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The set of elements on which any socio-economic model that is long term sustainable in all its social, cultural, environmental, etc. components is based ought to be considered as an indivisible uniqum to be preserved, before than as a resource to be used. This heritage is made up of mostly intangible goods which, although not measurable with the criteria normally used, weigh heavily on the economy and sustainability:

  • environmental goods: quality of water and air, quality of the territory and the urban environment, raw materials, energy resources ...
  • social goods: identity, health, market rules, participation in choices, new citizenship ...
  • cultural and cognitive goods: access to learning opportunities and training, education, information, technology ...

This heritage characterizes in different ways and means each territory, and the ever-changing combination of its elements gives rise to a territorial added value to which bespoke development policies that take into account the differences between local contexts should be referred to. Unfortunately, its survival is jeopardized by the interaction of global and local inadequate economic processes, and its dissipation increases the fragility of the socio-economic systems, which effects both the macro level and the relations between the territories.

Antonio Ligabue, 'Ritorno dai campi', Italy XX century.