the continent to be given a territorial policy whose elaboration includes the elected representatives at the various levels of government – also because the debate that has been begun on these themes will form a structural element of Europe’s political and economic life in the coming years. Hence it becomes necessary for the federalists to take up again the discussion that was launched some years ago.[8]
2. The dilemma facing cities: the economic growth of cities and the vitality of their city districts.
Experience teaches us that there is no contradiction between a city’s economic growth, and the unequal distribution of vitality among the city districts that comprise it, while the policy of urban renewal requires the reconciling of these two requirements. Hence it is necessary to try and understand why this does not occur automatically.
The starting point for analysis are Jane Jacobs’ observations concerning the conditions that make the security and vitality of streets and districts in a large city possible. According to Jacobs, the vitality and security of city districts depend on the surveillance and frequenting of citizens. In order for citizens to be interested in surveillance and the frequenting of urban streets, it is necessary that a blend of uses and activities that is sufficiently complex to generate this interest is realised over the urban territory. In particular, according to Jacobs, “To generate exuberant diversity in a city’s streets and districts four conditions are indispensable: 1. The district, and indeed as many of its internal parts as possible, must serve more than one primary function [e.g. places of residence, offices, small industrial activities, shops]; preferably more than two. These must ensure the presence of people who go outdoors on different schedules and are in the place for different purposes, but who are able to use many facilities in common. 2. Most blocks must be short; that is, streets and opportunities to turn corners must be frequent. 3. The district must mingle buildings that vary in age and condition, including a good proportion of old ones so that they vary in the economic yield they must produce. This mingling must be fairly close-grained. 4. There must be a sufficiently dense concentration of people, for whatever purposes they may be there. This includes dense concentration in the case of people who are there because of residence.”[9] In effect, if one reflects momentarily on the different city districts that our cities are comprised of, we can not avoid observing that the urban territory’s “mixture of uses” which Jacobs refers to, is a characteristic only of some of them, and in the case of the historic centre of cities and some other zones, only for certain hours of the day. To understand why the “mixture” does not happen spontaneously, it is important here to re-examine the thesis of the German geographer, Christaller,[10] who has developed a model for analysing the distribution of human settlements over territory. In particular, Christaller, arguing that in equal conditions these settlements are distributed over territory according to the economic principle (or the market), has formulated a rule that possesses a more general validity – in the sense that it also explains how economic activities are distributed within cities, and in effect clarifies why city districts tend spontaneously to have different degrees of vitality.
The analysis of the distribution of central functions over territory, on the basis of the economic principle, highlights the fact that a hierarchy is established among the different central localities, determined by the number and type of functions that establish themselves there. And those that Christaller calls central localities of a higher order, are so because functions found within them are of a higher number and more specialised compared to those of localities of a lower order. However, in as much as the former also contain the functions of the latter, it can be derived from this that the localities of a higher order also tend to be more vital than those of a secondary order. If this is true also for the distribution of functions among a city’s districts, the economic principle would highlight that some city districts are structurally more vital than others, and therefore, in the absence of discretionary intervention, would lack one of the conditions that according to Jacobs makes a large city liveable in and secure, because it would lack the prime condition of this, the urban territory’s mixture of uses: if, therefore, the goal is for this condition to be satisfied, the mixture of uses will have to be arranged.
