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Sonthofen to be 2005 Alpine Town of the Year

Jul 15, 2004 / alpMedia
On July 8 the German town of Sonthofen officially launched its preparations for the 2005 Alpine Town of the Year with an impulse workshop followed by a press conference. An international jury is to award Sonthofen the title of "2005 Alpine Town of the Year" for its past services on behalf of sustainable development in particular.
At its workshop the town of Sonthofen presented an extensive draft programme and project ideas for 2005. Plans include staging an international ski competition with other Alpine Towns of the Year in March, the Euregio Music Festival in April, an international mountain forest conference in June, and an art exhibition with artists from previous Alpine Towns of the Year. Trento, the current Alpine Town of the Year, is to hand over the title on 26 November as part of its closing ceremony. The workshop participants particularly approved of the fact that local associations and organisations had been included in the programming for the Alpine Town of the Year in Sonthofen.
The title Alpine Town of the Year rewards alpine towns which put into practice in an exemplary fashion the international set of agreements of the Alpine Convention. Every year an international jury made up of representatives of the Alpine Towns Working Group, the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) and Pro Vita Alpina put forward an alpine town.
In the case of Sonthofen the jury were particularly taken by the car-free town centre and the municipal and regional transport authority, the construction of a high-capacity wood-chip heating plant with district heating network, and the ecological design of the health resort's park landscape. The jury also paid tribute to the municipal authorities' decision actively to involve its citizens in the town's future under the motto of Zukunft Sonthofen. Social groups are able to voice their interests through separate bodies such as the youth parliament or council of foreigners, and address these issues in a political forum.
All previous Alpine Towns of the Year (Villach/A, Belluno/I, Maribor/SI, Bad Reichenhall/D, Gap/F, Herisau/CH and Trento/I) intensify their co-operation as part of the "Alpine Town of the Year Community of Interests", which Sonthofen is now set to join.
Sources and information: (de/fr/it/sl/en), (de)