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Rural Identity, Authenticity, and Sustainability in Italian Inner Areas

Gianpaolo Basile () and Aurora Cavallo ()
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Gianpaolo Basile: Faculty of Economics, Universitas Mercatorum; 00186 Rome, Italy
Aurora Cavallo: Faculty of Economics, Universitas Mercatorum; 00186 Rome, Italy

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 3, 1-22

Abstract: This paper focuses on the sustainable development conditions in Italian Inner Areas. Italy’s Inner Areas are rural depopulated areas characterized by their distance from the main service centers of education, health, and mobility, according to the classification proposed by the National Strategy for Inner Areas in 2012. The inner and marginal areas are recently getting the interest of the market place and agricultural economics, as well as the attention of the regional and cohesion policies of national governments and the European Union. These places provide an intriguing perspective for a broader reflection on European peripheral areas and their development trajectories. The aim of this contribution is to interpret the determinants of the relationships between rural identity and perceptive components of authenticity, in order to understand the mechanisms by which they are positively reflected in socio-economic and environmental use, influencing in turn, the level of sustainability of territorial development. We found a specific role of the rural identity in the catalyzed phenomena of interaction between citizens/community and visitors/stakeholders, through the authenticity effect, identifying them as the basis of the spontaneous, bottom-up emersion of a symbolic platform, which characterizes the identification of a place brand and of the creation of the perception/destination of the inner territories’ characteristics. Finally, the paper discusses an Italian Inner Areas project promoted by the common engagement of local institutions and social and economic actors.

Keywords: inner Areas; rural identity; authenticity; marketing place; place branding (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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