The Darsena district of Ravenna is a post-industrial area of the city along the Candiano Canal, the former city port, which the Municipality of Ravenna has been working on to regenerate for several decades. Darsena is a place with historical relevance for Ravenna despite being outside the historical city centre. In the 20th Century it played a pivotal role in the development of the city's economy, its urbanisation, and its international relations during. However, in the 1980s with the rise of a new port in Ravenna, all the industrial buildings were gradually abandoned and the Darsena became a "no-go area". The Darsena’s regeneration has always proven to be a challenging task as most efforts to transform the area have been focusing only on improving its physical and architectural aspects. Therefore, the city of Ravenna decided to implement an innovative and integrated solution to improve the quality of life of the citizens by combining digital transition with urban socio-economic regeneration.
As a core principle of EU urban policy for several decades now, integrated territorial development (ITD) proposes to address development challenges by a place-based approach incorporating spatial, sectoral, and temporal dimensions of key urban policy parameters, including economic actors, stakeholders and citizens. In this case study, we describe how DARE was delivered following the ITD approach with a specific focus on how the place-based, multi-sectoral, multi-governance, and participation principles were translated into project design and implementation.