Summing up what Christaller says, the most significant characteristic of human settlements, as regards investigating the territorial distribution and development of them, is their “centrality”, that is their vocation to constitute “the central point of a territory” surrounding the settlements themselves, as the place that satisfies their needs. A place, in other words, is central “when the inhabitants carry out economic activities necessarily tied to a central position. These economic activities should be termed central activities, and the goods and services that are produced in the central place, precisely because it is central, should be termed central goods and services.” There exist, then, central localities of different levels, as a function of the size of the territorial area whose needs they satisfy. Central localities are therefore of a lesser order when they exercise their influence over immediately surrounding territory, and of a superior order when central functions are exercised over a territory that includes other central localities of lesser importance. The observation of the existence of different types of central locality highlights the existence of a “hierarchy” among central localities themselves, which is not the expression of a geometric fact, but rather of the function they fulfil. This function is represented by supplying the surrounding territory with central goods and services. These goods and services in fact define the centrality of a locality: central goods and services of a higher order will be offered only in a locality of a higher order, and central goods and services of a lower order will be offered in localities of a lower order, rather than, naturally, in those of a higher order. It is important to remember that according to Christaller, the characteristic of centrality depends above all on distributive activities (rather than on productive ones in the strict sense) and on services in general, in as much as the location of these functions occurs principally in light of the facility of access for potential consumers and users.
Central goods and services can be classified according to their nature (health, cultural, administrative services, etc.) and according to their level of complexity and specialisation (for example, in the sector of health, local medical officer, chemist, specialists of the various medical branches, hospitals of different proportions; in the educational sector, elementary, primary, and secondary schools, universities, and postgraduate institutions). The various central goods and services serve territories of different proportions (that is they have different territorial environments of influence) that are broader the higher their degree of specialisation and complexity is (for example, a general practitioner serves at the most one city district, a specialist several city districts, and a hospital the whole city). In equal conditions, the form assumed by the territorial environments covered by central goods and services is a circular area. The extension of each of these territorial environments is in turn determined by two parameters: the upper limit of the radius of influence for central goods and services of a certain order delimits the maximum distance from a central place that consumers and users are willing to travel to procure them. The lower limit delimits the minimum territorial extension (for a given density of population) indispensable for economically sustaining the institutions that supply these same goods and services.
As already observed, if Christaller’ s argument holds, this means that different parts of the territory do not have the same vitality as the central localities of the highest order, that is of those that beyond offering the most basic goods and services are endowed with economic units that also offer more sophisticated and complex goods and services. These latter localities in fact find the quantity and variety of goods and services offered over their territory concentrated in a way that is not comparable in any, or else present in few, other localities. The extension of Christaller’s observations to the distribution of settlements within an urban area would highlight therefore how the principle of the market would tend to develop a system of central localities of urban dimensions, with some city districts more vital than others, when instead vitality should be a characteristic of all city districts. Hence, until an effective multiplicity of uses for the urban territory is developed, the system of central localities as described by Christaller at the urban level should tend to exhaust itself within each city district, in the sense that each of these should have at least the same number of services whose lower limit has a range equal and superior to the extension of the city district.[11]
3. Toward a European and world system of central localities.
The cities of Europe are submitted nowadays to different demands from those that accompanied their development during the 19th century and the first part of the 20th. These demands emanate on the one hand from the process of European unification, which is provoking a high degree of wealth redistribution among the different urban areas, and on the other from the fact that a European and world system of central localities is being consolidated.
The effects of the process of European unification on the redistribution of wealth among the cities of Europe are enormous. And it is worth underlining this fact here because, with reference to what was elaborated in the preceding paragraph, a development plan for cities and their city districts can not be considered outside the context of European choices. To cite an illustrative example, it is sufficient to recall what has happened to certain city ports in Great Britain, a country that in 1965 exported only 18.2% of its goods to the EEC, while in 1983 this percentage had reached 44.7%. The growth of the European outlet for British goods has meant a complete reversal of the relative importance of English ports. Liverpool, which in 1965 handled 18.5% of British exports, in 1983 handled only 2.8% of them. In the same period, Dover, which faces the continent, saw the share of British exports that used its port facilities rise from 1.7 to 12.1% of the total, while the port of Felixstowe’ s share rose from 3.2 to 9.1%.[12] More examples are available, but the fact remains that the European Union’s response to these problems is absolutely inadequate, limited to provisions for the granting of funds to urban areas in industrial decline. The problem is instead much broader, in as much as alongside urban areas in decline can be noted a growing number of cities that are becoming part of a European system of central localities. Cities, or at least today’s major ones, are invested with new functions, that serve not only a territory of regional or national proportions, but rather a European one, if not directly a world one. The issue therefore can no longer be that of a more-or-less effective welfare policy, but of promoting a territorial policy that guarantees the balanced vitality of territory on a European scale. The model elaborated by Christaller shows that the principle of the market ensures a balanced distribution of the supply of goods and services, avoiding that sizeable parts of the territory are left unprovided for. Looking at the European territory, however, clear imbalances can be noted, and above all a trend toward their worsening, whose causes need to be investigated in order to be able to formulate suitable remedies.
