The use of culture to increase the sustainability and originality of local development models through the injection of creativity and knowledge into territorial systems and their output now pervades post-industrial economies. The feasibility and success of culture-led development paths requires the right conditions determined by the heritage resources and the productive potential of a particular territory, and, importantly, by innovative policy-making. The province of Trento is one of the most interesting territorial laboratories in Italy as regards the development of a knowledge and culture economy and the interweaving of culture into the economy. However, a shared, informed and organic development plan focused in such a direction requires an awareness of the opportunities that culture-led development paths offer and the creation of a governance system which levers social capital to facilitate their promotion and management.
Keywords: Culture-led, development paths, smart specialization, sustainable development, knowledge, culture, tourism, embedded governance.