Giancarlo Cotella

Giancarlo Cotella
Politecnico di Torino | polito · DIST - Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning

(Ph.D; M.Arch.)
(Vice-)Secretary General of the Association of European Schools of Planning

About

183
Publications
45,117
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,312
Citations
Citations since 2017
106 Research Items
1108 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Introduction
I participated in several international research projects, including MILESECURE-2050 and the ESPON projects FOCI, TANGO, COMPASS, URRUC, SUPER and METRO. I'm currently involved in the Horizon project GreenFORCE, aiming at enlarging the EU research area to the Western Balkan Region. My research focuses on the comparative analysis of spatial governance and planning systems in Europe and beyond, and in particular on the influence of the European Union on their evolution.
Additional affiliations
April 2016 - present
Politecnico di Torino
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
December 2011 - March 2016
Politecnico di Torino
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
October 2011 - December 2012
RPTU - Rheinland-Pfälzische Technische Universität Kaiserslautern Landau
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
February 2006 - June 2006
Newcastle University
Field of study
  • European spatial planning
January 2005 - May 2009
Politecnico di Torino
Field of study
  • Spatial planning and local development
September 1998 - July 2004
Politecnico di Torino
Field of study
  • Architecture

Publications

Publications (183)
Chapter
The chapter investigates the evolution of the “sustainable neighbour-hoods” paradigm in Italy, drawing on a selection of initiatives developed through time also as a consequence of the incremental consolidation of a European and national legislation on the matter. The case studies are analysed through a grid developed in the framework of the Erasmu...
Chapter
Metropolitan areas progressively joined cities as catalysts of European development, putting traditional governance models into crisis and triggering episodes of institutional experimentation. Also the European Union has progressively adapted its cohesion policy to cater to the needs of metropolitan areas, and arguments in this direction have multi...
Book
Full-text available
In concomitanza con la XXIII Conferenza Nazionale SIU “DOWNSCALING, RIGHTSIZING. Contrazione demografica e riorganizzazione spaziale”, svoltasi a Torino dal 16 al 18 giugno 2021, la Società Italiana degli Urbanisti ha organizzato il workshop YOUNGERSIU 2021, rivolto a dottorandi e giovani assegnisti di ricerca attivi nell’ambito dell’associazione....
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: The global urban development frameworks defined by the United Nations are circulating worldwide and a race towards their domestic adoption has risen since the approval of the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Their institutionalization at the domestic level is favoured by the rather aseptic "urban paradig...
Article
Full-text available
After almost two decades of life, the EJSD has come to an important shift in its organisation. This piece is the expression of the editorial team’s wish to guide the readers through the changes that have occurred, both in the journal’s editorial structure and in its technical arrangement. At the same time, it is an occasion to highlight the ideas u...
Article
Full-text available
The EU integration process contributes to influence the ongoing institutional changes in the Western Balkans. At the same time, the incremental inflow of Chinese capital in the region that followed the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative is progressively reshaping power relations there. This article sheds light on the interaction between these t...
Article
Full-text available
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the Western Balkans have embarked on a complex path of transition and societal transformation, that was intended to eventually lead to their integration into the European Union. The pace of this process has, however, varied, with some countries already having acquired membership, while others still struggling. Terr...
Article
Spatial governance and planning systems empower the public authority to steer and control spatial development. Whereas most comparative studies on how this occurs focus on the European continent, less knowledge is available on the global South incre-mental urbanisation. The cases of three Latin American countries-Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru-are here dis...
Article
Full-text available
The pivotal role that urbanisation plays in global development trajectories is clearly acknowledged by the United Nations 2030 Agenda that, among its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, explicitly argues in favour of cities and human settlements to be more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG11). Whereas SDG11 targets are paired with one o...
Chapter
The contribution explores how the different spatial planning laws that characterise the Italian regions approach sustainable land-use issues and what implications for instruments and practices they entail. At first, the national situation on soil consumption is presented, drawing on existing studies. Then, the analysis shifts its focus to how susta...
Chapter
The decarbonization of cities implies a complex transition where energy solutions are conceived as social configurations which have emerged contingently in particular institutional and spatial contexts. Within this framework, neighbourhood energy communities have recently gained attention due to their multi-agent character and the deriving governan...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The METRO project focuses on European metropolitan areas, their governance and the role they play in the European Union (EU) cohesion policy framework.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This Annex to the final Report presents and discusses in a comparative manner the evidence collected in the nine case studies that have been explored in the framework of the ESPON Targeted Analysis METRO – The role and future perspectives of cohesion policy in the planning of Metropolitan Areas and Cities. More in detail, the document synthesises a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This policy brief seeks to unpack the multiple added value of the European Union (EU) cohesion policy in metropolitan areas by exploring its priorities, funds and geographical distribution as well as the successful outcomes. Starting from the idea that the metropolitan scale is the most relevant to deal with those 'functional' issues that have a sc...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The scope of the ESPON METRO project is rather broad, as its research positions at the intersection of a number of fields, ranging from territorial governance and spatial planning, to public administration and policy analysis and European integration studies, up to regional development studies.
Article
Full-text available
The article provides an overview of the legal and administrative aspects of spatial governance and planning and of the related challenges. The legal dimension of spatial planning, administrative spatial planning traditions, as well as different frameworks and conditions for the governance of territorial regions are briefly introduced. On this basis...
Article
Full-text available
The European Union identifies the regional level as the ideal spatial scale for resources’ redistribution, in so doing turning European regions into key spatial development players. This raises challenges due to the heterogeneity of the EU in terms of administrative configurations, and spatial governance and planning systems. The contribution of th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Since 2000, approximately 250 football fields of land (180 ha) have been converted to urban use in Europe every day. This development far outstrips population growth; urbanisation occurs even in shrinking regions. In Europe, the conversion of land to urban use is the outcome of conscious decisions. The purpose of this policy brief is to provide cit...
Article
Nelle aree rurali e montane ‘interne', la riflessione sull'accessibilità implica un cambio di prospettiva rispetto ai contesti più propriamente urbani. Migliorare l'accessibilità di questi territori significa agire su più fronti, non solo potenziando l'offerta di mobilità ma anche agendo sul capitale territoriale locale, (ri)portando servizi, conos...
Chapter
Italy’s development backbone is characterised by a polycentric network of small and medium size municipalities alongside few core metropolitan areas. Within this framework, municipalities compete to attract investments, increasingly so as a consequence of the incremental cuts to local public budget occurred since the 2000. Municipal authorities hav...
Book
Full-text available
Rural Accessibility in European Regions explores concepts, methodologies, and case studies dealing with accessibility in European rural areas, embracing cultural, socioeconomic, and governance aspects that play a key role for accessibility policies in rural and peripheral areas. In the first part, the chapters introduce rural accessibility challeng...
Chapter
The county of Marina Alta, better known for its capital and reference tourist settlement Dénia, features the rural–urban connectivity challenges of similar coastal territories all over Spain. When discussing rural–urban connectivity in coastal tourist areas, either in the North, South, West, or East of the country, some features repeat: poor transp...
Chapter
Rural areas in Europe are characterised by a number of accessibility challenges that are related and also contribute to worsening their poor socioeconomic conditions. Low density, scattered demand, and large distance from the centres where services of general interest are located are typical features of these areas, that often struggle to invert th...
Chapter
In this chapter, the editors provide their reflections on the insights presented in the various empirical chapters, with particular focus on the accessibility challenges that characterise the territories under scrutiny and on the methodologies and approaches that were adopted in each case. In particular, the contribution first presents and compares...
Chapter
This chapter proposes a multilayer approach to rural accessibility, aimed to understand its main challenges and to develop guidelines and recommendations for European non-metropolitan regions. The methodology has been conceived for and applied to the territories under scrutiny in the context of the ESPON URRUC project, and allowed to explore the mu...
Chapter
Italy is characterised by an historical network of cities and villages spread across the country. In a large part of the territory, people’s quality of life is negatively affected by the distance from services of general interest. Valle Arroscia, a small valley in the Maritime Alps suffering from rural-to-urban migration and marginalisation, is a t...
Chapter
The last three decades have seen the Western Balkan Region facing several institutional, economic, social, and territorial transformation. Since the early 1990s, the region has undergone radical changes that have paved the way for a diversity of territorial development models. This chapter identifies and details the main territorial challenges and...
Chapter
Since the collapse of the communist regimes and the beginning of the transition period, territorial governance and spatial planning in the Western Balkans have often been marginalized within the academic and policy debates. Acknowledging this gap, this introductory chapter sets out the context for the book, presenting its aims and rationale and pro...
Chapter
As the various contributions included in the volume show, since the beginning of the 1990s, territorial development and governance in the Western Balkans have been subjected to drastic and tumultuous transformations. Drawing on the arguments developed by the different authors, this concluding chapter summarizes the main messages of the book and ill...
