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Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4681; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124681

Role of Local Action Groups in Improving the Sense of Belonging of Local Communities with Their Territories

Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences DSA3, University of Perugia, 06100 Perugia, Italy
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Received: 18 October 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 8 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Population and Social Sustainability)
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Abstract

The perception of the landscape by the population is one of the themes introduced by the European Landscape Convention. Perception is the key to the integration between human and territorial activities, and between economic development and sustainability. Local Action Groups (LAGs) are groups with territorial boundaries, established by the European Common Agricultural Policy for implementing local development strategies by awarding grants to local projects. The aim of this work is the development of a method for evaluating the ability of the LAGs to enhance the sense of belonging of the population with their territories. The developed method includes identification of those natural, agricultural, historical, and cultural resources for which people feel a sense of belonging, and evaluation of the same through a comprehensive multivariate statistical analysis. This paper reports the results of the statistical analysis of the rankings of local landscapes made by 330 residents of an Italian LAG on the basis of their sense of belonging with them. People showed that the community of the studied LAG does not recognize itself in the typical crops of the entire area, and the attachment to minor historical centres scattered in the territory remains the prerogative of the individual municipalities. The results of this method could be used as a performance indicator for a local plan, in respect to the creation of a shared perception of the local area. View Full-Text
Keywords: perception of rural landscape; multivariate analysis; community led local development; European rural communities; sense of place; visioning perception of rural landscape; multivariate analysis; community led local development; European rural communities; sense of place; visioning
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Menconi, M.E.; Artemi, S.; Borghi, P.; Grohmann, D. Role of Local Action Groups in Improving the Sense of Belonging of Local Communities with Their Territories. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4681.

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