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CIPRA Yearly Symposium: marginal creativity...

Yearly Symposium 2010: creatively shaping the future of the Alps.

Yearly Symposium 2010: creatively shaping the future of the Alps. © CIPRA International

This year's CIPRA Symposium focuses on the socio-economic margins of the Alps. Why "margins"? Because the nearest hospital is a far away and the post office is only open in the morning; because the towns and cities are beckoning, and nature is gaining more and more ground. The prevailing process of urbanisation has little in the way of prospects to offer these mountain regions, whose potential is already low.
The conference The Alps Undergoing Change - Peripheral Regions Between Wasteland and Hope aims to highlight the trends and to pinpoint the challenges and opportunities. What sort of a future can peripheral areas build on when there is no certainty about job security and the basic functions of subsistence? Can the quality of life be maintained? And what opportunities do shrinkage processes have to offer?
Alpine dairymen and women, woodcutters, and the return of the wilderness: The Yearly Symposium opens with a review and an outlook that puts people at the focal point. Day two of the Symposium looks at the issue of growing old in the Alps and the challenges with regard to transport policy and spatial planning. Development opportunities are to be showcased for areas such as health and tourism, integration policy and municipal self-governance.
The international conference will end with two panel discussions. Politicians will examine what a future regional policy for peripheral regions might involve. And experts will discuss the future of peripheral rural areas. Creative ideas for practical solutions will be put forward on the afternoon of day three of the event. On his farm Farmer Schneidhofer will explain how he goes about creating something new while living on the "margins". By contrast the town of Mürzzuschlag will present innovative ideas "from above". Cultural landscapes now proliferate where people once holidayed in summer health resorts. Can the Semmering Railway as a World Heritage Site ever be a driving force behind sustainable regional development?
The Yearly Symposium of the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps is being held at the Semmering/A from 14 to 16 October. The registration deadline is September 26. Programme and additional information: www.cipra.org/de/CIPRA/cipra-oesterreich (de/fr/it/sl)