In 2017, the Piano Strategico di sviluppo del Turismo 2017-2022 (the Italian general program on tourism) set a new deal of touristic policies, linked to the keywords sustainability, innovation and communities involvement. The paper investigates the connection between touristic development, urban regeneration actions and improvement in the quality of life for the inhabitants: within the national framework, the research analyses particularly the nexus, existing between the urban policies and the experiences of participatory tourism, held in Barriera di Milano, a former working class suburb, located in the north area of Turin. This specific case is compared to two other touristic processes, activated (or not) in the districts of Porta Palazzo and Mirafiori Nord, lying in the same municipality. These three examples have been set in context within the development strategies, promoted in Turin, since 1997, when a general plan for the peripheral areas was adopted; additionally, the author explored the case of Barriera, during four years of field research, interacting with public institutions, local stakeholders and community referents. The emerging perspective stresses that local communities and the quality of cultural heritage are critical factors, affecting the touristic development of places.