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The governance of metropolitan regions : Turin and Hannover

Laura Brioschi

The governance of metropolitan regions : Turin and Hannover.

Rel. Giancarlo Cotella. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Pianificazione Territoriale, Urbanistica E Paesaggistico-Ambientale, 2016



Today governance has a central role in the European scientific and social debate.

Over the years, governance has been introduced in the European and national debate because the powers and functions into the hands of only public institution were not able to find adequate answers and solutions to promote local development; it arose the necessity to find new institutions or stakeholder able to provide those needed answer. The government system changed introducing new institutional levels that, with the collaboration of private stakeholders, seem to be more flexible and adaptable to the needs of the urban society. In fact, governance "is a process of coordination of actors, social groups, institutions to the achievement of shared goals, that are discussed and defined together in an environment more and more fragmented and unsure" (Bagnasco, Le Gales, 2000, pg. 38).

Over the years, governance has been studied in literature on different aspects and perspective theories to try to conceptualize it but a shared definition has never been formulated. In the beginning, the concept arose in the social science debate focusing on the transition from government to governance. It described the decentralization of powers and functions towards the local government, especially in the planning field. With the years passing, scholars focused on which institutions received the powers from the national government and the interrelationships between the institutions involved in the process. Other scholars have tried to identify possible typologies of governance to try to conceptualize and operationalize it. More recently, others have focused on the territorial aspects of governance underlying the importance of the territory as a resource for the urban development and as a fundamental element of governance.

In addition, governance has contribute to the use of informal and formal processes between public and private actors. It also focused on the introduction of new and different ways of implementing planning tools.

The decentralization of powers was directed to different levels of public institutions or to particular urban territories that required new institutions to govern them. These institutions assumed the forms of regional or metropolitan public institutions while others were, for example, associations or union of local governments. They also had the powers to use tools that never existed or were never used before. In the meantime, the State kept is role of guide and, depending on the government system, had different powers and functions. While these changes were happening at the institutional level, the European territories and cities became the objects of numerous transformations. Especially, in the second half of the twentieth century, medium size cities, along with the major European cities, withstood strong suburbanization processes, which already existed since the industrial revolution, for economic and social reasons. Different parts of the populations changed the location of their residency from the central downtown site to the closest small towns. Therefore, those territories, already characterized with a strong urbanization, saw their administrative boundaries erased or confused with the ones from other small towns creating an almost completely urbanized area. In addition, over the years, those small towns became urban centers increasingly appealing for activities or industries while remaining dependent from the central city. These characteristics may be regrouped under the concept of "metropolitanisation", which is the tendency of a general integration of urban areas with their closest territories.

The areas, which are the object of "metropolitanisation" process, are characterized by a strong central city from which the other small towns depend from characterized by a strong interrelationship. They are characterized by territorial and economic dynamics, which need collaborations and cooperation between the public institutions included in the area in order to achieve a well-balanced system. The need of collaborations between public actors, the influences of private actors and the shared programming have allowed the arising of a perspective theory of governance, to explore which tools are more appropriate to the governing of these areas: metropolitan governance.

In the last decades, metropolitan governance has been the object of different changes and transformations. The institutions of metropolitan areas have changed; sometimes they were born because of top-down processes, which means they were created by the national government, while other institutions arose from a bottom up process, which means from a local territory. From the 90s, new forms of regional coordination and new type of metropolitan institutions came back in the center of the political debate and they focus on the economic side of the development of the urban systems. The competitiveness of their area had the aims of reaching international and global markets.

To better understand the elements and factors of governance, this thesis focuses on two case studies, the metropolitan city of Turin and the Hanover region, to highlight their positive and critical elements. The analysis touches upon two different levels: the overall governance framework for metropolitan governance and a number of selected planning tools. The aim of the thesis is therefore the identification of positive and negative elements of metropolitan governance in order to recognize the factors that can be consider useful, in the future, to the realization of a theoretical base which will be applicable to different territorial contexts.

Chapter 1 focuses on the definition of governance and its evolution over the years; it analyzes multi-level governance, governance arrangements and territorial governance. If, on one hand, governance has facilitated the promotion of local resources, on the other hand, it has created the variety of procedures and processes for developing only on the features of a particular territory.

Chapter 2 analyzes governance in the metropolitan areas. These areas have gained a central role in our globalized society. Their competitiveness at international level is brought to light the absence of appropriate collaborations and tools. The chapter studies the historical evolution of metropolitan governance, focusing on the typologies of institutions, the functions, the powers and the actors involved in the process.

The second part of the thesis focuses on the two selected case studies, the metropolitan city of Turin and the Hanover region. The analysis of both cases and their comparison allow for the identification of shared governance elements and of the ones that differentiate them. The analysis is conducted on two level: the governance system and selected planning tools; those are the overall strategies for development, the plans regarding the management of green areas and landscape and the transport and mobility plans.

