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Alessandro Balducci

One year in the position of deputy-mayor for urban planning in the city of Milan gave me the opportunity to look from inside what I normally used to study from outside. My academic background was relevant in different ways: it provided me with a deep knowledge of the city; it supported me in gaining recognition and trust from the Mayor and my colleagues; it helped me in using the typical academic technique of meeting with peers not to be overwhelmed by events. Beyond what was already defined, I took some new initiatives with the general objective of bringing quality projects in peripheral areas: selling public assets to reinvest in the periphery; organizing a task forces to develop priority projects; launching a co-planning initiative with internal municipal districts and external municipalities. I coped with issues of participation, conflicts and political controversies, holding that being equipped with sound planning theories is certainly helpful but does not prevent failure.