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Integrating Experiences: Palermo Mediterranean Gateway City. Identity and Innovation


Metropolitan transformations of the Palermo as a Mediterranean city, guided by envisioning it as a “fluid” gateway city, has been seen as an example for the planning of other such cities in Italy and Europe. The 2025 strategic vision for Palermo was inspired by three key components: (i) the relevance of Palermo as “hub territory” in European level concerns in territorial and infrastructure development policies; (ii) the urban and regional experience with the concept “fluid city” (envisioning the city as a portal and place of interaction and exchanges, not just in terms of goods and people); and (iii) new metropolitan vision produced by new regional and national legislation on metropolitan areas. This chapter develops an understanding of how the strategic spatial plan, approved by the City Council in 2016, selected these issues and connected them in one coherent vision, both at urban and metropolitan level. The first sections trace the emergence of the plan. One concluding section reflects on the relevance of an innovative approach to the “smart city” for Palermo’s urban strategies. Main conclusions summarize development and emphasize on a need for conceptual integration.