Different Forms of Welfare Provision for Diverse Suburban Fabrics: Three Examples From Italy

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access | Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 16 May 2022

Different Forms of Welfare Provision for Diverse Suburban Fabrics: Three Examples From Italy


  • Lorenzo De Vidovich Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy


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Abstract:  Over the last 20 years, suburbanization has gradually turned into a key topic of analysis, whereas welfare policies have faced a significant public reconfiguration towards the local scale of provision and the development of local welfare systems. Combined in such a way, these two statements tell us little, and they appear to be separate and without any relation. This article aims at building the analytical and research interplays between these two topics. In so doing, the article addresses the governance and planning of local welfare services in suburbs, entwined with the post-suburban theoretical frame. By identifying the issues at stake—that is, the governance of welfare and services—the analysis investigates the uneven socio-spatial polarizations that are currently emerging in metropolitan areas. The research bridges a research gap between the unevenness of the suburban expansion and the changing provision of welfare services. The article discusses these insights with three Italian cases from the edges of the three main metropolitan areas: Milan, Rome, and Naples. The empirical discussion, which relies on the outcomes of qualitative fieldwork activities, discusses and compares the differentiation of welfare provision and the relevant diverse “suburban societies” amongst the three contexts. Through this focus, the article points out that a heterogeneous and unequal spatial distribution of basic services and social infrastructures is to be found amongst the constellation of towns located on the outskirts of an urban core.

Keywords:  extended urbanization; governance; Italy; post-suburbia; suburbs; welfare

Published:   Ahead of Print

Issue:   The Resilient Metropolis: Planning in an Era of Decentralization (Forthcoming)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v7i3.5405


© Lorenzo De Vidovich. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.