After an introduction, in which theoretical principles and main experiences are outlined, the essay analyzes the application, in Italy, of the concept of Equipped Industrial Area (Aia). The essay examines the basic model which has managed the policies for creation of the Italian industrial areas. The author reflects on the purposes of Aia’s foundation in Italy. In particular, he wonders if Aia were used with the aim of supporting industrialization, by facilitating the birth and growth of companies, or if they simply were administrative instruments for a rational use of territory, which can be considered as a limited resource. The author also wonders whether Aia’s policies really supported companies’ development (by promoting an improvement in endogenous resources) or, on the contrary, these policies had only encouraged territorial competitions. In addition, in the essay the role of Aia in the expansion of Italian manufacturing field is analyzed. In the end, the essay underlines that the "Italian model" is extremely multifaceted, rich in peculiar experiences which cannot be analyzed by using unifying agents. However, the close relationship between capital and State appears as an element of considerable continuity.
Keywords: Equipped industrial areas Development policies Industrialization in Italy Industry and local development