Metropolitan Cities constitute the “backbone” of Italy and—through the functional and economic interrelationships with other non-metropolitan areas—contribute to the competitiveness of the nation and its local areas from a number of aspects.
Overall, the 14 Italian Metropolitan Cities:
The “snapshot” of metropolitan Italy would appear to be very heterogeneous in terms of land area, and demographic and economic weight. For example, the Metropolitan Cities covering the largest surface area are Turin (6,827 km2) and Rome (5,363 km2), while at the other extreme are Milan (1,576 km2), Genoa (1,834 km2) and Naples (1,179 km2). Turin and Milan contain, respectively, 315 and 134 municipalities, compared with Florence’s 42 and Bari’s 41. In terms of wealth generated, Milan, Rome and Turin are at the top for Added Value, with a clear gap compared with the situation of cities in Italy’s south.
The Italian Metropolitan Cities are a driver for the economy thanks to their ability to contribute to revenue creation and offer opportunities to all those who decide to invest their resources in the area. In these areas of the nation:
On an aggregate level and for the period 2007-2014, Italian Metropolitan Cities registered an average annual growth rate of the resident population of +0.4% (compared with the national average of +0.3%) and Added Value of +1.2% (compared with a 0.7% Italian average), with a more marked role, especially for the 10 Metropolitan Cities on the Italian mainland.
Trends higher than the national average are also seen for attractiveness, especially on an international level: approx. 70% of foreign direct investment (FDI) entering Italy is catalyzed by the Metropolitan Cities.
Metropolitan areas are also distinguished for being logistical hubs and strategic points of intersection for flows of people and goods, and are catalyzers of innovation and research thanks to the concentration of universities, research centers, business incubators and start-ups.
But the future of Italy and its local territories does not depend solely on the Metropolitan Cities. The non-metropolitan areas also represent a central factor for the country’s economic and social development. They offer a diversified picture, comprised of 6,719 municipalities (83.5% of the total) and nearly 40 million people (64% of the total).
This is evident on a number of levels:
The future of Italy comprised of cities and local areas will be played out on the collaboration between two levels:
For this reason, collaboration and operational interconnectedness must be promoted between Metropolitan Cities and non-metropolitan areas in order to maximize the full potential offered by their respective economic-productive and social systems, through activating synergies and pooling the assets found in the various areas to generate value for the entire country and its economy.
Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer,
The European House - Ambrosetti