From its origins Piacenza has played a strategic military role that has marked the form and the urban image (military areas cover approximately 4.5% of the urban area). Today, a large part of this heritage, placed into the historic centre and in the first ring of suburbs, is inactive due to the changing needs of public administration, in particular the significant reorganization of the national defence. During the last 20 years this condition has created for the city the opportunity to start a process of change. And the biggest challenge is within the physical size of the settlement, and it is within the potential use to be set up in the same areas, in order to be discovered with the citizens and the stakeholders.
The general economic environment, the climate of growing mistrust and a lower propensity to consume are among the main causes of the constant reduction in the number of companies located in the territory. More than 50% of the Piacenza company is divided into three areas: trade, agriculture and construction. The largest groups of companies are in the manufacturing, in accommodation and catering services and even in other service activities, real estate activities and transport. The economic analysis tells of a manufacturing industry that has had positive results for sales, but production orders and a production craft are still struggling. Exports are growing thanks to local industry and the logistics activities. The employment rate is 72.9% for the male component and 56.9% for females (compared with an average of 73.7% and 59.2% respectively in the regional context).