The manifold aspects of the relationship between the Alps and the people who live, work and recreate there were the main focus of the fourth edition of the AlpWeek in October 2016 in Grassau/Achental (Germany). People in the Alps are facing huge future challenges and at the same time, they are the key players to cope with them. The AlpWeek intends to share existing Alpine experiences in order to find new solutions for the future that are specific to the alpine region(s) and respectful of its socio-cultural and natural heritage. In order to make visible the variety of approaches and and discuss sustainable development options, the AlpWeek 2016 invited to a broad and diversified dialogue focusing on three main fields of action: demography, culture and quality of life.
Alps & Demography
Demographic change is considered as one of the major challenges the Alps are facing. Who are the present and future alpine inhabitants and what are their living patterns? How can social diversity (gender, generations, immigrants…) be (better) taken into consideration to enhance change in favor of sustainable development of the alpine region? What is the influence of demographic change on the social capital, the cohesion and innovation of alpine regions, on settlement patterns (e.g. depopulation, urban sprawl), land use, nature conservation and mobility? How can governmental and non-governmental actors help manage these changes, for example in the frame of spatial planning policies?
Alps & Culture
Culture can be an important resource and a tool for regional development. The culture of living, the artistic culture, the culture of cooperation, the cultural heritage including alpine architecture and cultural landscape or the cultural diversity and heterogenity are aspects to be reflected upon. Which are the specific assets of “Alpine culture(s)”? Which are the “real” cultural experiences of alpine inhabitants and visitors, hidden behind the facade promoted globally by touristic marketing? How can culture in all its heterogenous forms be strengthened to support sustainable regional development in the Alps?
Alps & Quality of life
Quality of life, well-being, welfare and health are crucial to maintain lively and dynamic societies in alpine regions. Yet agreeing on common definitions and maintaining high quality in times of financial difficulties are a challenge. Which criteria can help better describe the specific aspects of quality of life in the Alps? What is the influence of basic supply, mobility, economic, demographic and social factors? How can environment and ecosystem services help to enhance quality of life in the Alps? Which are the opportunities and threats for quality of life due to climate change? Which social and economic innovations need to be initiated and supported to allow a high quality of life for future generations, without further damage to the alpine environment?
AlpWeek: since 2004
The AlpWeek is an international event dedicated to new and promising perspectives of sustainable development in the Alps. It is organized jointly by the main alpine organizations engaged in regional and sustainable development, and is held every four years. The event brings together the main alpine stakeholders, who have the opportunity to exchange and develop new ideas and cooperation.
Alliance in the Alps; Alpine Convention; Interreg Alpine Space Programme; Association Alpine Towns of the Year; CIPRA International; Club Arc Alpin (CAA); ISCAR Alpine Research; Ökomodell Achental.
German ministry for environment, for nature protection, building and nuclear security and Bavarian ministry for environment and consumer protection.