It should be observed generally that this situation was developed on the basis of the inheritance left by the industrial revolution and of the action exercised by the political authorities over territory during the period of the birth of the nation-states. In Europe, the action of political authorities to defend and control territory has tended to concentrate all functions in the capital (and, secondarily, in the capitals of the administrative subdivisions of the state) and to leave the border zones abandoned. As Christaller argues, “the fundamental idea of the administrative structure is that of creating the most complete territories possible, that is districts of a uniform physical area and, always to the extent that it is possible, with a uniform number of inhabitants, at whose centre would arise the most important locality and whose borders must be found in scarcely populated zones in such a way as to link themselves to the natural barriers and frontiers.”[13] This policy contrasts to the distribution of the settlements that would take place on the basis of the principle of the market. In fact, the localities of an immediately inferior order, that were to be found in the vicinity of a political border would be penalised by the attitude of the political authorities, leading the localities in question to have a level of development decidedly lower than their potential.
The opposite result awaits the capitals. Confirmation of this can be drawn from a report, edited by the Délégation à l’Aménagement du Territoire et à l’Action Régionale (DATAR), concerning the endowment of European cities with a certain number of functions chosen as indicators of their international vocation. The study, albeit of a very empirical nature, highlights the consequences for a territory of the division of Europe into sovereign and independent nation-states and of the process of centralisation that took place above all in the continental states. In particular it can be noted how in Spain (with the sole exception of Barcelona, whose high degree of development is however to be ascribed to entrance into the European Union) the territory that surrounds Madrid lacks cities of a certain European significance, and how in France the territory to the south of Paris results as being almost completely deprived of cities of a certain importance, at least until the southern coast.
The consequences of the political authorities’ action over territory are still more evident in the case of the urban areas of the border regions. For example, in the case of north-west Italy, the urban system is increasingly being organised around the area of Milan, which is privileged, in addition to a favourable geographic position, by the economic policy pursued in the post-second world war period and the policy of implementing infrastructure and communication projects that favoured the convergence of traffic toward Milan, rather than France and Spain. Certain studies have brought to light how this process of economic dependence is very advanced, by now influencing the jobs market for the most advanced professions.[14]
The DATAR report has the merit of attracting attention to the fact that at the European level some important specialisation in the supply of services of European significance is emerging. For example, in financial activities London occupies the first place in Europe as a privileged location for financial transactions, given the size of its stock market, the existence of commodity markets, futures and options markets, the number of large banks’ headquarters, the merchant banking business, and so on. In goods transport via sea, and particularly as a place for the interchange of goods between the European continent, the United States and the Far East, Rotterdam has established itself as the most important port in Europe and the world. Also in the transport sector, but via air, connecting services with areas outside the Community are effected principally from Paris, London and Frankfurt. In other important services for businesses, such as the organisation of trade fairs, exhibition halls and conferences, Paris and London are the main cities of Europe. Finally, Paris, London and Milan are the cities with the greatest proportion of the working population employed in the roles of administrators, engineers and technicians in general, further proof of the fact that these are the main sites of businesses with higher added value.
