Sustainable area development requires new approaches, particularly at the local level. The sustainability challenge is to develop more inclusive value chains that combine social values and ecological qualities with economic activity. Can more inclusive value chains be achieved when major stakeholders show higher sustainability attitudes? The author reflects ex post upon eight practices in Dutch local area development initiatives, and reconstructs stakeholder sustainability attitudes and their probable impacts. An assessment is then made of the sustainability attitudes at hand and the context characteristics; this assessment leads to a description of how to design specific intervention strategies to enhance sustainable area development. The cases show that sustainable local area development can be initiated from the public as well as the private sector, and indicate when a ‘coalition of the willing’ and leadership can maintain or improve sustainability attitudes of the stakeholders and related sustainability interventions.