Since the end of World War II, the Italian governments approved many national long-term plans that represented an intense effort to cope with economic and social change: infrastructural plans, agricultural plans, energy plans, social housing plans, multi annual plans for economic development. No national spatial plan was ever approved. Nevertheless, most of the long-term sectorial plans that were discussed in those years embodied strong spatial visions, in a more or less explicit way. The essay focuses on the major plans for economic development prepared between 1946 and 1973 and analyzes the territorial visions that led the interpretations and inspired the planning choices. Four types of spatial images prevail in these documents: Italy’s territory was alternatively seen as a resource, as a support, as a vehicle for progress, or, finally, as a scene for everyday’s life. These images can provide a helpful tool for understanding the roles and the forms of the urban discourse in the Italian national policy during the Fifties and the Sixties.
Keywords: Post-war Italy, National plans, Nerritorial visions, Economic planning