Where a national school for managers of local authorities is born

Where a national school for managers of local authorities is born

The intervention of Professor Federico Pirro

Exactly one year ago, the City School project conceived, developed and promoted by Prof. Gianfranco Dioguardi and his Foundation was presented in the Aula Magna of the Aldo Moro University which, in the light of the long experience of the university teacher and entrepreneur – author for the occasion of a valuable volume entitled For a new science of city government, Donzelli 2017 – has increasingly acutely felt the need for advanced administrative training not only for those who are called by the popular vote to govern cities, but also top and intermediate figures who ensure the functioning of the institutional systems responsible for providing services and various utilities to citizens and businesses.

And in the realization of a project that immediately qualified for its high scientific profile, the promoter involved the University of Bari led by the Rector prof. Stefano Bronzini and Anci, the National Association of Municipalities of Italy, chaired by Eng. Antonio Decaro, Mayor of the regional capital, who immediately adhered to the proposal made to them, thinking, the University, of the study opportunities offered to those who were eager to pursue a career in local institutions, and Anci, instead, looking at the possibility to ensure qualified refresher courses for those who are already employed in the territorial administrations and must face the management challenges imposed by new regional, national and community regulations, approved to regulate the life of increasingly complex urban communities every day.

And it is precisely starting from a rigorous analysis of the growing social, economic, urban planning, infrastructural, managerial and cultural complexities of the cities and from the awareness of the need to respond to them with programs and management methodologies up to date, the need to to create a training institution capable of offering – through a careful selection of administrative problems and of teachers, including non-academic teachers called to face them – the theoretical-practical tools to contribute to a better governance of the administered communities.

The City School was born therefore in the melting pot of new and often tearing urban complexities, unpredictably highlighted and increased in the last year also by the Covid 19 pandemic, and therefore does not want to present itself, or be perceived by potential users, as a purely academic training space aseptic administrative, but, on the contrary, as an educational institution that aims to take root in the tensions and urgencies of the present, with the awareness, however, that they can be faced and governed with lucidity only by looking at the future of urban communities with a long look of the institutions called to govern them.

Created at the DISUM-Department of Humanities of the Aldo Moro University , led by prof. Paolo Ponzio, the City School avails itself of an authoritative Scientific Committee directed by Prof. Letizia Carrera, and in the first experimental short master it has carried out for about 40 attending 52 hours of lessons on various topics including urban regeneration, planning of public policies, territorial government, sustainable development objectives, large risk management, city management, trade union relations with personnel, taxation for territorial governance, strategies and theories of decisions. The teaching staff involved, among others, not only professors from the University and Polytechnic of Bari, and from the Polytechnic and Bicocca University of Milan, but also public managers of top positions in local administrations. The master also had some illustrious guests among its teachers, such as Ferruccio De Bortoli, former director of Corriere della Sera and Sole 24 Ore.

By next January, a volume published by Franco Angeli will collect the contributions of the various lessons with in-depth analysis of the issues addressed, made possible by the intense dialogue with the learners.

To further strengthen its link with the territories and their institutions, the City School also wanted to set up an honor committee chaired by prof. Dioguardi, of which Mayors, public managers, Rectors, Presidents of Chambers of Commerce have been called: a Committee whose precious suggestions feed the strategic indications of the aforementioned Scientific Committee which, in turn, inform the guidelines of a specific Executive Committee chaired by Engineer Francesco Maggiore, President of the Dioguardi Foundation.

Such a prestigious school could not fail to attract the attention of the local building business community which, through the Barese Reed, financed scholarships for young aspiring students to attend courses: a decision by the Builders' Association which, far from circumscribing to a meritorious act of patronage, however, stems from the awareness of building contractors that they want to rely on more efficient local and national administrative systems in the field of urban planning and public works and above all capable of operating with decision-making speed and absolute transparency.

In light of the success achieved with the first edition of the short master, the City School has already opened enrollments for the second – which aims to expand the number of those who aspire to attend it up to 50 – while work is already being done on setting up a two-year long master that will further enrich the range of disciplines taught and the topics that will be addressed.

It is therefore foreseeable that even this year there will be very many people who want to enroll in the school and attend the lessons given with the communication methods allowed by the provisions to contain the pandemic.

So a year ago at the University of Bari, together with the Dioguardi Foundation and the Anci , a training course was launched for administrators of local bodies – be they mayors, councilors and municipal councilors, or managers and officials – not without ambitions, however cultivated by its authoritative promoter not as an occasion for narcissistic self-satisfaction, but only as tangible signs of a great civil passion placed at the service of the common good and its pursuit by men and women of good will.

Speaking over the days with its promoter, the writer defined the City School as a sort of 'school of war' for administrators who want to be winning local development strategists and for officers of municipal and regional administrative staffs: a certainly bloodless school of war. , of course, but certainly engaged in a 'holy war' against inefficiencies, delays, negligence, and regulatory and operational cumbersome, now less and less tolerated by taxpayers, be they citizens or businesses. And then it will be in the general interest to enhance this courageous and qualified institution more and more, wanted by an authoritative civil servant like Gianfranco Dioguardi and fully shared in its aspirations by the University of Bari and the Anci.

Federico Pirro ( University of Bari )

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/economia/nasce-a-bari-una-scuola-per-manager-di-enti-locali-di-valenza-nazionale/ on Fri, 04 Dec 2020 13:07:10 +0000.