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#BalancingNature&Landscape

Finding a good balance between preservation and further development needs.
One of the main features of the Alpine Region is its outstanding natural and cultural heritage. The Alpine Region forms an area of mountainous habitats that is extremely rich in biodiversity and resources. A sound environment is essential for underpinning human activities in the Region and for ensuring economic and social wellbeing for its citizens. Alpine tourism in particular depends on an intact nature and landscape, as tourists in the Alps seek the unique natural surroundings.
The increasing demand for mobility constitutes a major challenge for preserving the Alpine natural heritage. Transport infrastructures lead to visual intrusions as well as habitat loss and landscape fragmentation. Especially for the construction of new infrastructures, a good balance between the preservation of natural resources and landscapes and specific mobility needs has to be kept – this being only possible by involving relevant stakeholders and citizens in the planning processes. Trade-offs do not only occur with respect to mobility needs but also with respect to other policy aims: for example the construction of noise barriers can also lead to visual intrusions and needs to be carefully designed.
South Tyrol: Transport infrastructures and tourism
The Brenner corridor lies in a narrow Alpine valley. Geographical conditions force to build transport infrastructures (motorway, national road, railway) in the valley. The landscape is shaped by these infrastructures. To reduce the noise problem a noise protections program has been started which however has negative impacts for the landscape and thus for tourism.
Ticino: Melide causeway crossing Lake-Lugano
The A2 highway is directly crossing scenic Lake Lugano and is an example of the significant impact of transport infrastructure on landscape and nature.
Salzburg: A10 motorway trade-off between noise protection and landscape
To reduce noise impacts of the Tauern motorway (A10), innovative noise barriers have been constructed in high-settlement areas. These noise barriers are specifically high and are curved above the motorway, so that the surrounding landscapes can no longer be seen by motorway users. Some stakeholders argue that this form of noise prevention represents a sight obstruction and that it has a negative impact on tourism, as touristical sights remain undetected while potential visitors pass the region on the motorway. This example shows the difficulties between different needs in the Alpine region – improving living conditions for local citizens and maintaining a high touristic attractiveness.

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#ConnectTheAlps

Improving connectivity and accessibility: closing links and providing new solutions for cross-border travel information.
A well connected public transport network will become a crucial element in preserving liveability and economic activities in remote Alpine areas. The Alpine Region suffers from an unbalanced demographic trend, whereby cities and peri-Alpine areas grow constantly in population while remote areas suffer from ageing and depopulation. In order to guarantee the connectivity within the Region and to improve cross-border services it is thus important to identify missing links in the existing public transport network, to identify relevant bottlenecks and to improve the quality of services, especially across borders. High-quality and well-connected public transport services are also an important factor for tourism mobility: tourists will only leave their car at home and travel to the Alps by public transport if good services and easily accessible information is available at the destination. One current objective of some Alpine regions is thus the development of a cross-border travel information tool, which integrates all available information on public transport services and, in the long term, allows an integrated ticketing system.
Tyrol: Connecting remote areas
Some remote provinces of Tyrol that are economical­ly less developed remain poorly connected by public transport. For Example there are no direct rail connections from Reutte and Lienz to Innsbruck, making travel times by public transport much more time consuming compared to the private car. Thus, the con­nection of these areas will become a priority for future public transport development.
Friuli Venezia Giulia: Reactivation of cross-border connections
Italy and Slovenia are not connected with public transport services. Most notably, the railway link on the line Venice-Trieste-Ljubljana was cancelled in April 2008, due to different national safety regula­tions. Therefore, the reactivation of a cross-border connection is a priority to ensure reliable and sustainable public transport options, to be achieved through close cooperation with the relevant stake­holders at local and national levels.
STRIPE – Developing an integrated travel information system
Easily accessible and transparent information on public transport and other sustainable mobility services is a crucial precondition for incentivizing modal shift of passenger transport. Especially for journeys crossing national or even regional borders it is however difficult to get information on public transport and other sustainable mobility services in one integrated platform, especially for journeys crossing national or even regional borders. A border crossing, single information system would make travelling by public transport much easier and more attractive. This should also include additional information services on shared mobility and soft modes, accurate real-time information, information on tariffs and ticketing as well as the environmental footprint including CO2 emissions and air pollution. Some Alpine regions as well as major public transport providers are currently joining forces in a new project to develop such an integrated platform.