The Action Plan: Strategies and Actions

The action plan is the result of a strategic planning process that defines -through an integrated and concerted approach - strategic lines, objectives, and actions for the river basin’s future.

The proposed method is to adopt a “private sector strategic planning” applied to the public sector (Bryson and Roering 1987; Moccia 2000) based on a sequence of operations: initial agreement, mission statement, internal and external analysis carried out through SWOT analysis, strategy development, and action plan.

The initial agreement and mission statement are two consecutive steps coming from the sharing of the integrated knowledge framework of the area and an understanding of relevant resources and problems observed. On these issues, it is possible to start an agreement with a common path in mind; that’s the reason why also the methodology to adopt in the process is discussed and shared in this preliminary stage (Fig. 6.4). All the involved actors must be convinced of adopting the chosen approach.

One significant stage is that of the internal and external environment analysis, whose main goal should be to be comprehensive and is really difficult to achieve

Future scenario for the Irno valley (Source

Fig. 6.4 Future scenario for the Irno valley (Source: Laboratorio Piano Territoriale e Paesaggistico, students: Sacco A., HAO W.)

The map of strategies (Source

Fig. 6.5 The map of strategies (Source: Laboratorio Piano Territoriale e Paesaggistico, students: Calderazzo C., D’Alterio S., Di Bonito G., Murolo S.)

(Moccia 2005, 21). In the internal environment, strengths and weaknesses of the studied area are pointed out; in the external environment, opportunities and threats concerning the possibility of change of the area are indicated. The unit of measurement for this analysis is given by the mission statement.

The strategic territorial scenario is the support of the strategy development and consists in a large-scale map in which it is possible to read the future development of the area according to the strategies shared by participants in the river contract process (Fig. 6.5). The map aims to indicate the areas subject to urban and landscape change making comprehensible and easy to read spatial and functional relationships among the various proposed strategies in the chosen large-scale section.

Usually action plans focus on the following issues: river landscape fruition, pollution and ecosystem functioning, hydraulic and hydrogeological risk, accessibility, and energy production by renewable sources. Actions pertain not only to the regional scale but concern also detail issues, such as the ordinary maintenance and management of river territories or agreements on land uses.

Also the involved stakeholders, their relative duties and commitments, the time line and the implementation process, and necessary financial and human resources are included in the action plan that participants in the river contract share and commit to carry out signing an agreement.

Adopting an integrated approach, involving citizens and local forces coming from different fields in the river contract process is useful to have a good knowledge of critical situations in the area and prepare effective solutions, but it also increases the awareness of water resource’s value. It works both at administrative and territorial level, pushing different institutions to coordinate and assume an interscalar approach and involving interested citizens to take part in the choices regarding the future of river landscape. This approach provides more satisfactory actions fitting local interests and the possibility of mobilizing both public and private resources and combining foreseen changes with adequate management plans.

In the absence of stakeholders, in our simulations, the process has just a training significance and shows the limits that factors involved in the SWOT analysis are only those emerging from the knowledge exercise without the expression of the willingness of responsible actors.

 
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