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The Southern Problem, The Neapolitan Problem and Italian Regional Policy

D. J. Spooner
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 150, No. 1 (Mar., 1984), pp. 11-26
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/633918
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/633918
Page Count: 16
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The Southern Problem, The Neapolitan Problem and Italian Regional Policy
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Abstract

The earthquake of 1980 refocused attention in Italy upon the Southern problem and the Neapolitan problem, which both contain implicitly two facets - an attempt to understand causes, and a search for remedies in the form of government regional policy. Analysis of causes of the Southern problem increasingly emphasize the dependency relationship with the North, including its political aspects. Naples, former capital of the South, has lost its role since Italian unification and is characterized by enormous congestion problems. A substantial proportion of activity in its central 'casbah' remains 'informal'. Proper planning of the metropolitan region of Greater Naples is desperately needed. Government policies towards the South have passed through several phases, the most recent of which emphasizes 'special projects'. Industrialization, despite shortcomings, remains a central feature. Industrial development of the Naples area is heavily dependent upon state industry. The city is the focus of two special projects - anti-pollution of the Bay area, and metropolitan-scale planning. A re-thinking of policies towards the South is needed, but the introduction of the newly fashionable 'from below' approach faces major obstacles in the socio-political environment of the South.

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