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A not-very-autonomous driving force

Opinió | 14/02/2009

The case of Padania

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Over 15 million inhabitants and 32% of the state GDP. A true economic driving force of the country, North-West Italy is currently suffering from an infrastructure deficit which could affect its competitiveness. Greater coordination between administrations is a key to improving the situation. There is more than one parallelism with Catalonia.

The macroregion of North-West Italy, which includes Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria and the Aosta Valley, is the economic driving force of the country. Cities such as Milan, Turin and Genoa lead a territory which is the productive heart of Italy, but which is dogged by a mobility deficit which may end up conditioning its future.

This is stated by the author of the report that we are publishing on, Marcello Tadini, from the Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”, who explains in detail the complex network of powers on mobility issues in the area, as a result of the decentralization of state power which has been carried out in Italy over the last twenty years. This is leading to an “administrative multicentrism” which defines the governance of transport infrastructures.

The key to progress with the planning and implementation of the infrastructures necessary is better coordination (and also collaboration, openness and consensus) between the state, regional, provincial and municipal administrations, given that all four intervene in the decision-making. This new culture needs to solve an urgent requirement for investment in infrastructures suffered by the major European corridors which pass through the area – Lisbon-Kiev and Rotterdam-Genoa – but also the regional viability and urban mobility. An easing of congestion in the metropolitan areas as communication nodes and improving the network of medium-distance routes should complement the major infrastructures. And, above all, the economic driving force of Italy needs a greater speed of response to these problems.

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