The UTRAS research is one of the researches that the Planning Studies Centre has developed in the frame of the QUADROTER research over many years.
In the area of theoretical studies on the organisation of the city and on the urban effect (from the first researches on the ‘City-region' to the researches on the requirements of the Urban systems, carried out by the Centre under the coordination of Prof F. Archibugi) and in the area of experimentations concerning the Italian territory which the Centre has developed, at various occasions (regional plans, Progetto 80 , QUADROTER etc.), a concept and the zoning of policies of environmental and historical-cultural recovery have been consolidated, which have been concluded with the identification of special ‘territorial Units of environmental and historical-cultural recovery' (in Italian, ‘Unita' territoriali di recupero ambientale e storico', hence UTRAS), for which the present research represents an attempt and a proposal, applicable to the Italian territory.
The research (in its latest version of 1994) has been developed with the contribution of the National Research Council (CNR) and also the Raffaello Programme of the European Union. The research has produced a publication by Prof. F. Archibugi in which the theoretical and practical aspects of identification and management of UTRAS are being confronted.
The research concluded proposing the planning of about 300 territorial structures allocated on the Italian territory, for the qualification and the environmental and historical-cultural recovery. These have been identified and defined as components of a more general national policy of urban Systems and have been called – in the documents and works which have defined and supported such a policy – ‘special sub-systemic structures' or ‘environmental under-systems'.
The UTRAS Research Report (only in Italian) (for which see here the index (only in Italian)) discusses and defines a policy for these sub-systems situating them in the broader framework of a policy of urban systems, in the way already defined (first Chapter).
But the main object of the research was that of better defining the nature and typology of the systemic units (as far as it hadn't been done yet), obviously at a general and schematic level (second Chapter).
In the first chapter, in a first part the principles and methods of a policy of describing urban systems are being recalled – again, in brief and with cross-references to the indicated sources, aim and method of implementation. And in a second part, reasons and strategies of participation of the above mentioned sub-systemic units (highly thought of by themselves) have been further discussed.
The report places itself, therefore, in the line of critical deepening studies of the urban systems policy and in that of one of its further deepening studies; a research line that the Planning Studies Centre has followed for many years with specific contributions by researchers who gradually have gathered around the centre.
One can also view the Maps of 300 UTRAS as identified by the research on a national scale, divided into the country's three big districts: North , Central and South.
Finally, one can view a sample of an Index card of municipal settlement (only in Italian) of each UTRAS, of which the catalogue of the UTRAS proposals is composed, also enclosed to the research.