The town of Arezzo is located in between the fertile depression in the Appennine Mountains and the hills of Siena. Arezzo is the administrative and economic capital of a large province of the same name. The city counts 95.000 inhabitants on 38.417 ha of urbanized area while the province counts 335.500 inhabitants. It is 70 Km far from Florence and 60 km far from Siena. Between Arezzo and Florence there is an urban continuity due to the urban development along the Arno valley. Between Arezzo and Siena, there is a sharper territorial separation due to a countryside that is less urbanized and more used for agriculture. Arezzo’s modern entrepreneurial identity is based on a strong economic growth due to the manufacturing activity and the establishment of industrial districts such as the jewellery district and the fashion district. Together with the industrial sector, the tertiary industry that, together with associations and cooperatives, caters for a large portion of services. Today the city is experiencing a time of decline due to serious disinvestment and globalization of production system and the international enlargement of trade. The main production of goldwork has already been transferred abroad and the city is facing the need of a strategical repositioning.
Main challenges for the city and its hinterland:
- Improvement of social infrastructure (lack of good schools, hospitals, leisure facilities).
- The preservation of the whole human and productive landscape of Tuscany represents a strong challenge in order to reverse the trend towards an economic homologation by means of authenticity and local characters.
- Counteract the trend of suburbanization by reviving the city centre as a centre for contemporary civic life and activities.
- Restoration of the cultural heritage and promoting the city as cultural city.
- Development of a sustainable infrastructure and re-connection of the centre and the suburbs.
- Need to have the capacity to develop competitiveness, research, innovation, highly qualified training, networks and internationalisation.