Public interventions aimed at regenerating rundown urban areas are an important part of regional development policies. The paper estimates the effects on the evolution of population and local economic conditions of some interventions that took place in small and medium-sized cities in the Centre and North of Italy over the period 2008-12.
The projects were mostly directed towards improving the public realm. Part of the resources was also spent on improving housing quality and on subsidies for stimulating local growth. On average, the interventions did not have any effect on population dynamics and local economic conditions. Only the largest scale interventions that focused on the public realm have led to an increase in house prices, which can be explained by the increased attractiveness of the area.