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Walser Alps - modernity and tradition in the heart of Europe The Walser settlements area - a laboratory to experience a post-industrial sustainable Alpine society in a bottom-up process



Lead Partner

Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta

Lead Partner Country


Project Website / / /


07/2004 - 06/2007

Date of Approval


Approx. Total Budget in €

1.161.973 €

ERDF in €

399.853 €

Project Summary

The minority of Walser settle dispersed over six countries in the heart of Europe. Most of them suffer under economic disadvantage, but have conserved traditional rural knowledge. The Walser Alps project aims to experience - as a pilot action based on the Agenda 21 process - the transfer from a pre-industrial to a sustainable competitive post-industrial society integrating youth. Landscape is the link between, on one hand, spatial development and, on the other hand, culture. Culture is a key feature for minorities to define and defend their characteristics, specificities and sustainability (Agenda 21). Landscape is a concrete, appropriate medium to integrate youth. The method consists of confronting images to let the Walser population face the "mirror" of their own social features. Matching interior and exterior images can raise consciousness to forecast future developments. Those experiences will serve for a spatial planning tool and for an exchange of best practice with other minorities.

Project Objectives

- the main objective of the project is pondering on the traditional culture in order to bring to light those social, cultural and technical values that could be appreciated in a modern post-industrial society. It means also rediscovering the local identity as the starting point toward a sustainable local development. This aim will be achieved through four subordinate objectives:
- improving the network among Walser communities
- preserving local language and knowledge
- building up common territorial strategies
- getting the young people involved in public administration

Project Achievements

The Partners have set up a partnership in a bottom-up process, organize the local activities and start the implementation

Project Result Files


EU Project Partners

Commune de Vallorcine (France)
Communità Montana Alta Valle del Lys (Italy)
Provincia del Verbano - Cusio - Ossola-Settore V - Sviluppo Socio Culturale e Attività Turistiche (Austria)
Provincia di Vercelli (Italy)
Vorarlberger Walservereinigung (Austria)

Non-EU Project Partners

Comune di Bosco Gurin (Switzerland)
Gemeinde Triesenberg (Liechtenstein)
Internationale Vereinigung für Walsertum – IvfW (Switzerland)
Joch - Susten - Grimselpass – Vereinigung (Switzerland)
Walservereinigung Graubünden (Switzerland)

Contact Person

Rocco, Raffaele

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