Chapter
Full-text available
A partire dalla seconda metà del secolo scorso, il modo di intendere il ruolo e la natura dell’azione pubblica finalizzata al governo del territorio è mutato considerevolmente. I sistemi urbani e territoriali sono stati progressivamente interessati da livelli di interdipendenza sempre maggiori tra flussi, attori, istituzioni e funzioni (Stoker, 199...
Book
Full-text available
The demographic issue occupies a central role on the political agenda after more than a year of pandemic, which has fuelled the debate on population density and the qualities and risks of its various forms of spatial organisation. The book draws attention to a structural factor: due to the combination of low birth rate and high longevity, Italy has...
Article
Over 4 billion people live in cities today, six times as many as in 1950. In the European Union (EU) the share of urban population reached 75 per cent of the total, and 2050 scenarios forecast an additional increase of ten points. Until a few months ago, these trends were considered irreversible; the downsides of increasing concentration were seen...
Article
Full-text available
The incremental recognition of the importance of land as a finite resource has led to the adop-tion and implementation of an increasing number of sustainable land use practices in European cities and regions. This paper reflects on these experiences, building on the evidence collected in the framework of the ESPON SUPER pan-European research projec...
Book
Full-text available
A partire dalla seconda metà del secolo scorso, il modo di intendere il ruolo e la natura dell’azione pubblica è mutato considerevolmente, e i sistemi urbani e territoriali sono stati progressivamente interessati da livelli di interdipendenza sempre maggiori tra flussi, attori, istituzioni e funzioni (Stoker, 1998; Davoudi et al., 2009). In tale ot...
Chapter
Full-text available
L’attenzione sulla sostenibilità dei processi di sviluppo e delle trasformazioni spaziali che essi comportano è cresciuta fin dagli anni ’80. Il progetto di ricerca ESPON SUPER ha esplorato, attraverso analisi quantitative e qualitative, la capacità dei sistemi europei di governo del territorio di gestire i processi di urbanizzazione in un’ottica s...
Chapter
A partire dalla seconda metà degli anni ’80, l'Unione europea (Ue) si è dotata di un'agenda territoriale sempre più esplicita. Tale processo ha favorito l’integrazione dei sistemi di governo del territorio degli Stati membri (Berisha e al., 2020, Cotella e al., 2020. Vedi inoltre il contributo di Janin Rivolin in questo volume) all’interno di un qu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Territorial imbalances between catalysts of development and lagging areas are raising concerns in the majority of European regions. The divide between main urban nodes and marginal territories poses serious development challenges. The polarization of social, economic and cultural opportunities in urban areas and the phenomena of ageing, depopulatio...
Chapter
Full-text available
A partire dalla seconda metà del secolo scorso, il modo di intendere il ruolo e la natura dell’azione pubblica è mutato considerevolmente, e i sistemi urbani e territoriali sono stati progressivamente interessati da livelli di interdipendenza sempre maggiori tra flussi, attori, istituzioni e funzioni (Stoker, 1998; Davoudi et al., 2009). In tale ot...
Book
This book offers a multifaceted overview of the evolution of spatial development, governance and planning in the Western Balkans from an institutionalist perspective. Written by experts in the field, it features various regional and national studies covering topics such as regional and spatial planning, territorial development and governance, and r...
Chapter
The European Union Cohesion Policy supports the development of European regions since the end of the 1980s, despite the lack of supranational spatial planning competences. As reported through time by numerous studies, this has triggered important changes in the Member States’ territorial administration, regional and urban policies, spatial planning...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Call for Papers Special Issue on Sustainable spatial planning of tourism destinations Call for papers for the special issue of European Spatial Research and Policy (2022, vol. 29, no. 2) journal on sustainable spatial planning of tourism destinations has already been announced. ESR&P journal is indexed in Web of Science ESCI and Scopus Elsevier....
Book
Full-text available
Annual Review of Territorial Governance in the Western Balkans is a periodical publication with select policy briefs on matters related to territorial governance, sketching the present situation, the Europeanisation process, the policy and the research and development agenda for the near future. The publication targets policy-makers and policy-in u...
Article
Full-text available
During the last few decades, extreme weather events and global and regional economic crises have been forcing us to rethink the way that governments approach territorial development. The inherent links between social, economic, and ecological systems are proving to be increasingly significant, and exist only in a complex whole characterised by mult...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Since the first examples of human settlements, land has been subject to transformations. With the industrial revolution and in particular after the Second World War, land transformation has become more intense in terms of overexploitation of natural resources. Only recently, however, have policy and decision makers acknowledged the importance of la...
