Since the second post-war period, the production system of the Lazio Region has undergone different phases variously associated with settlement dynamics. Over decades, the mismatch between supply of production equipped areas and the demand linked to the logics of hegemonic or emerging sectors has been exacerbated by radical transformations in production economies. Therefore, such dynamics of dissemination, relocation and reorganization of production activities that are reshaping the Metropolitan City of Rome and the whole Lazio need to be investigated in depth. Europe-wide, Lazio is ranked among the five most performing regions within the category ‘Follower- High’. However, for some years now productivity has decreased in all provinces. The Region is currently implementing a re-industrialization policy cycle following the Europe 2020 Strategy, on the backdrop of three main evidences: i. ‘Industry’ is nowadays a more inclusive term than in past times. It encompasses manufactory in its former meaning as well as services and intangible assets. ii. Current industrial revolution, triggered by the Internet, undermines previous location factors, scattering production processes or incorporating them within larger and larger urban areas. iii. Production meets less and less the final consumer, but impacts and effects all different stages of the global value chains. Unlike the most industrialized regions deeply affected by unemployment rates from the 80s onwards, Lazio has not experienced significant shrinking in labor force size due to a considerable rise in the service sector and to a peculiar development path: a sort of ‘unachieved modernity’, where brand new industrial patterns merge with traditional economy features. After an overview on previous policy setting frameworks, current dynamics and institutional efforts to convey the Smart Specialization Strategy approach (S3) within the EU Cohesion Policy, the paper aims to deepen new features in settlement patterns and their inherent criticalities, focusing on approaches liable to envisage ‘territory’ as an opportunity rather than a cost. Small size businesses have always been the majority. Centrifugal trends led SME to accommodate randomly, often avoiding areas especially designed to this purpose. Generally, firms settled down according to sector-specific and/or process-specific logics, even within urban fabric where zoning did not allow for such uses. The emerging interrelations between production patterns and urban growth, place-based and scaledependent as they are, account for a general restructuring within the territorial systems (Sistemi locali del Lavoro, SLs), shaping new dependencies and/or autonomization paths from the Capital City. The Smart Specialization Strategy (Programming Period 2014-2020) has met in Lazio a relatively immature governance agenda both in terms of legislative framework and strategic planning. The topic is twofold. On the one side, the point is to foster a proper milieu where place-based governance and planning tools can match according to a principle of “internal coherence”, upgrading the ability of contexts to self-organize and adhere to contract policies, and on the other side to assess the degree of “external coherence”, that is compatibility, with upper-level planning tools. Besides the definition of settings and procedural rules, institutional supportive patterns are at stake, where the newly-established Metropolitan City of Rome is called upon to play a major role.
Palazzo, A.L. (2019). Territories and productions: a glimpse of the Lazio Region. In C.E. Cappellin R. (a cura di), The guidelines of a “New European Industrial Strategy" oriented to the citizens and the territory: policy proposals for the European economic growth (pp. 175-184). Aisre.