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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.

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Finding a balance between accessibility for tourists as well as local needs and the environment.
Tourism is a major economic activity for the Alpine Region. However, it does not only lead to positive economic impacts but also brings along challenges for preserving the precious environmental and cultural heritage of the Alps as well as considering specific needs of the local population. Most Alpine regions have recognised the need to develop environmentally-friendly tourism offers to remain competitive and to underpin standards of living in rural communities. These can however also bring along trade-offs and social conflicts that need to be considered in the planning process. At the same time, increasing traffic volumes can have negative impacts on tourism. For example, major touristic destinations are crossed by motorways and/or railway lines and an increase in traffic volumes and environmental impacts reduces the attractiveness of these regions.
Alps as recreation area / © Alessandro Cristofoletti, Alpine Convention
Tyrol: Road congestion caused by seasonal tourism
The majority of visitors to Tyrol arrive by private car, resulting in severe road congestion on the motorways and at the entrance to the main tourism valleys. This makes it increasingly challenging for residents to get around and threatens the attractiveness of the mountain regions. Tourists can be encouraged to use public transport by different measures. Offers can include guest cards offering free local public transport when booking accommodation, luggage pick-up services by hotels, or discounts on local tourist attractions when arriving by train. Cooperation between the transport and tourism sectors is required to offer such services.
Carinthia: Major transit corridor crosses important tourism area
The tourism region Carinthia - Wörthersee is crossed by an international TEN corridor, the Baltic Adriatic Corridor. Rising transport volumes on this railway line reduce the attractiveness of this tourism region. Building on Good Practices developed in other regions, it will be crucial to deal with this challenge.
Bavaria: Finding a balance between local needs and touristic attractiveness
In the Chiemsee region in Bavaria, the local population suffers from leisure and tourism traffic. Many local residents commute to other cities and face increasing travel times in the holiday season. On the other hand, the regions are economically strongly dependent on tourism. The further development of public transport services is one solution to deal with these challenges.