Marco Modica, Giulia Urso, Alessandra Faggian

Do «Inner Areas» Matter? Conceptualization, Trends and Strategies for their Future Development Path

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: italian inner areas, employment trends, industrial sectoral composition.

In past decades, much of the focus of the literature on economic growth and development was centered on urbanization. Cities were often cited as the engines of growth for regions and/or countries, with little to no attention being paid to more peripheral areas. However, in recent years, this lack of attention to urban areas has been criticized. The latest political developments around the world have highlighted mounting rural/urban tensions and the importance of peripheral areas, which were too often – and for too long – overlooked. Places which did not seem to «matter» in the past have made their voices heard. This has induced several scholars to question whether these areas really do not matter or whether they instead matter a great deal. Our paper builds on this recent debate by looking specifically at the Italian peripheral areas as defined by the National Strategy for Inner Areas (SNAI). Reviewing the literature produced so far on the issue within the domain of Regional Science, we describe these areas through the lens of three key aspects which we deem salient for their characterization: demography, employment trends, and industrial sectoral composition. The overall purpose is to provide a comprehensive framework to start a reflection on inner areas and uncover possible development potentials to inform their local development strategies and hence offer policy guidance.

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