|Abstract: ||Planning and historic centers’ preservation can be considered synergetic concepts (Frank and Petersen, 2002) and activities. Indeed, effectiveness of preservation is founded on analytic and detailed planning which should implement policies aimed at preserving the characteristics of historic urban tissues and at boosting their capability of being attractive for the most important contemporary urban functions, such as housing, retail shops, and financial, insurance and real estate firms (Mueller et al., 2005). Moreover, it could be important to maintain the sense of identity of the people who live there. Hence, it is necessary to implement participatory processes involving resident families, entrepreneurs, employees and shoppers (Comune di Reggio Emilia, 2005, 2011).
One of the main components of sustainable planning approaches to the preservation of historic centers implies the availability of detailed and, as much as possible, complete information on residents’ perceived needs and expectations.
We propose an econometric approach based on Discrete Choice Models (DCM) (Ben-Akiva and Lerman, 1985; Greene, 1993; Greene and Hensher, 2010) to identify and analyze the residents’ needs and expectations concerning the spatial organization of the historic neighborhoods where they live, which provides inferences on residential satisfaction’s determinants (Lu, 1999). In this framework, determinants are grouped into three distinct categories as follows: i. level of satisfaction related to house; ii. neighborhood characteristics; iii. respondents’ social and demographic characteristics. The information coming from the implementation of the DCM-based analysis can be used as an important reference point for the definition of planning policies for historic centers’ preservation (Fantin, 2013).
In order to test and discuss its effectiveness, we use the model to analyze needs and expectations of the residents of the historic center of Cagliari, a medium-sized urban context of the Italian insular region of Sardinia.
The DCM-based analysis is implemented through a questionnaire delivered to the residents of the Cagliari’s historic center’s neighborhoods (Comune di Cagliari, 2011). Through their participation in the experiment, resident families’ representatives should increase their awareness of the most important issues related to the spatial organization of their urban living areas, and provide information on correlations between perceived urban quality and the three types of determinants mentioned above.
Qualitative and quantitative inferences on the correlations between residents’ level of satisfaction related to the neighborhood and its determinants, generated by the DCM-based analysis, imply important arguments and indications on planning policies related to the spatial organization of the historic centers, which will be discussed in the final part of the paper, starting from the results of the DCM-based case study concerning the historic center of Cagliari.|