Decision traceability and the strategic choice approach: the potential for revision of the city plan

Roberto Picchianti


This article is placed into strategic choice planning studies (Friend, Jessop; 1969, 1977). This is an important trend in urban planning that has had many applications over the last 40 years, at both European and international levels.
The article presents a decision-making process method and an organisation of documentation that characterises the construction of the old structure plan of Grosseto (2006) . Every stage of the Grosseto structure plan was documented, with 486 steps from the initial setup to the final approval. The process was traced on an easily accessible platform, which is documented and explained in the article .
This research can be summarised as follows: a town plan constructed using the strategic choice approach, accompanied by an appropriate traceable memory system, represents an advantage for implementing the plan and its use for a general review or complete reformulation.
Future developments of this approach (Scattoni, 2018) are based on this decision traceability process, but they turn the platform into a system that maintains all features with low software requirements and maintenance costs. In this application, userscan access a unique database.
This research aims to verify two aspects of urban planning in Italy that are not always adequately addressed and documented. The first concerns the coherence between strategic choices and the implementation document. In fact, for some years, urban planning in most regional planning laws distinguishes two phases: the structure plan and the operational plan (piano operativo o regolamentourbanistico).  It is assumed that the availability of a decision-making database can serve that purpose. The second aim is to demonstrate that the traceability of the plan’s decision-making process can be of the utmost utility for updating the plan itself.  After a decade of the Grosseto structure plan’s implementation, the local government was called on to revise it. Through interviews for this research with the main actors of the two urban planning tools, a first evaluation can be made.


strategic choice approach;traceability;structure plan;memory of planning;development plan;Grosseto;decision area

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ISSN: 2239-267X

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