European Planning Studies vol:22 issue:2 pages:400-417
The paper aims at investigating the changes in the Italian planning system that took place in the last two decades. It is of interest because different directions of changes and combination of modes, tools and approaches have been developed and experimented. Such a plethora of changes however has been developed without a sound national reform capable to provide a legislative, disciplinary and cultural framework. At the same time, though, the condition of legislative immobility at the national level has characterized an unexpected experimenting ground for different actors and approaches at different administrative levels. In order to present its arguments, the paper combines an institutionalist approach with a strategic relational perspective as starting point for the identification of the main interpretative categories
for the processes of change. The modernization of the planning system can be investigated through its actors and the achieved innovations, its institutional path dependencies, as well as its cultural planning divergences. As a concluding consideration, we wonder if in occasion of the challenges that the ongoing socio-economic and institutional crisis has brought, the accumulated planning cultural capital can be the base ground for a new possible reforming season that would put order to a rich but scattered situation.