Article
Full-text available
To achieve the international emission reduction targets, current researches underline the need to overcome the dominant techno-centric approaches to energy transition, in favor of analyses that explore in more detail those practices and organizational assets that play a role in favoring a transition towards a low-carbon society. In this light, the...
Book
Full-text available
[of one chapter] Cities have been at the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis. Whereas this lasts true globally, it is especially so in the European continent, where the urban population accounts for almost 75 percent of the total. Whereas they were better equipped than the rest of their country to respond to the pandemic, due to their well-developed h...
Article
La sfida dello sviluppo regionale nel nostro paese è stata tradizionalmente intesa in termini di riduzione del divario fra il nord e il sud del paese, una conseguenza dei livelli di sviluppo che hanno caratterizzato il territorio italiano sin dall’unificazione (Bonavero et al., 1999). Sebbene molte iniziative siano state messe in atto nel tempo al...
Article
Trent'anni di analisi comparate hanno mostrato che i sistemi di governo del territorio sono tecnologie istituzionali che esercitano in modi diversi la funzione di controllo pubblico delle trasformazioni spaziali. L'articolo utilizza i materiali di lavoro della ricerca ESPON COMPASS per proporre una tipologia complessiva dei sistemi europei sotto qu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The COVID-19 crisis has forced us to rethink how and where we should live our lives. Moreover, with the land development system now on hold in most parts of Europe, a unique window of opportunity has opened up to question whether this system is capable of delivering the natural and built environment we want for ourselves and for our children. Do we...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Suggestions abound on interventions to promote sustainable urbanisation and land use, as witnessed by myriad declarations and manifestos on good spatial planning practices. These ranges from the New Urbanism movement in North America to, in Europe, the European Spatial Development Perspective, the Territorial Agenda of the European Union, the Leipz...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In ESPON SUPER, the case studies contribute to the objective of unravelling how different interventions in diverse social, environmental and economic settings have transformed land-use development practices. In particular, the aim is to analyse, understand and learn from the successes and failures of practitioners and decision makers over the last...
Book
Full-text available
Guides help you do things. You turn to them when you need to find out how to solve a problem. They are a form of knowledge transfer, written by experts in a way that is accessible and helpful to a wide audience. This guide was written by the researchers engaged in the ESPON 2020 applied research project on Sustainable Urbanisation and Land-Use Prac...
Article
Full-text available
Until recently, comparative spatial planning researchhad mostly focused on the European continent. Since the end of the 1980s, a growing number of studies contributed to the proliferation of theoretical and methodological approaches, as well as to a further definition of the object of study. Comparisons focusing on other parts of the World are much...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the lack of competence on the matter, through time the European Union (EU) developed a number of spatially relevant concepts, initiatives and sectoral directives. An EU territorial governance framework progressively consolidated and the Member States gradually adapted in order to reflect its growing complexity. Building on the results of th...
Chapter
Territorial imbalances between catalysts of development and lagging areas are raising concerns in the majority of European regions. The divide between main urban nodes and marginal territories poses serious development challenges. The polarization of social, economic and cultural opportunities in urban areas and the phenomena of ageing, depopulatio...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Even though the ADRION countries have been converging, on average, with EU27 for the period 2007-2018, they still present a heterogeneous set of countries spanning from EU higher-income group, the intermediate-income Croatia and non-EU lower-income countries - when measured as GDP per capita in PPS1. During that same period, the GDP PPS differences...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic raises questions on the ever-growing urban concentration that characterizes our society and various experts are pointing out the need to rethink our cities. At the same time, a number of voices advocate for a rediscovery of the rural. However naive they may sound, these claims have the merit to call for a thorough reflection o...
Chapter
Full-text available
Parlare di accessibilità in aree rurali e montane “interne” implica un cambio di prospettiva rispetto ai contesti più propriamente urbani, in ragione di densità insediative particolarmente basse e di distanze considerevoli dai servizi di base e dalle opportunità di lavoro e di svago. Migliorare l’accessibilità di questi territori significa quindi a...
Chapter
Full-text available
Trent’anni di studi comparativi sui sistemi di governo del territorio in Europa evidenziano l’eterogeneità di tali “tecnologie istituzionali”. In particolare, la capacità di controllo pubblico dello sviluppo spaziale, aspetto cruciale della vita di intere città e regioni, varia da contesto a contesto. L’articolo utilizza i materiali raccolti durant...
