Published in:LAND USE POLICY, vol. 92, pp. 104457 (ISSN 0264-8377)
Abstract:The study provides a useful tool to enable local decision makers to define territorial sustainable policies. For this purpose, using selected indicators, we analyse, at the municipal level, the behaviour of and interactions among the socio-demographic, environmental, economic, and accessibility dimensions in two northern Italian provinces in the Alpine Chain (NUTS3), which are identified by the EU as predominantly rural areas. We adopt the dominance-based rough set approach, which allows for the discovery of hidden patterns among the data by means of the generation of decision rules. The population variation over time and number of foreign citizens are the decision attributes considered together with condition attributes belonging to the socio-demographic, environmental, economic, and accessibility dimensions. Our selected areas (rural, mountainous, and peripheral) present various facets at the sustainability level, largely due to their complexity, which was confirmed by the rules we found. Moreover, the socio-demographic and accessibility attributes are more commonly present in the rules and a low interaction characterizes the four dimensions. Finally, economic growth is often at odds with environmental sustainability.