In Italy, the transformative predictions of the municipal urban planning instruments are very often far away from the socio-economic dynamics related to characteristics of the territories in which they operate. In fact, the political component considers the oversizing of urban transformative projections as a solution to improve the situation of the territories in crisis for several aspects. This happens regardless of the geographical location of the municipality and even the recent regional laws on the stop/containment of land consumption are able to reverse this course, also because they often add the sentence "without prejudice to the previsions in force" or similar. In many cases it must be considered the date of approval of the urban planning instrument which over time leads to the implementation of different varying, which are necessary both to amend the urban projections and to update their contents according to the changed social, economic and environmental conditions. In particular, this work analyses the projections of the urban planning instruments in force in the coastal municipalities of Emilia-Romagna. Through this analysis, the work aims to highlight how the settlement forecasts contained in the municipal planning instruments can change the future settlement structure in the case study area. The coastal strip investigated is already highly urbanized but also home to an extremely fragile environment such as the coastal one, which is one of the most urbanized of the Mediterranean. It extends for about 150 km, equal to the 10 % of the entire Adriatic coastal sector, and it has been characterized, over time, by intense urbanization processes, particularly in the 500 m strip from the (coastline). Currently, the sections that remain free from constructions are little less than 50 km (about one third of the total extension) and they are more concentrated in areas where the environmental conditions (swampy areas, river mouths) are less suitable for urbanization. They have a population of about 525 000 units (11 % of the regional population), a value higher than the population of regions such as Molise or Valle d’Aosta, although it covers an area of about 1500 km2. Moreover, they are characterized by a population density of 350 inhabitants/km2, which is higher than both the regional value and the national value. Currently, the urbanized areas are around 290 km2 but the theoretical scenario of the plans implemented would see the urban areas rise to 340 km2 (50 % of these transformations involving the municipalities of Rimini and Ravenna). The situation is certainly more critical for the coastal strip where the current urbanization rate is about 50 % and the municipal planning instruments provide for an additional 7,5 km2 of areas that can be transformed along this area which should not be neglected from an environmental point of view. Most of these areas of urban expansion affect the residual coastal spaces, but the construction of a new tourist settlement is also planned, which would eliminate another 2 km of coastline in the municipality of Ravenna, in an area affected by 2 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC).
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