The article remarks the importance of the community’s involvement in the urban planning of the Gallaratese district in Milan in the 1965-1975 decade. People’s initiatives impacted the complex dynamics about the development of this urban area, playing a crucial role in the polit-ical debate with the institutional bodies. From the first spontaneous associations to the defini-tion of a structured Neighbourhood Popular Committee, people’s initiatives impacted the com-plex dynamics about the development of this urban area, playing a crucial role in the political debate with the municipal administration. The direct involvement of the community allowed a positive evolution in territorial realities of the district in terms of quality and efficiency of physical space, escaping the classic pattern of marginalization and social inequality typical of the centre-periphery dichotomy. The Gallaratese experience witnesses that the public action is more successful when the local administration, which governs the urban transformation pro-cesses, accepts to confront with the community or is forced to do so.
Keywords: popular participation, urban planning, urban landscape, Gallaratese, Milan.