The Pla de Barris: a remarkable case of placesensitive territorial policy

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Spatial injustices are rapidly growing and, in the wake of the so called “revenge of places that don’t matter”, there is urgent need for better territorial policies. Ranging on a wide variety of contexts, territorial policies should implement strategies that are not only place-based, but also coherent, effective and place-sensitive. Aim of the paper is to give a contribution to the debate, shedding light on one lesser-known yet remarkable case of territorial policy for social cohesion. The Pla de Barris, Plan of the districts of the Catalan Region implemented between 2004 and 2010, is here investigated. The research followed two main methodologies: on one side, quantitative sociospatial analysis; on the other side the tools of policy analysis to investigate its implementation. It shows that the measure was efficient and effective in targeting spatial injustices thanks to integrated place-sensitive implementation mechanisms. A fairly balanced combination of centralized analytical apparatus, multi-level governance and involvement of the local administrations explains its success in addressing spatial injustices. There is much to learn from this experience, since this approach can make the difference in providing a coherent framework in which to develop place-sensitive interventions in deeply variable local contexts, that is the crucial point for the endurance of European Union
Urban regeneration, Urban governance, place-sensitive territorial policies, cohesion policies