Il "Progetto Nord" e i beni comuni per la competitività - This paper was part of the launch of the so-called "progetto Nord", a research program on Northern Italian regions considered as a relatively homogenous territorial system. The authors propose a threefold definition of "local system", including a) a "sociographic" level, concerning some kind of measurable homogeneity, b) a "psychological" level, concerning common representations and sense of belonging, c) a "political" level, concerning common governance. As far as a) is concerned, the authors point to the growing economic integration of Northern Italy, deriving from the progressive erosion of the originally very distinctive industrial models of Northwest and Northeast, evolving by now towards a common model structured by a new stratum of successful medium sized enterprises; and to the growing financial integration deriving from the policies of the big banks, most of whose headquarters and business are located in the North. At the second level, different representations of the North had an influence in the past and coexist at present, while adversarial and negative attitudes towards the South of Italy and the globalized world are an increasing component of the regional identity. At the third level, a common governance of the North is almost totally lacking as far as regional governments are concerned; while interesting changes can be observed among public utilities and functional autonomies.
Keywords: Local production system, local development, city-region, regional governance