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Environmental protection issues are gaining increasing relevance in the framework of regional and local planning. The protection and enhancement of ecological networks is one of the most significant factors, in connection with sustainable urban water management.
Several countries are revising their planning systems, in order to translate into practice the principles of ecological sustainability.
An overview of iconic examples of river ecosystem restoration within some of the most populous European urban areas showed how river restoration could give the spur to urban rehabilitation programs, giving the opportunity to increase urban quality.
This paper presents Campania regional policies regarding water protection and sustainable water management, and their influence on Provincial and Municipal planning practice, using as case study a group of fourteen municipalities located within one the most critical river basins, i.e. Sarno Valley. A research carried out by the University of Naples Federico II investigated the effects of water protection policies on municipal plans in Campania Region. The study showed that, roughly fifteen years after the regional legislative reform of 2004, the renewal rate of urban plans is still low. A deeper analysis of local planning state of the art, carried out through local plan collection and comparison, interviews and review of municipal databases, underlined the poor consideration put on sustainable water management by local planners.
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