Wide area cooperation in the Alps: efficient coordination paradigms to foster local sustainable development
The Alpine area has always been characterised by complexities and challenges that spread beyond municipal, regional and national borders, these have led to the need and to the implementation of cooperation. Despite the remarkable heritage of Alpine collaboration, this territory is today facing the challenge of a new sustainable-coordination paradigm. The creation of the European Union Strategy for the Alpine region in 2015 has open new cooperation opportunities but also increased the complexity of the former scenario. The governance structures that geographically interest this area are in fact significantly numerous. Beside the European and national layer, the afore-mentioned macro-regional, the regional, the sub-regional (as for instance Municipalities Unions or Mountains communities) and the municipal ones co-exist. Not to mention all the additional stable cooperation structure, as Interreg (cross-border and transnational programmes), European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, Arge Alps and sister organisations and their governance and steering structure, or the temporary ones established through the various cooperation projects that involve partners from different states or regions. Actors involved in each of the governance layer vary from local to international ones. The challenge of ‘wide area’ cooperation is, therefore, significant, especially concerning local development strategies, where the contribution of governance layers varies from soft measures to operative ones. This paper takes into account Alpine governance structures that act through the first approach and aims at exploring whether and to which extent wide area cooperation is useful and necessary in sustainable local development. The concept of ‘attractiveness’ of places, which goes beyond the concept of competitiveness, represents the starting point of this reflection. Residential Economy and the contribution of Eusalp to its fostering is the core of the research, which tries to answer to the research question: to what extent can the Alpine strategy for the Alpine region foster residential economy in the Alps? The scope of the presentation is to display the theoretical pillars that are at the basis of our research and give some preliminary answer to the research question. All questions and comments are welcome.
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