Local endogenous development
and urban regeneration of small alpine towns



Form 1 - Partner’s introduction

Name of the partner

Franche-Comté Region

Institutional role of the partner

Our Regional council is in charge of aspects in Education (high school), apprenticeship, lifelong learning, economic development, regional transports, environnement, spatial planning...

In contrary to other countries, Regional Councils in France don't make laws, they implement them. They carry out programmes, activities, but the competences have been given by the State.

Our Region, located in the East of France, is composed of 4 départements (another administrative level). It shares 230km of its frontiers with Switzerland

Budget for 2004: 344.8 million €

(main incomes: money transfer from the State, main expenditure: transport and education)

Name of the sector in charge of managing AlpCity

Direction de l'Aménagement du territoire

Spatial planning department

Role of the sector within the partner's administrative structure

2 services in the department:

  • spatial planning and natural parcs: local development, town and country planning, regional natural parcs...
  • urban life, housing and ICT: refurbishing projetcs, safety in healthcare institutes, dynamising the social and economic life in boroughs, promotion of ICT...

Partner's expected benefits from the participation to AlpCity

  • Exchange of good practices in oder to help in project engineering
  • Gain expertise for endegenous development
  • Boost to the improvement of social , economic aspects and the quality of life in the regional mountain towns

Indicate the WPs (5-8) in which the partner will undertake local case-projects (and if the partner is WP responsible)

Workpackage 7: urban environment

Not responsible for the WP

Organisational expectations from the participation to one or more specific WP5-8 (case-projects)
  • Role of the WP responsible : to gather information and distribute it to the other Project Partners.
  • Why not distinct meetings once a year?
  • Exchange of experience should be at the heart of the WP, it may help in the implementation of our local case projects (why not visiting a local case project of the WP responsible and of our region?)

Expectations from the work of AlpCity Scientific Steering activities
  • Raising problematic issues
  • Follow-up of activities
  • Help for transnational activities
  • Analysing transferability of projects

Form 2 - Description of the concerned territory (geographic and/or institutional areas)

Administrative areas within the region

There are 3 administrative levels in the region : (see map)

  • the Regional council: with competences mentioned p.2
  • the departemental level: in charge of road, social and health care policies, Education (pupils from 11 to 15), school transport...
  • the town level: responsible for urban quality and environment, town police, primary schools...

The State transferred these competences to each level. Each of the local authorities is independant but they work together in programmes, projects for a general development.

Brief description of the mountain character within the whole partner's territory

(Examples: what part is covered by mountains, what are the types of mountain (high, medium, low), which is the quota of the population living in mountain areas, what is the role of the mountain areas in the regional economy, etc.)

They are low and medium mountains and the highest point is at 1495m, the "crêt Pela" (see map)

61% of the municipalities have a population density lower than 35 inh/km² (which is the average density for rural areas in France)

Forests cover 43.6% of the territory and in 2001 the agricultural sector represented 3% of the sectorial added value.

Mountains in our region are populated, agriculture, industries (esp. Microtechnics) "green" tourism represent the majour assets and dynamics of this area.

Structure of the towns within the region

(Examples: size, hierarchy, demographic and economic changes, main social and economic problems)

There are 1786 municipalities in the region.14 urban areas have more than 10 000 inh. Besançon, with 118 000 inh is the regional capital. (see map)

The region is less populated than the other French regions (total population : 1,117 million inh.) and 8 municipalities out of ten have less than 500 inh. The average population density is 69 inh/km² whereas the French one is 109 inh./km².

Since the 90s' the population growth has been concentrated on the central area of the region.

Names of all administrative area/s involved in the case-projects
  • Case project 1: 2 Départements (Doubs and Jura) and 4 intermunicipal structures
    (Pays du Haut Doubs, Parc Naturel du Haut-Jura, Pays Horloger, Aire Urbaine)
  • Case Project 2 : 28 towns of 3 départements (Doubs, Haute-Saône and Jura)

Number of inhabitants in these areas
  • Case project 1: municipalities along a road axis, more than 100,000 inhabitants concerned
  • Case Project 2: 41,691 inh. (1999, according to the general population census)

Specific issues on the structure of the towns in these mountain areas

Urban organisation : There is one major city with 20,000inh. (Pontarlier), 2 intermediary poles (Morez and St Claude) and many small towns and villages situated along the axis.

They are located near the Swiss frontier and along the main road axis.

Economic profile of these towns
(Regional, international or local functions)

Thanks to the swiss intermediary centres, the mountains offer to its inhabitants a large range of equipments. Healthcare services have developped whereas handcraft, building and retailing are less present than 20 years ago.

In the Jura mountains, activities, jobs and the population have remained at the same level or have progressed these last years. Its own characteristics as well as its geographic environment give assets to this mountain. There are 19 craft companies for 1 000 in the South Jura, in the Doubs this proportion is even higher.

Regional agricultural productions are the basis of a food-processing industry. Franche-Comté is a region with a major milk and cheese production.

There is also a major timber industry because the region is at the 2nd rank as far as the afforestation rate is concerned. Around 700 companies work in the forestry field.

Social image of the mountains within the region

(Examples: symbolic values attached to the mountains, level of attractiveness for residential and/or leisure time activities, level of repulsiveness, differences among community and social groups. Please comment your replies!)

The regional attractiveness lies upon the mountains and the countryside in particular as far as tourism is concerned. This is due to the so-called nature activities and the choice of a quality environment. Furthermore the quality of the environment and landscapes constitutes a cultural and identity dimension in the region.

Policies for the mountain

(Is there a specific legislation concerning mountain areas? E.g. national, regional, other levels. What are the main points? Please indicate also the references and dates. Besides legal instruments, is there a specific partner's political approach vis-à-vis the mountains? What are the objectives? What are differences with other areas/regions?)

The French law : "loi montagne" 09/01/1985 (JO 10/01/1985): development and protection of mountains, created a national council for the development, planning and protection of mountains

Common programmes of development within specific organisations –Conférence Transjurassienne, commissariat de massif). These are local projects.