Reaching the EU goal of zeroing the soil consumption net by 2050. Encourage the reuse and renewal of unfinished building fabrics or those with functions that are no longer sustainable. Encourage the replacement of urban wrecks: those abandoned buildings that are in a state of abandonment and decay. But also: improve soil permeability and the quality of life in the suburbs, build strategic infrastructures for eco-sustainable development and protect historic centres.
are some of the goals of urban regeneration bill just assigned to the Senate Environment Commission (first signatory, Maurizio Gasparri of FI). A proposal that attempts to build a launch pad for urban regeneration projects, providing incentives and facilitations that also include precise derogations from the legislation in force. A text that provides for an ad hoc fund that will be distributed to the municipalities through regional tenders. And then, space for competitions: if there are public resources at stake, the municipality either provides for the design in-house or follows the path of competition between ideas.
Therefore, after the failed attempt with the fall of the Draghi government, urban regeneration is once again one of the topics under consideration by Parliament. The key principles of the 2019 bill and of the one that is preparing to begin its parliamentary process are almost the same, including the goal of zeroing land consumption.
The governance of regeneration
The bill entrusts the Ministry of Infrastructure with various tasks, including: the updating of the objectives of the Pinqua (National innovative program for the quality of living), the promotion of shared flagship projects, for planning and management, between several levels of government, the identification of projects and programs to be subjected to the measurement of the ecological footprint and the activation of private individuals as investors and as an active resource in the co-planning processes. Obviously, the regions will be required to exercise concurrent legislative power in matters of territorial governance in compliance with the principles contained in the proposal, should it become law. Furthermore, the regional provisions on urban regeneration and building recovery already in force are reserved.
The regions will have to legislate on the matter, if they have not already done so, by introducing specifications simplifications and incentives to encourage regeneration interventions. Among other things, they will have to introduce the possibility of making modifications to the outline and of obtaining derogations from the limits established by Ministerial Decree 1444 of 1968 in relation to the distances between buildings, the land densities and the maximum heights, necessary for the architectural harmonization of the interventions with the existing building bodies. It is also envisaged that the regions make changes to the intended use permissible even in derogation from the urban planning instrument.
The municipalities, in addition to having to define the perimeter of the urban areas subject to regeneration interventions using state, regional or municipal resources, including them in the planning, will have to reduce the taxes or fees of any kind, due for the occupation of public land connected to the construction of urban regeneration interventions.
National urban regeneration plan
It is also planned to build a national plan for urban regeneration to be issued with a Dpcm, on a proposal from the Ministry of Infrastructures, after consultation with the Joint Conference and the Interministerial Committee for Urban Policies. The objectives of the national plan are manifold and include the identification of the types of intervention to be eligible for national funding, the definition of urban regeneration objectives and the choice of criteria, based on socio-economic territorial indicators, to define the priorities for intervention.
The regeneration must go through the design competition
The interventions envisaged by the municipal planning, which benefit from public resources, must be carried out through the instrument of the planning competition if the administration does not take care of outlining the projects on its own. A provision that would put competitions in the foreground in the redesign of territories.
Municipalities will therefore have to equip themselves with one municipal planning of urban regeneration to identify the objectives to be pursued in terms of: safety, resilience of the territory with respect to natural hazards, maintenance and regeneration of the existing public and private building heritage. They will also have to develop ad hoc strategies for social, environmental and economic development, for the enhancement of public spaces, green areas and neighborhood services, as well as for the improvement of sustainable mobility.
On the basis of the perimeter carried out on the cartography of the cadastral cartographic Geoportal of the Revenue Agency, the municipalities will have to, among other things, indicate the public interventions and the benefits connected to the urban regeneration of the existing building heritage, providing – in compliance with certain conditions that the The administration will have to identify – increases of up to a maximum of 35% of the existing volume or gross area.
National fund for urban regeneration
The establishment, at the Ministry of Infrastructures, of the National fund for urban regenerationwith a budget of 50 million euros for 2023, 100 million for the years 2024 and 2025, and 300 million per year starting from 2026 and up to 2036.
The resources are intended to finance the regeneration interventions implementing the National Plan and to specific expenses (planning, demolitions, restructuring of public assets, charges for the transfer of families, cost of participatory processes and climate mitigation measures) for the implementation of interventions included in the municipal urban regeneration plans.
Furthermore, in order to benefit from the resources of the Fund, municipal interventions must meet a series of requirements. They must achieve a soil consumption equal to or lower than the original one; must achieve energy class A for buildings or obtain an improvement in the energy efficiency standard of the same in accordance with European directives.
The interventions access the Fund if they achieve a seismic adaptation that respects the safety levels established by the technical standards; if they involve the creation of green areas and ecosystem services, the increase in public services, the re-sealing of the soil and the recovery of the productive and commercial fabric.
The parliamentary process
Already the process of the previous bill on urban regeneration had not been completely linear, a sign that the issue is delicate and divisive. In the last legislature, the contents of the bill were unable to bring political and entrepreneurial forces and local authorities into agreement. The State Accounting Office also intervened with findings on the technical report prepared by the Ministry of Infrastructure, giving “Opinion against the further course of the measure”.
Several critical issues were found there, including a lack of financial coverage and a misalignment between the provisions of the bill and the principle, known by the acronym DNSH, of the “do not cause significant harm to the environment”. Then the problematic profiles were overcome thanks to interlocutions between the ministries of the Economy and the Environment and the proposal resumed the march arrested shortly after with the fall of the Draghi government. It will be necessary to see if now the new and analogous proposal can have an easier life to reach the goal of promulgation.
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