Chapter
Full-text available
Il grado di sostenibilità dell’uso del suolo dipende, da un lato, dai processi socioeconomici che alimentano le trasformazioni spaziali e, dall’altro, dall’efficacia degli strumenti di governo del territorio volti a regolare tali processi. Sull’argomento il programma ESPON ha recentemente avviato il progetto di ricerca Sustainable Urbanisation and...
Article
Full-text available
Rural territories are worse equipped than urban ones in terms of accessibility to services and opportunities, due to their scattered development and peripheral character. Increasing cuts to loss-making services in traditional public transport contributed to increased social inequality and marginality, in so doing undermining the livability of rural...
Article
This symposium presents the results of a roundtable of well-known European spatial planning scholars critically engaging with Andreas Faludi's The Poverty of Territorialism. A Neo-Medieval View of Europe and of European Spatial Planning (2018). The book allows readers to rethink the current debates surrounding territorialism in the context of the E...
Book
Full-text available
All Western Balkan countries share, despite their diversity and idiosyncrasies, a common aspiration for a future within the European Union, similarities with respect to development and integration agendas, as well as face imperfections of their planning systems and Territorial Governance (TG) practices. The current socio-political ambitions and reg...
Chapter
Regional development challenges in Italy have traditionally been framed in terms of a north–south divide, a path-dependent consequence of the different levels of development that had characterised the country’s territory since its unification in 1861 (Bonavero, Dematteis and Sforzi, 1999). Whereas a number of initiatives were put in place through t...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable land use depends on both the socioeconomic processes that trigger spatial development and the effectiveness of spatial governance tools that aim to regulate these processes. The ESPON Sustainable Urbanization and land-use Practices in European Regions (SUPER) research project aims to analyze the main land-use dynamics in Europe, looking...
Article
Although the functions of spatial governance and planning systems are generalizable, 30 years of comparative studies, especially in Europe, have shown the heterogeneity characterising these ‘institutional technologies’. This contribution builds on the materials of the recently concluded ESPON COMPASS research project to propose a European typology...
Chapter
The three months of intensive teaching in the postgraduate programme European Module in Spatial Development Planning (EMSDP) have been a life-changing experience for many people like us. We attended the EMSDP in 2006, and life has not been the same since! In this short piece, we hope to give a flavour of how the programme worked, what it generated...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines how spatial planning systems have changed in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece in times of economic recession and austerity politics, in amid pressures of external actors, and local conditions and traditions. We analyse the round of reforms of spatial planning and territorial governance implemented by national governments unde...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The objective of the 'Urban-Rural connectivity in Non-Metropolitan Areas' project (URRUC) is to contribute to understanding of how to improve connectivity and accessibility in Non-Metropolitan regions within the EU. Metropoles are classified according to population, territories where a large urban centre(s), 250,000 persons or more, serves as the f...
Article
Full-text available
The Western Balkan Region (WBR) is currently undergoing a complex process of integration into the European Union (EU) that is supported by a number of programmes and actions. In the last decade, however, a new and cumbersome set of actors entered the game. The launch of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has triggered a growing influx of foreig...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Urban and rural areas are increasingly connected and integrated, socially and economically. A recent OECD report shows that 80% of the rural population lives close to cities. The traditional split between urban and rural areas in Europe is no longer relevant. The lines have been blurred, initially by industrialising processes and later by improved...
Technical Report
Full-text available
1 Conceptual and Methodological Framework 2 Methodological approach to URRUC 2.1 Top-down, bottom up approaches 2.2 Adapted methodological process 3 Understanding Urban-Rural Linkages 3.1 Overview of the different types of urban-rural linkages 3.2 Identifying the relevant urban-rural linkages in ESPON URRUC 4 Case Studies Implementation and Rec...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This case study forms part of the URRUC project and relates to the territory of Province of Imperia – Valle Arroscia, a non-metropolitan district located in the Liguria Region, Italy. The case study is split into five sections. Firstly, a contextual background of Province of Imperia and Valle Arroscia is presented which contains details of the terr...
Technical Report
Full-text available
As explicitly stated in the Terms of Reference, one of the main outcomes of the URRUC project was the development of “policy recommendations to further strengthening transport policy and systems related to urban-rural connectivity and interaction in non-metropolitan regions targeting actors and policy makers in the regions and countries of the stak...