A great proportion of the imbalances described above in the distribution of functions over the European territory, and in particular the excessive concentration of functions in cities such as Madrid, Milan, Paris and London are also the fruit of a radio-centric transport policy for these urban areas that has weakened the surrounding urban areas. In effect, as Christaller once again reminds us, the transport system explains the distribution of central places for those regions that are crossed by intensively-used long-distance communication roads. The existence of better conditions of transport brings with it a reduction of economic distances, a reduction that is not only of effective costs, but also of the loss of time and other obstacles that put a break on the more frequent acquisition of central goods. Therefore, all other conditions being equal, the central locality in a territory with better conditions of transport will be larger and hence there occurs an accentuation of its importance with respect to central localities of a territory with worse conditions of transport.[15] As regards instead the distribution of the central localities, in the case of the realisation of communication roads, everything depends on the type of connections that is embarked on. If the tendency to create long-distance connections prevails, the central localities of the highest order will be connected only among themselves. In this case, in a territory organised according to the market principle, as Christaller demonstrates, the localities of an order immediately inferior will remain cut off, unless specific local connecting lines are enacted that connect the localities of the highest order to localities of an immediately inferior order.[16] Furthermore, with a goal to realise the same type of connections, the amount of time between connecting the large centres and connecting all the localities that surround the localities of the highest order is also very important. If the development of the transport system is put into practice slowly, and if long-distance lines are built in preference, the system of central localities may model itself according to the traffic principle: in this case the settlements tend to fall into line along the traffic axis and to denude the rest of the territory. If instead the development of the transport system is rapid and local lines are also built, the distribution of the central settlements will continue to develop itself according to the scheme of the market.[17]
The fact remains that at the European level, at the initiative of individual nation-states, decisions are taken in matters of transport policy that will significantly affect the distribution of central localities over the European territory and their relative importance. Paradoxically, these investments are supported by the Community’s authorities with the “declaration of European interest” (which serves to release national and European financing for specific projects) without it being clear however what really is the long-term interest of European citizens.
The investment policy for innovative transport infrastructure such as the high-speed railway, that received much backing initially by the French government, but that has subsequently been adopted also by other European governments, could be recalled as an example.[18]
High speed will have revolutionary consequences on the European territory, on the relationships between European cities, and on the distribution of wealth among European cities and their surrounding territory. It is sufficient to imagine the reduction of connection time between the cities that will make up part of this new railway network. To cite the most significant time reductions, starting with certain European cities, it can be noted that the current travelling time from Brussels to Barcelona, Bordeaux and Milan will be reduced by up to a third, with significant reductions in absolute terms; the current travelling time from Paris to Barcelona, Berlin and Munich will be reduced by half. Yet another important effect will be the Paris-London connection through the tunnel under the Channel: in this case also the current travelling time from London to Paris, Brussels, Barcelona and Berlin will be reduced by up to a third. But what should be underlined here is that the tunnel, while on the one hand it represents the most tangible example of the growing (and irreversible) links within the European urban system, on the other it unites, as seen above, the European cities that already enjoy leadership in many functions at the European level. It is moreover foreseeable that the city of Lille, half an hour away from Brussels and about an hour and forty minutes from London, will in turn assume growing importance in the European urban framework.
A recent study sought to assess what will happen to the European territory with the enactment of the high-speed network, as foreseen by the European Union’s programmes from now until 2010.[19] The aim of the study was to see how the geographic map of continental Europe will change, reconstructing the distances between European cities not on the basis of distance in kilometres, but rather on distance as units of time. The changes produced are extremely revealing: first, in general terms, northwest Italy will become closer to northern Spain than to southern Germany, while the distance that separates northern from southern Germany will be greater than the time-distance between Milan and Barcelona; secondly, the fact that the main cities of Portugal, southern Italy and Greece will be excluded from high speed connections will contribute to further distancing the markets of central Europe from the urban areas of southern Europe.
What is important to note, in the absence of a European plan, is that the high-speed lines, that require considerable funds, are generally set to connect cities of high-population density, of high per capita earnings and between which significant traffic already exists.[20] These choices seek to respond to the requirement of greater economic viability, compared to other connections. If the investment decisions were to depend on these considerations alone, a further concentration of development around urban areas that are already developed would be inevitable, with the more accentuated concentration of the main functions of European significance in a few cities.
