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Urban Planning


Urban Planning


Anno accademico 2022/2023

Codice attività didattica
Prof. Sergio Foa' (Titolare del corso)
Prof. Giancarlo Cotella (Titolare del corso)
Corso di studio
Laurea in Global Law and Transnational Studies - a Torino (D.M. 270/2004) [0707L31]
3° anno
Primo semestre
Affine o integrativo
SSD attività didattica
IUS/10 - diritto amministrativo
Tipologia esame
Scritto e/o orale

Sommario insegnamento


Obiettivi formativi

The public actor assigns the rights for land use and development through the use of spatial planning. Through time, all countries in the world have progressively developed and consolidated spatial governance and planning systems that are a more or less direct consequence of their model of society, their administrative traditions and technical cultures. Each of these systems is characterised by a specific set of legal and administrative devices, through which land-use and development rights are regulated, public-private partnership finalised to territorial transformation are formed, and the action of different levels and sectors coordinated.

In addition to national spatial governance and planning systems, since the Second World War a number of transnational organization instituted and consolidated, may they be supranational or intergovernmental in nature, as an answer to incremental globalization tendencies. Despite not being characterised by any spatial governance and planning system, such organizations concur, to a greater or lesser extent, to shaping the evolution of urban and territorial policies in the various countries. This occurs through the development of more or less coercive guidance documents (e.g. The European Spatial development Perspective or the United Nations' New Urban Agenda), through the provision of specific development actions and incentives (e.g. World Banks' financial support to local development, EU cohesion policy etc.), or even through the development of rules and regulations to be taken on board by countries (e.g. as in the case of those areas in which the European Union detains direct competence).

The course addresses the issues outlined above, in order to provide students with a critical comparison of selected territorial governance and spatial planning systems in Europe, as well as an informed perspective on the institutional and operational influence of transnational organizations over domestic contexts, with particular attention to the European Union.


Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi

The course aims to convey knowledge concerning:

  • Main theories and analytical frames used to define and explore spatial governance and planning systems;
  • spatial governance and planning systems in key European countries;
  • institutional reasons of the EU intervention in the field of spatial development and governance, main features of European spatial planning;
  • nature of the process of European territorial governance and forms of interaction with the Member states spatial governance and planning systems;
  • nature of other transnational and/or intergovernmental institutions that have a more or less explicit spatial development and planning agenda.

The course aims, therefore, to give the student the following skills:

  • ability to distinguish the significant characters of a spatial governance and planning system;
  • ability to recognize the main instruments of spatial planning in a country;
  • ability to understand the institutional and operational complexity of spatial planning in Europe.
  • ability to recognise and describe existing transnational and/or intergovernmental institutions and the main features of their territorial governance and spatial planning agendas



Teaching is organized through 18 lectures, that takes place on Wednesday (14.00-16.00) and Thursday (10.00-12.00):

1. Introduction to the course – spatial governance and planning

2. Administrative law within spatial planning – An introduction

3. Spatial governance and planning – definitions, theories and comparative studies

4. Administrative law and spatial planning: sources and main references

5. Spatial governance and planning in Italy

6. Examples from Italy

7. Spatial governance and planning in England

8. Examples from England

9. Spatial governance and planning in France

10. Other examples from selected European countries

11. Spatial governance and planning in Germany

12. EU funds and their use in the practice

13. Spatial governance and planning in Poland

14. EU practices: Selected environmental legislations

15. The European union and its spatial agenda

16. EU practices: EIA and SIA

17. The Europeanisation of spatial planning

18. Collection of the working groups’ exercises, discussion and conclusions


Modalità di insegnamento

Teaching is organised through traditional ex-cathedra classes that lasts for two hours.

Each class will include discussions on the presented information, aiming at stimulating the students to undertake a comparison and critical assessment of the presented systems and of their procedures and mechanisms.


Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Exam: Individual written test + Group essay


Each student's final assessment is composed by the following elements: a) the results of a individual written exam (around 3/4th of the final grade); b) the evaluation of a group project, consisting in a short essay (around 1/4th of the final grade).

  • The written test will contain 10-15 open questions to be answered within 2 hours, without being able to consult the teaching material.
  • Students will be also required to work in groups (3-4 students) to unfold specific issues dealt with during the lectures. Each group will then have to produce a short essay to be delivered during the last lecture of the course.

Attività di supporto

– None –

Testi consigliati e bibliografia


The study materials of the course consist of (i) the slides of the lectures, (ii) specific texts (papers and/or book chapters) pertinent to each lecture, that will be indicated by the lecturers in due time and (iii) students’ individual notes.

In particular, participation to the lectures is required and students are required to collect their notes individually. To facilitate this activity, the slides of the lectures will be made available in time on the teaching web-portal.

Other texts (books, essays, reports, scientific articles, web-links, movies) will be suggested during the course in relation to the topics discussed.


Among them:

  • Janin Rivolin U. (2012), Planning systems as institutional technologies: a proposed conceptualization and the implications for comparison, Planning Practice and Research, 27(1), pp. 63-85.
  • Janin Rivolin U. (2017), Global crisis and the systems of spatial governance and planning: a European comparison, European Planning Studies, 25(6), pp. 994-1012.  
  • Berisha E., Cotella G., Janin Rivolin U., Solly A., (2020), Spatial governance and planning systems and the public control of spatial development: a European typology, European Planning Studies, online, 1-20.
  • Faudi A. (2010) “European Spatial Planning: Past, Present and Future”, Town Planning Review, 81 (1), pp. 1-22.
  • Cotella, G. (2020). How Europe hits home? The impact of European Union policies on territorial governance and spatial planning. Géocarrefour, 94(94/3). 
  • Blanc, F., Cabrera, J. E., Cotella, G., García, A., & Sandoval, J. C. (2022). Does Planning Keep its Promises? Latin American Spatial Governance and Planning as an Ex-Post Regularisation Activity. Planning Practice & Research, 1-22.

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    Apertura registrazione
    28/09/2022 alle ore 00:00
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    31/12/2022 alle ore 23:55
    Ultimo aggiornamento: 28/09/2022 15:10
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