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An analysis and information tool to measure the local quality of life - in Italian
Cascina is a medium-size, around 44,000 inhabitants, town in the Pisa province, in Tuscany. In 2012 the municipality has asked Lunaria / Sbilanciamoci! , within the participatory budget efforts carried out for the first time by the local authorities, to develop alternative indicators to GNP – similar to those created by Sbilanciamoci! for its QUARS, the quality of regional development. The indicators have then been used in setting budgetary priorities in the 2013 Cascina budget.
The researchers have created and analyzed 39 local statistical indicators, for the years 2000 - 2011, picturing the strengths and weaknesses at local level and thus putting at the citizens' disposal objective data on which to base the decisions to allocate the resources available and draft the town's 2013 budget proposal for the city council.
The seven QUARS well-being dimensions taken into account, within which sub-indicators have been included, are:
• Environment
• Economy and labour
• Health
• Welfare and citizenship
• Education and culture
• Equal opportunities
• Citizens' participation in public life.
The research results have indicated major strengths, i.e. measurable improvements over the years considered,  in the Health and Welfare and citizenship sectors, while weaknesses, with decreasing trends, have been observed in the Economy and labour and in the Education and culture ones. The remaining three sets of indicators have kept balanced over the decade studied.
In order to improve their local community's quality of life and based on the evidence produced the citizens involved have proposed higher / lower budget allocations.



 
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