4. The economic and institutional conditions for an effective urban policy.
While economic growth was mainly sustained by the process of mass industrialisation, which required an enormous accumulation of physical capital, necessary to attain previously unheard-of productivity levels and improvements in living standards, it was inconceivable to organise territory differently. The launching and consolidation of the industrialisation process required the construction of large productive units close to the sources of raw material supply, or close to the market outlets for these goods, just as it required the employment of great masses of workers concentrated in a few large productive units. This process, while on the one hand it has influenced the territorial distribution of the urban areas that have maintained until now a high degree of economic vitality, and has favoured the joining together of an urban hierarchy based on the distribution of wealth and an urban hierarchy based on the bestowal of central goods and services, on the other it has also conditioned the urban plan to the extent that the productive units, initially built on the periphery of the original nucleus of the city, have found themselves, with the process of urbanisation that accompanied industrial development, located in the central part of today’s cities.
We are currently assisting in the passage from the industrial to the post-industrial mode of production. The latter, compared to the former which was based on the overriding importance of the accumulation of physical capital and low-skilled work, on the inflexible organisation of work, and on a high degree of social division into competing classes, is characterised instead by the greater importance given to research as a factor of production,[21] by the progressive elimination of repetitive work made possible by the automation of productive processes and by the progressive overcoming in effect of society’s division into opposing classes. In addition technological development makes it possible to decentralise productive units outside the city, and in many cases also allows their re-sizing in terms of physical space occupied for a given amount of wealth produced. Hence the economic growth of the city is no longer necessarily accompanied by the development of great industrial concentrations in an urban environment, but tends to rely on smaller productive units. The cities that drove industrial development are increasingly less the places where the physical production of goods occurs, but rather the place of their conception, experimentation and commercialisation, and the importance of services compared to production is increasing, that is to say financial and administrative services, professional training, the elaboration of data, and so on, due also to the impact of farming out services that were previously concentrated within the firm. Hence the factors that contribute to determining the success of cities, and the economic areas that belong to them, are changing: quality of life, level of professional training, research and development incentives are replacing the factors of urban location that characterised the industrialised period, putting all European cities in direct competition.
The European economic system is in fact profoundly modified already: service sector employment represents about 60% of the total workforce, against 33% for the industrial sector (of which about 20% are managers and clerical staff). In Italy, for example, the number of those who do jobs which require considerable autonomy and professional ability (entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals, managers and clerical staff, self-employed workers) has increased from 37% of the total workforce in 1960 to 57% in 1990: hence employment where “grey matter” counts, represents much more than half of the working population, while employment linked to the “assembly line”, and for which less flexible behaviour is required, was equal to 49% of the working population in 1960 and by 1990 had fallen to 39%. This means that intellectual capital (the capital invested in “grey matter”) is becoming, if it is not so already, more important than physical capital. Hence, it is useful to bear this structural fact in mind, also as regards the direction for a discretional policy to support the balanced development of the districts that comprise cities.
Alongside these underlying changes that make a more balanced distribution of productive activities in the urban environment conceivable, the rationalisation of industrial activity underway, as seen above, in its continual search for increasing levels of efficiency, is leading to the abandonment of industrial locations in urban environments. These, in the industrial development stage, found their setting in the lee of cities’ historic centres, and have subsequently been engulfed by the urban development of the second half of this century. Now they find themselves in a strategic position as regards the recuperation, and vitality and security of city districts, and their recuperation and inclusion in a development plan that privileges the multiplicity of their end uses is the first step in this direction. This process allows the development of a policy geared toward eliminating the compartmentalisation of urban areas produced by the mono-functional use (industrial, tertiary, residential districts for the rich only, residential districts for the poor only) of many city zones.
Furthermore, it is necessary today also to think of the infrastructure of the future (the so-called information highway) that can contribute decisively to the capacity to live in a city. In fact, the development of an efficient telecommunications network makes possible, at least to a great extent, the overcoming of the separation, typical in European urban areas, between places of residence, production and consumption, by developing widespread forms of telecommuting over the territory and in production sectors.[22] In this way it is conceivable that the spontaneous trend to match a hierarchy of urban city districts with a hierarchy of central goods and services, organising the vitality of city districts without penalising the efficiency of the supply of goods and services that is implicit in Christaller’s scheme for the distribution of such goods and services according to the principle of the market, may be attenuated if not eliminated altogether.
These developments can be further strengthened if the suggestions contained in Delors’ white paper concerning trans-European networks and information networks are acted on.[23] Investments in trans-European networks, reducing the time and cost of transport, will make possible a further step forward in the defence of the European industrial system’s efficiency, and in the more balanced distribution of industrial settlements over the territory. Combined, they will be an opportunity for economic growth and the development of European society, if inserted within the context of a balanced policy of connecting medium-sized cities, and these with other large cities, and not only with the capitals.
A greater degree of recuperation and vitality for urban city districts, and for overcoming the competition between city and countryside will however derive from the enactment of the information network programme. The Delors plan foresees four possible applications: telecommuting, tele-training, tele-medicine and tele-administration. The investments in information and communications technology will make possible, beyond the re-composition of the locations of residence and work, the reduced importance of a significant series of central services that until now have characterised the central localities of the highest order. Inparticular, in the sector of the highest training, in universities and post-graduate institutions, smaller and decentralised departments in different city districts and different cities of the same region will be possible. The same can be said for services rendered by the public bureaucracy, which is in large part responsible for the current centralisation of functions in the historical centre of cities at the expense of the periphery.
All this simply means however that there exist the economic and technological conditions for drawing up an urban policy aimed at revitalising all city districts, and overcoming the contrast between cities’ historic centres and peripheries, and between city and countryside; but it does not yet declare that these will be put into practice. In order that they are, it is necessary to introduce at the local, regional, national and European levels, institutional innovations comprising the presupposition of the elaboration of a European territorial policy, in as much as the problems seen above pose the need for co-ordination among the different levels of government.
The first innovation to introduce is that of the electoral system. If the goal is for the needs manifested at the lowest level, that of the city district, to be assimilated at the highest level, the federal one, when formulating European territorial policy, it is necessary to envisage a system of successive elections.[24] These should be effected in order from the lowest level to the highest one, and over a time interval that allows the immediately higher level not to dissipate the contribution of the lower level and to effect a synthesis with the corresponding levels to be transmitted to the immediately higher one. This process will be even more effective if bicameralism is introduced at all levels, from the lowest to the highest. In this way, at the urban area level the communal council will have to be composed of two chambers: the chamber of the city districts and the chamber of the citizens of the urban area; at the provincial level there will be the chamber of the cities and that of the citizens of the province, and so on up to the European federal level, with provision, if opportune, for new intermediate groupings between the regional and national levels. Nevertheless, in light of what has been said about the urban functions of the cities of the highest order, many of these have a capacity that stretches beyond the borders of the city and the region, and hence they influence the life of other cities and other regions. It is therefore necessary that institutional innovations that take these relationships into account are undertaken. Taking the example of north-west Italy, given the strong economic ties between the Piedmont and Lombard economies, representatives of the Lombard region and of the neighbouring French and Swiss regions should also be present in the Piedmont regional parliament, just as the representatives of Piedmont should sit in the parliaments of these other regions.
It goes without saying, however, that this plan requires the transformation of the current European parliament into a real and effective legislative assembly, and of the council of ministers into a chamber of the states. The deadline for revisions to the founding treaty of the European Union, set for 1996, represents therefore a favourable opportunity also for re-launching the debate about these problems. The committee of the regions, introduced by the Maastricht treaty, can enable local bodies to voice their support in requesting a democratic European policy for the territory.
Domenico Moro

[1] AA.VV., Nuove regioni e riforma dello Stato, edited by the Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli, Turin, 1993.
