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Inner Archipelagos in Sicily. From Culture-Based Development to Creativity-Oriented Evolution


When Covid-19 arrived in Europe from the far East, the media and experts in economics and social sciences noticed that it was the expected discontinuity in the socio-economic development process. Really, the current phase has spread since the 1960s, when the application of econometric worldwide-spread development model was going to produce social inequalities, and consumption of physical, social, and cultural resources. Some places in Italy, far from the erosive and urban context and erosive metropolitan areas, are currently isolated seeds of a new cycle of life, because of the local community identity and the strong link between human, cultural, and natural components are currently working together towards a new development model. Starting from a 20-year research about Local Cultural Systems in Sicily, the research group has defined and tested the cultural dimension of development, and affirmed that the transition to a culture-based growth, as defined by UNESCO, should be the solution for overcoming the erosive Anthropocene era. In western Sicily, the Belice Valley is working on cultural transition thanks to relationships between cultural heritage, identity, and settlement network, that we have designed as a Territorial Archipelago. The research demonstrates that local communities will innovate if they rethink the development model and reshape spatial patterns and economic networks focusing on the creativity-driven vision.