Chapter 3 describes the adopted methodology, building on the existing literature on the topic. To study metropolitan governance in the selected cases, the thesis adopts the four ideal typical governance arrangements of Arnouts, van der Zouwen and Arts (Arnouts, v. d. Zouwen and Arts, 2011). To analyze the selected planning tools it applies the territorial governance dimensions and indicators produced by the "TANGO_ Territorial approaches for a new governance" research project in the framework of the ESPON - The European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON, 2014).

Chapter 4 describes the urban and metropolitan contexts of the case studies. It analyzes the legislative frameworks at the national and regional level, the historical development of governance's processes in the regional contexts and the selected planning tools.

Chapter 5 analyzes and underlines the positive, negative and common elements that characterize metropolitan governance framework in the metropolitan city of Turin and in the Hanover region. Similarly, it explores the various spatial planning tools and their governance implications. The observation of the two areas and of the instruments at stake is guided by the methodology described in chapter three allowing the recognition of the recurrent elements of the processes of governance.

A final section rounds off the contribution, comparing the two case studies and the tools under investigation, as well as reflecting over more general implications for the future of metropolitan governance in the selected contexts as well as in Europe.

All in all, the analysis shows how the governance approach constitute a "most suited framework" to understand that dynamics that characterize the steering of spatial development processes in complex territories. The study of the different typologies of governance highlights the necessity for a general theoretical approach to governance, to be used as a key reference to identify good practices that may play a relevant role, in every territorial contexts.

Relators: Giancarlo Cotella
Publication type: Printed
Subjects: U Urbanistica > UH Pianificazione regionale
U Urbanistica > UK Pianificazione urbana
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Pianificazione Territoriale, Urbanistica E Paesaggistico-Ambientale
Classe di laurea: UNSPECIFIED
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/4562



1.1 The rise of the governance concept

1.2 "Hollowing out" process of the government: from government to governance

1.3 Multi-level governance

1.4 A typology of government arrangements

1.4.1 Four ideal-typical government arrangements

1.5 Territorial governance: what added value?

1.6 Governance. Future prospects

1.7 Focus


2.1 Systems of cities and governance

2.2 Metropolitan governance in the 20th century

2.3 Metropolitan institution in the rescaling process

2.3.1 Major alternatives of institution of governance

2.3.2 State spatial reorganization and metropolitan reform

2.4 Metropolitan functions

2.5 Metropolitan governance: elements, doubts and considerations

2.6 Focus


3.1 Analysing and comparting metropolitan governance frameworks

3.2 Analysing and comparting spatial planning tools

3.3 The case studies: Turin and Hannover

3.4 Focus


4.1 The case of Turin

4.1.1 The Italian spatial planning system Evolution of the Italian planning system and the topic of metropolitan city The "DelRio" law and the institution of metropolitan cities

4.1.2 The metropolitan city of Turin From industrial city to strategic city Metropolization process and strategic planning history of the city

4.1.3 Strategic plans and projects in Turin The Third Strategic Plan The "Corona Verde" project The General Plan of Urban Traffic (P.G.T.U.)

4.2 The case of Hannover

4.2.1 The German spatial planning system

4.2.2 The region of Hannover History of the evolution of metropolitan governance Today's metropolitan governance

4.2.3 Planning tools of the region The Regional Plan - RROP 2005 The Landschaftsrahmenplan 2013 The Nahverkehrsplan 2015

4.3 Focus


5.1 The governance systems

5.2 Planning tools analyzed through the ESPON tango indicators

5.2.1 The strategic visions for the metropolitan regions

5.2.2 The plans for the green areas

5.2.3 The transportation plans

5.3 Focus


6.1 The governance of metropolitan regions: Turin and Hannover

6.2 Comparing metropolitan regions governance tools

6.3 Conclusive remarks




Documents and articles

Reimer M., Getimis p., Blotevoge H, (2014); Spatial Planning Systems and Practices in Europe. A Comparative Perspective on Continuity and Changes; Routledge.

Arnouts R., van der Zouwen M., Arts B. (2011); Analysing governance modes and shifts - Governance arrangements in Dutch nature policy; Forest Policy and Economics.

Arts B., Leroy P., Kubler D. (2006); Institutional Dynamics in environmental Governance, chapter 4; Springers.

Albrechts L., Healey P., Kunzmann K. R. (2010); Strategic spatial planning and regional governance in Europe-, Journal of the American Planning Association, 69:2,113-129.

Blatter J. (2003); Beyond hierarchies and networks: institutional logics and change in transboundary spaces; Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, Vol. 16, No. 4, (pp. 503-526); Blackwell Publishing.

Blatter J. K. (2006); Geographic scale and functional scope in metropolitan governance reform: theory and evidence from Germany; journal of urban affairs, Volume 28, Number 2, pages 121-150; Urban Affairs Association.

Brenner N. (2003); Metropolitan institutional reform and the rescaling of state space in contemporary Western Europe; Urban and regional Studies, 297-324; SAGE Pubblications.

