This work has been promoted by two main ideas. From one side the increasing interest on the development of measures able to go "beyond GDP". Since this indicator has proved to represent a very powerful measure, recently a growing number of attempts devoted to find tools to catch the progress of societies better, have been proposed both at international and national level. The "Istanbul Declaration"  – that launched the The Global Project on Measuring the progress of Societies – and the constitution of the The Commission on the Measurement of economic Performance and social Progress (CMEPSP, 2008), boosted very much debate and research. For example, the final report of CMEPSP strongly encouraged National Institutes of Statistic to build up system of indicators to better measure well-being and sustainability following a multi-dimensional approach and shifting from production to income and consumption. The Italian Institute of Statistics (Istat) took up the challenge implementing The Equitable and Sustainable Well-being Project (BES): a set of 132 indicators that cover 12 dimensions1 at national and regional level (NUTS 0 and NUTS 2). Starting from the core project other two branches of BES, oriented to measure well-being and sustainability at sub-territorial level, have been defined: Provincial BES (NUTS 3 level- and City BES (URBES at LAU 1 level-)2. The second idea that promoted this work is related to the large diffusion in the Italian economic fabric of "Industrial Districts". According to Marshall work  Industrial district identifies an area where a concentration of firms has settled down, however it is not simply a localised industry. Marshall stressed not only the business relationships instituted in a local environment but also the importance of undertaking other socio-cultural aspects of this phenomenon. More, Becattini   further developed the Marshall’s theory, who was the first introducing the concept of Industrial District, revising the "Marshall’s externalities" concept in order to better characterize the performance of Italian Industrial districts. He also highlighted as this entity is a meaningful "unit of investigation" for analysis. Indeed, Becattini emphasised how, in these areas, community and firms tend to merge creating a complex structure of economic and social relationships rooted on cooperation and competition forces.
The aim of this work is to investigate the well-being of industrial districts primarily exploiting available BES data. In other words, it is an attempt to assess well-being of industrial districts through BES lens. Different economic parameters able to represent the "district economic well-being" have been analyzed and other BES indicators are applied to include multiple social dimensions as elements able to describe the role of "Marshall’s externalities", which, according to Marshall  and Becattini , , determines the competitiveness and reactive capacity of the district. Summarizing, our study intend to explore if the Marshallian district connotation referred as "industrial atmosphere" is also an "industrial and equitable well-being atmosphere".