Towards sustainable and inclusive communities: an integrated approach to assess sustainability in rural areas
- Rural development,
- New sustainability dimensions,
- Spatial Decision Support System,
- Mazziotta and Pareto index
Sustainable development is a priority in EU rural development strategies. Due to the multidimensionality of the sustainability issue, this paper presents a Spatial Decision Support System to assess territorial sustainability and help decision-makers in rural planning process. Four globally valid sustainability dimensions were considered (long-term ecological sustainability, satisfaction of basic human needs, promotion of intragenerational and intergenerational equity), measured by a set of socio-cultural-political-environmental indicators by using the Mazziotta and Pareto method.
The results of the S-DSS, implemented and verified in Basilicata region (southern Italy), provide the maps of sustainability values for each dimension at municipalities level, showing the usefulness of the tool to identify and monitor rural areas that require priority interventions and resources, in order to foster sustainable rural development.