[2] M. Demarie and P. Gastaldo, “Capitale reticolare e riforma dello Stato”, in XXI Secolo, no. 1, January 1994.
[3] AA.VV., La capitale reticolare, edited by the Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli, Turin, 1993.
[4] The law in question is number 142/90 concerning local autonomies. As regards the projects for the creation of metropolitan areas provided for in this law, cf. AA.VV., Progetto città metropolitana, edited by the Comune e Provincia di Bologna, Bologna, 1993.
[5] F. Grosrichard, “Le gouvernement détermine sept ‘espaces d’aménagement’ à l’échelle européenne”, in Le Monde, 19 May 1994.
[6] The Commission of the European Communities, Urban Problems and Regional Policy in the European Community, Brussels, 1988; Green paper on the urban environment, Brussels, 1990; Urbanization and the Functions of Cities in the European Community, Brussels, 1992.
[7] It is worth recalling on this subject a World Bank study into the role that a policy dedicated to urban areas can play in the development of Third World countries: World Bank, Urban Policy and Economic Development (an Agenda for the 1990s), Washington, 1991.
[8] F. Rossolillo, Città, territorio, istituzioni, Naples, Guida, 1983.
[9] J. Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, Random House, 1961.
[10] W. Christaller, Die zentralen Orte in Suddentschland, 1st ed. Jena 1933, 2nd ed. Darmstadt 1968.
[11] According to a study into the number and distribution of central localities within the city of Turin, there results a strong imbalance in the distribution of tertiary businesses, and of services in general, among the city’s districts. The investigation enabled the identification of a system of urban central localities that is articulated on four levels: one locality of the highest order, which provides the most specialised services and comprises the historic centre; seven central localities of the second order; 38 of the third order; and 66 of the fourth order (cf. G. Dematteis, Le località centrali nella geografia urbana di Torino, Turin, 1966).
[12] The Commission of the European Communities, Urban Problems and Regional Policy in the European Community, Luxembourg, 1988, p. 210.
[13] W. Christaller, op. cit., p. 82.
[14] C.S. Bertuglia, T. Gallino, G.A. Rabino, “Le aree di pendolarità in Piemonte al Censimento 1981. Un’ analisi disaggregata per settori e figure professionali”, in Quaderni di ricerca Ires, no. 38, July 1986. By the same authors cf. “L’organizzazione gerarchica del territorio piemontese. Stato, trasformazioni in atto e scenari in evoluzione”, in Quaderni di ricerca Ires, no. 40, November 1986.
[15] W. Christaller, op. cit., p. 50.
[16] W. Christaller, ibid., pp. 77-78.
[17] W. Christaller, ibid., p. 123.
[18] Commission of the European Communities, Report of the High Level Committee on the Development of a European High-Speed Train Network, Brussels, 1990.
[19] C. Cauvin, H. Reymond, Du ferroviaire au TGV, simulations et anamorphose, apport de la cartographie transformationnelle, presented at the meeting ”Villes et TGV”, organised by the Centre Jacques Cartier of Lyons, December 1993.
[20] In addition to the case of the European high-speed network, see also: D. Brand, Forecasting High Speed Rail Rideship in the Canadian Corridor: Quebec-Montreal-Toronto-Windsor, and F. Martin, L’allocation interrégionale des effets d’intégration économique d’un TGV dans l’espace canadien, memoirs presented at the meeting “Villes et TGV” of the Centre Jacques Cartier of Lyons, December 1993.
[21] L. Thurow, Head to Head, New York, 1992.
[22] G. Scarpitti, D. Zingarelli, Il telelavoro, Milan, Franco Angeli, 1993.
[23] European Commission, Growth, Competitiveness, Employment. The Challenges and Ways Forward into the 21st Century. White paper. Office for official publication of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1994.
[24] M. Albertini, “Discorso ai giovani federalisti”, in Il Federalista, XX (1978), pp. 51-67.


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