Although floods, as well as other natural disasters, can be considered as relevant causes of intra-generational inequalities, frequent catastrophes and the resulting damage to the territory can be seen as a consequence of a generalized indifference about future. Land protection is one of the societal issues typically concerning inter-generational solidarity, involving the administrative system in the implementation of proactive policies. In the last three decades, the widespread demand for subsidiarity has made local communities more and more independent, so that attention to the long-term effects—typically concerning the territorial system as a whole at geographical scale—has been dispersed, and the proactive policies that come from the central government have become more ineffective. Regarding the case of the 2009 flood in the Fiumedinisi-Capo Peloro river basin in North Eastern Sicily, we propose an economic valuation of the land protection policy. This valuation, compared to the cost of recovery of the damaged areas, can provide helpful information on the decision-making process concerning the trade-off between reactive and proactive land policy. The economic value of land protection was calculated by means of the method of the imputed preferences, to obtain a real measure of the social territorial value from the point of view of the harmony between social system and environment. This method consists of an estimate based on the attribution of the expenditures according to the importance of the different areas. Since the value of land protection has been calculated by discounting the expenditures stream, some considerations about the economic significance of the proactive policy are referred to the role played by the social discount rate in the inter-temporal economic calculation.
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