Why stakeholder involvement is a crucial factor for developing sustainable mobility solutions in the Alps.
The transformation of Alpine mobility towards more sustainable modes and services leads to several trade-offs: new infrastructures need to be developed which shift environmental impacts to other areas (e.g. noise impacts from neighbourhoods along motorways to settlements along railway lines), new services have differing impacts on remote regions and not all regions and citizens see the same need for changes. Thus, the development of new infrastructures and services as well as the prioritisation of projects always needs a careful communication as well as a close involvement of stakeholders to find acceptable solutions. Several smart ideas on stakeholder involvement and the avoidance of social conflicts have been developed in the Alpine Region in which citizens generally have a close relationship to their environment and cultural heritage.
Traffic participants / © Alessandro Cristofoletti, Alpine Convention
Trentino: Opposition to the southern access routes of the Brenner Base Tunnel
In Trentino, different organizations have expressed their opposition to the construction of new infrastructures to develop the southern access routes of the Brenner base tunnel. Actions to face up the conflict are underway, for example involvement of municipalities and the rail infrastructure company responsible for the projects, launch of an Observatory, monitoring of the ongoing activities and the provision of more and transparent information on the project.
Lyon-Turin base tunnel: Public debate and perception of the new base tunnel
From its initial announcement in the 1990s, the construction of the Lyon-Turin segment of the new European high-speed rail network found fierce opposition from the inhabitants of Susa Valley, Italy, one of the areas to be cut across by such infrastructure as well as, later on, from inhabitants of the French Maurienne Valley. Local groups have set up manifestations and opposition movements in an organized way and have thus influenced the planning process in a crucial way. In France, the national government has thus decided in 2009, to prioritise the project in a specific way: the trans-border section had been specially supervised under the government’s Démarche Grand Chantier (major worksite programme) which underlined, for the public authorities, the exceptional nature of the project. Such an approach had not been seen since the building of the Channel tunnel. An observation post was set up to give more body to the approach and to involve local stakeholders and citizens.
Bavaria: Conflicts related to infrastructure development
In Bavaria, major road and rail infrastructures are currently developed, with the planned extension of the A8 motorway Munich-Salzburg as well as the rail access lines for the Brenner axis. These infrastructure projects lead to various fears in the population, including an increase in noise pollution, effects on landscape and nature as well as the loss of agricultural land. These fears need to be taken up in planning processes through public involvement processes.