Tuesday, 21 November 2023
12:00 – 13:00 CET

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
Corso Magenta 63, Milano
Sala Cinema


This paper contributes to the study of mountain development and bottom-up sustainability-oriented initiatives. Citizen-led initiatives have emerged to complement top-down development policies, and particularly to pursue sustainability objectives and benefit traditionally left-behind communities and places. In mountain areas, they have primarily focused on regenerating the natural environment, preserving the local culture and traditions, and providing social services to compensate for the lack of public ones. However, there is still a lack of understanding of their key features and challenges. As part of a larger research project, this study identified and surveyed 196 initiatives from the Italian regions of Basilicata, Lombardia, Marche, Sicilia, and Veneto. They display unique traits and may contribute to the development of their territories, but first must address a number of internal and external challenges to improve their resilience and impact. This research contributes to the literature with a systematic mapping and empirical results on Italian mountains. It supports policymakers designing policies to leverage the full potential of territories and bottom-up initiatives, ultimately improving the development and sustainability of these lands.


Matteo Spinazzola is a Junior Researcher for the Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development program at Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, where he investigates the sustainable development of mountain areas. He is currently enrolled in the PhD in Innovation for the Circular Economy at the University of Turin, focusing his research on innovation ecosystems mapping. He holds an MSc in Environmental Sciences from Utrecht University and a Laurea Triennale in Strategic Sciences from the University of Turin.