Title: Aligning Inner Peripheries with rural development in Italy: Territorial evidence to support policy contextualization
Citation: LAND USE POLICY vol. 100 p. 104899
Publication Year: 2021
JRC N°: JRC117488
ISSN: 0264-8377 (online)
URI: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837719313572?via%3Dihub
DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104899
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Inner Peripheries is a recent concept based on both peripherality and marginality features, thus far from the commonly adopted geographical notion of periphery. Inner Peripheries are fragile territories covering rural Europe, which suffer from depopulation, low economic potential, and weak territorial cohesion. However, these territories are extremely important for the provision of goods and services, and the stewardship of natural and semi-natural environments. Such dichotomous condition poses several challenges for planning in the EU context, particularly regarding the implementation of the Rural Development Policy. Therefore, current planning needs to contextualize the policy implementation by considering local needs and territorial resources in the Inner Peripheries. With a focus on the Italian case, the main aim of the present work is to explore to what extent Inner Peripheries cope with Rural Development targets, in the light of improving the effectiveness of planning interventions. We create and implement a set of context indicators to describe the Inner Peripheries’ territorial characteristics through fine scale analyses and test their alignment with the Rural Development Policy through ANOVA and PCA. The results show that the indicators’ set is significant and robust in depicting the current territorial potentialities and limitations of the Inner Peripheries towards strengthening rural development. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the Inner Peripheries exhibit alignments and misalignments with rural development targets, depending on localities, and exogenous and endogenous characteristics. We find that the Inner Peripheries in Italy need to develop holistic strategies incorporating different Rural Development Priorities, such as increased competitiveness in agriculture and forestry sectors, sustainable use of resources and climate adaptation, which may also contribute to foster territorial cohesion. We argue that strategies with less consideration of environmental and social aspects may be counterproductive for the local development in Inner Peripheries. Performing an ex-ante assessment of the main characteristics of the Inner Peripheries through e.g. the use of the indicators’ framework as proposed, may support the decision-making processes in selecting planning priorities. Considering the large replicability and comparability of the indicators’ set, the findings of the present study are useful to further understand how rural development is considered in territorial strategies for Inner Peripheries in similar contexts in Europe.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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