Institutional and structural changes have been needed to ensure continued development in cities across Europe given the recent years of economic crisis. Working together in this vein, today Confesercenti Firenze and Fondazione Sviluppo Urbano presented a new model for urban development: Newtown Italia.
A panel of scholars, experts and professionals in the field of urban development set the stage in describing the areas opportune for advancement. Until recently, Confesercenti Firenze had followed the paradigm “if commerce lives, so does the city”. Now they have also taken up the reverse, acknowledging the existence of a symbiotic relationship between social and economic development. Most involved mentioned the current scarcity of resources, indicating that greater collaboration between public and private institutions would prove advantageous in achieving their objective. Citing the fact that Italian cities now compete for attention nationally and internationally, and that Florence, like many Italian cities, relies heavily on tourism, they stressed a social and economic evolution with the end goal of cities being more attractive places in which to live and visit.
To accomplish this goal, Newtown Italia proposes the formation of a group of people responsible for choosing overall strategies for urban development, led by a town center manager. Using both physical and digital means and employing city, regional, European and private funding, this new structure would allow better communication, leading to more direct and effective realization of their ambitions.