Brenner N. (2003); Standortpolitik, state rescaling and the new metropolitan governance in western Europe; disp - The Planning Review, 39:152,15-25; Routledge.

Camagni R. (2012); Città, governance urbana e politiche urbane europee; disP - The Planning Review

Costa G., Gebhardt, Kemmerling H, Schlòmer C., Schmidt S. (2011); Metropolitan areas in Europe; Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR)

Davoudi S., Evans N., Govena F., Santangelo M. (2008); Territorial governance in the making. Approaches, methodologies, practices; Boletin de la A.G.E.

ESPON, (2013); ESPON TANGO - Territorial Approaches for New Governance; Final report, European Union

European Union (2009); The committee of the regions' white paper on multilevel governance; Committee of the Regions.

Gualini E. (2007); The rescaling of governance in Europe: New spatial and institutional rationales; European Planning Studies, 14:7, 881-904; Routledge.

Heinelt H., Zimmermann K. (2010); 'How Can We Explain Diversity in Metropolitan Governance within a Country?' Some Reflections on Recent Developments in Germany; International Journal of Urban and Regional Research; Joint Editors, Blackwell Publishing.

Hooge L., Marks G. (2003); Unraveling the Central State, but How? Types of Multi-level Governance; American Political Science Review, vol. 97, No. 2.

Lidström A. (2007); Territorial Governance in Transition; Regional and federal Studies

Norris D. F. (2001); Whither metropolitan governance?; urban affairs review, 532-550, Vol. 36, No. 4; Sage Publications, Inc.

Sellers J., Hoffmann-Martinot V. (2007); Metropolitan Governance; ??

Stead D. (2013); The rise of territorial governance in European policy; European Planning studies.

Van Kersbergen K., Van Waarden F. (2004); 'Governance' as a bridge between disciplines: Cross-disciplinary inspiration regarding shifts in governance and problems of governability, accountability and legitimacy; European Journal of Political Research 43: 143-171.

Küber D., (2012);"Introduction: metropolitanisation and metropolitan governance"; Department of Political Science, University of Zurich.

Italy and Metropolitan city of Turin:

Barbieri C.A., Saccomani S., Santangelo M. (2014); Riorganizzazione istituzionale e pianificazione del territorio. Riflessioni a partire dalle prossime riforme e dall'esperienza torinese; porto.polito.it

Rossignolo C., Saccomani S. (2014); Un'Europa al bivio: l'Agenda urbana europea tra nuova scelta strategica e nuova retorica condivisa; Istituto Nazionale Urbanistica, Napoli.

Saccomani S.; I processi di metropolizzazione nell'area torinese;

Saccomani S.; II progetto strategico di Torino: risultati e criticità; Dipartimento interateneo territorio, Politecnico e Università di Torino.

Saccomani S. (2011); Reflecting critically on Turin's Strategic Planning Experience; porto.polito.it

Polytechnic of Turin, DASTU, IRS (istituto per la ricerca); "Torino. Verso la strategia territoriale metropolitana"; City Regions.

Germany and Hannover Region:

Pahl-Weber E., Henckel D. (2008); The Planning System and Planning Terms in Germany. A Glossary; Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL).

Priebs A. (2002), "Die Bildung der Region Hannover und ihre Bedeutung für die Zukunft stadtregionaler Organisationsstrukturen"; Die Öffentliche Verwaltung.

Priebs A. (2014); "Regional government and regional planning in the Hanover region"; Department of Geography, Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany.

Priebs A., Tum C. (2006); "Regionalverbände: Starke Partner für die Zukunftsgestaltung in den Ballungsräumen"; Arbeitsgemeinschaft der ^Regionalverbände in

Ballungsräumen, Region Hannover.

Regional Planning team (2006); "Regional planning in the Hanover region"; spatial planning and building control, department of planning and regional development, Directorate for environment, Hanover Region.

Regional Development Studies (1999); The EU compendium of spatial planning systems and policies. Germany; European Commission.

Stabsstelle Marketing und Regionalanalyse, Fachbereich Wirtschafts- und Beschäftigungsförderung Region Hannover; "Trends und Fakten 2014"; Region Hannover.

Unbehaun M. (2013); Benvenuti presso il parlamento della Bassa Sassonia; Hanover Regional Parlament.


Torino Metropoli 2025, third strategic plan.

Piano Generale Urbano del Traffico

Regionales Raumordnungsprogramm 2015


Nahverkehrsplan 2015







Other works:

Danielzyk R., Othengrafen F., 2014; Conceptions of governance, multi-level governance and territory; Lecture at Leibniz University Hannover.

Conference "The contribution of governance research for planning theory and practice"; Leibniz university, Hannover, 19-20 March 2015.

Interview with Anna Pratt, President of Strategic Turin, November 2015.

Interview with Axel Priebs, President of Hannover Region, August 2015

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