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Projects & Results



Local endogenous development and urban regeneration of small alpine towns



Lead Partner

Regione Piemonte, Regional Budget Planning and Statistics

Lead Partner Country


Project Website


08/2004 - 04/2007

Date of Approval


Approx. Total Budget in €

2.204.928 €

ERDF in €

1.002.464 €

Project Summary

AlpCity focuses on local development and urban regeneration of small alpine towns. Many small alpine and mountain towns/villages have undergone processes of socio-economic decline, have inadequate public/private services, quality of life and built environment, a (mainly aged) population with limited access to culture and decision-making/participation. These are unsustainable islands of disparity in a generally affluent part of Europe, whose existence impinges the creation of a polycentric urban system and a sustainable urban-rural relationship, often in fragile natural environments at the heart of the Alps. AlpCity aims at promoting common understanding, cultural/political change, through a large trans-national partnership and different groups of activities, namely: networking and exchange to create common knowledge and strategies, collection of local best practices, innovative project-cases by single local authorities, dissemination/communication, guidelines/future scenarios.

Project Objectives

AlpCity deals with the crucial problem of the lower socio-economic development, quality of life and urban environment in some small alpine local authorities (fewer economic/employment opportunities, insufficient/inadequate public and private services, limited community participation). Immediate consequences: economic decline, ageing population, abandonment of villages, loss of cultural vitality, building decay. Additional effects: poor decision-making and innovation capacity, lack of financial resources, professional skills, information. EU-wide and regional policies and programmes should be devised to improve the situation. These processes of decline are unacceptable for several reasons. First, the small local authorities are the most important interface with the natural/cultural Alpine core and preserve healthy rural-urban connections. Second, this creates internal disparity/peripherality, where some towns are struggling for survival while neighbouring ones are richer and vital, all within very developed regions. Third, in line with the ESDP, a more polycentric urban system should be created. Fourth, only a trans-national approach can help to face the trans-national dimension of the problem. Cooperation between regions, towns, public and private sectors is needed to foster common understanding, knowledge, political and cultural awareness at EU, national, regional and local levels. Finally: existing local best practice and new pilot activities should be promoted and disseminated.

Project Achievements

The main project’s achievements up to date (August 2004) are the following: Formulation of the AlpCity project’s Plan of Communication Setting-up of the Scientific Steering Committee Definition of Case studies by each Project Partner by focusing on 4 working areas namely: Economic development Services/quality of life Urban environment Co-operation among towns Collaboration and structured exchange of information and knowledge through the regular project’s meetings. All the project’s activities, including the formal constitution of the SSC, the development of the Case Studies, the collection of best practices/indicators and the implementation of dissemination activities (e.g. project’s web site, will experience an acceleration phase since September 2004 thanks also to the formal finalisation of the Subsidy Contract (August 2004).

Project Result Files


EU Project Partners

Conseil Régional de Franche-Comté (France)
Gemeinde Grainau (Germany)
Lower-Austria, Provincial Government, Department Spatial Planning and regional policy. Agency for regeneration of towns (Austria)
Région Rhône-Alpes (France)
Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia, Service for mountains (Italy)
Regione Lombardia, Trade, fairs and markets Department (Italy)
Regione Veneto (Italy)

Non-EU Project Partners

Gemeinde Tschlin (Switzerland)
Haute Ecole Valaisanne, Groupe de competences Economie & Tourisme (Switzerland)
Municipalité de Saint-Maurice (Switzerland)

Contact Person

Perin-Cavallo, Maria

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Community Initiative Programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund