InnoCité : How to improve competitiveness of small-medium cities under the influence of Alpine great urban centres

In the Alpine Space, metropolisation has given birth to changes in the urban system and in the urban-rural relationships: the dichotomy between small settlements of alpine towns/villages/hamlets which are influenced by important Metropolitan Growth Areas (e.g. Lyon, Milan, Munich, Vienna, Trieste and other big towns) can be solved through the challenging role played by high-potential small and medium-sized Alpine cities and by the catching and attracting areas around them.

InnoCité is a territorial eco-system approach which facilitates a complementary positioning of small/medium Alpine towns. It proposes itself as an empowering tool-kit for decision-makers, which desire to find a complementary positioning towards big Alpine agglomerations.

According to the renewed Lisbon Agenda, the objectives consist in enhancing a sustainable development of these cities by:

  • implementing sustainable spatial planning to reduce economic and social disparities across borders,
  • improving their attractiveness and quality of life creating a common vision taking into account residential, administrative, economic functions,
  • setting transnational regulations for multinational companies and SMEs, which want to expand and to invest in the Alpine Space.

These regulations should attract companies to small and medium sized towns as well as contribute to the infrastructure and identity of these towns.

A balanced territorial development policy is linked with a necessary reinterpretation of governance. This objective is to be achieved through the implementation of participatory methods involving various stakeholders (public authorities, politics, specialists of spatial planning, economists, urbanists, local SME’s etc) in private/public partnerships, in order to share a common governance culture ensuring sustainability and transferability of the project results. Partners integrate results into their local, regional and national programmes by favouring an effective political commitment.

InnoCité project integrates 9 places of experimentation:

  • France (Rhône-Alpes Region): Neuville-sur-Saône; (Franche-Comté Region): Lure
  • Germany (Bavaria): Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  • Austria (Salzburg): Plusregion (Köstendorf, Neumarkt, Straßwalchen); (Lower Austria) Hollabrunn and Bad Vöslau
  • Italy (Lombardy Region): Voguera and Darfo Boario Terme
  • Slovenia (Primorska Region): Koper

Some experimentations are taking place in different towns at the same time, for exemple, Neuville-sur-Saône (FR), Lure (FR) and Voguera (IT) are working together on a transnational exchange. Other experimentations are on specific subjects, like “wellness tourism”.

Project official web page: link

Region / municipalities

Current projects