Mapping Smart Regions. An Exploratory Approach

  • Sylvie Occelli IRES- Istituto di Ricerche Economico Sociali del Piemonte, Via Nizza 18, 10125 Turin, Italy
  • Alessandro Sciullo IRES- Istituto di Ricerche Economico Sociali del Piemonte, Via Nizza 18, 10125 Turin, Italy
Keywords: Regional smart growth, Region-to-region distances, Regional collaboration, Regional performance indices


The paper presents the results of an exploratory approach aimed at extending the ranking procedures normally used in studying the socioeconomics determinants of smart growth at the regional level.   Most of these studies adopt a methodological procedure which essentially consists of the following steps: a) identification of the pertinent elementary indicators according to the study objectives; b) data selection and processing; c) combination of the elementary indicators by multivariate statistical techniques aimed at obtaining a robust synthetic index to rank the observation units. In the procedure a relational dimension is mainly subsumed in the system oriented perspective adopted in selecting the indicators which would best represent the system determinants depending on the goals of the analysis (step a).  In order to get deeper insights into the smartness profile of the European regions, this study makes an effort to account of the relational dimension also in steps b and c of the procedure. The novelties of the proposed approach are twofold. First, by computing region-to-region distances associated with the selected indicators it extends the conventional ranking procedure (step c). Second, it uses a relational database (step b), dealing with the regional participation to the FP7-ICT project, to modify the distances and investigate its impact on the interpretation of the regional positioning.  The main results of this exercise seem to suggest that regional collaborations would have a positive role in regional convergence process. By providing an opportunity to get contacts with the areas endowed with a comparatively more robust smartness profile, regions may have a chance to enhance their own smartness profile.


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Author Biographies

Sylvie Occelli, IRES- Istituto di Ricerche Economico Sociali del Piemonte, Via Nizza 18, 10125 Turin, Italy

She holds a degree in Architecture and Regional Planning. In 1987 she joined the Piedmont Institute of the Socio-Economic Research Institute where  she  currently leads a research unit aimed at fostering innovation in public administrations. She has published in various fields of regional science, ranging from housing, transportation, mobility urban modeling and spatial analysis. Current research interests include: road safety policy, socio-technical systems, ICT and regional development and the role of model-based activity as a way to support modernization in policy practices.

Alessandro Sciullo, IRES- Istituto di Ricerche Economico Sociali del Piemonte, Via Nizza 18, 10125 Turin, Italy

After graduating in Political Science, in 2003 he obtained a master’s degree in Public Policy Analysis. Since then he has worked part in several research projects aimed to support organizational improvement in different Italian governmental bodies. His main research interests are in the field of public administration, ICT diffusion and use among social actors, innovation networks and the relationships between university and enterprises.


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How to Cite
OccelliS., & SciulloA. (2014). Mapping Smart Regions. An Exploratory Approach. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment.