Local endogenous development
and urban regeneration of small alpine towns



Form 1 - Partner’s introduction

Name of the partner

Veneto Regional Authority.

Institutional role of the partner

(General information on all sectors of competence and degree of administrative capacity).

Excerpt from the Statute of the Veneto Regional Authority:
"Article 4" - The Veneto Regional Authority exercises its powers for the purposes of:

  • providing the concrete right to study, work and live in safety and guaranteeing family rights;
  • promoting the social parity of women;
  • determining the social and economic set-up of the territory, respecting its natural characteristics and promoting the proper use of natural resources, including depressed areas and mountain regions, eliminating the causes of emigration;
  • designing and implementing plans to safeguard the soil, regulate water resources and distribute them rationally, carrying out land reclamation;
  • improving and safeguarding natural and human environments, with an ecological policy aimed at eliminating the causes of pollution in the air, water and soil;
  • guaranteeing the conservation and renewal of the environmental, historic and artistic heritage of the Veneto Region and Venice;
  • promoting full employment, safeguarding employees in the exercise of their rights, providing training and professional re-training;
  • implementing measures for the development of agriculture, fishing, craft industry, industrial, commercial and tourist activities;
  • promoting various sectors of the economy including co-operatives and forms of mutual assistance without profit;
  • fostering economic and social relations in the countryside, assisting family businesses, owner farmers and associations of farmers and agricultural skills;
  • guaranteeing all citizens with social service provision, particularly in relation to housing, education, healthcare, transport and sports facilities;
  • ensuring the social functions of private property in the spirit of articles 42 and 43 of the Constitution;
  • implementing policies to promote cultural activities, scientific research and technology.
Name of the sector in charge of managing AlpCity

(National language and English translation).

  • Unità Complessa Pianificazione territoriale - PTRC
  • Planning and Territorial development Unit - PTRC
EU-P7 Veneto

Role of the sector within the partner's administrative structure

(Information on specific competences, policies and services).

Regional Territorial Planning

The structure draws up and updates the Regional Territorial Co-ordination Plan.
Recently the preliminary policy document was drawn up for consultations prior to defining the new Territorial Plan (see art. 4 Regional Law 61 of 1985).

Another activity involves territorial planning for the broader area

The office also deals with Territorial Marketing with the implementation of several internet portals, participation in conferences, exhibitions and w related to the aims of the PTRC and organized in order to disseminate the activities of the office.

Another field of activity is participation in international and Community projects:

  • Participation in the MAP (Mediterranean Action Plan)
  • Intermetrex and Polimetrex in the Metrex - Interreg III C network;
  • Alpcity within the framework of Interreg III B - Alpine area;
  • Infrarur within the framework of Interreg III C - Southern area.

Partner's expected benefits from the participation to AlpCity
  • Promotion of activities in the Alpine areas of the Veneto;
  • Exchange of experience with other Italian and overseas Regional Authorities on subjects relating to the development of Alpine regions;
  • Promotion of the sustainable development of small Alpine centres.

Indicate the WPs (5-8) in which the partner will undertake local case-projects (and if the partner is WP responsible
  • WP 7 Project cases 3 Urban environment
  • The partner is not responsible for the WPs.

Organisational expectations from the participation to one or more specific WP5-8 (case-projects)

(The WP must have internal rules? Which ones? How do you see the role of the WP responsible? How do you think exchange of experiences within the WP should be promoted? What could be the ways to structure the WP: distinct meetings, news by email? Others?)

Define some rules in conjunction with partners in the same WP and the partner with responsibility for WPs; these can be compared and negotiated with other partners in the working group.

The partner responsible for WPs could co-ordinate and organize the working group.

The work could be organized with an exchange of information by e-mail, with meetings and bilateral visits to case study areas.

Expectations from the work of AlpCity Scientific Steering activities

The general set-up of the project, identification of shared objectives for WPs and/or case studies, work methods, analysis and definition of similarities and/or differences in problems, general supervision of the project and final conclusions.

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

Administrative areas within the region

(What are the administrative levels within the region for different policy, planning, and project purposes? What are the different competences within these areas? What is the relationship between these levels and the small towns? The mountains?).

The Veneto Regional Authority implements its policies via laws within the sector, draws up general territorial and area plans identifying projects and works at a number of levels: 1) regional; 2) provincial; 3) local authority.

Mountain areas include small communities - small local authorities with very specific duties.

The Regional Authority defines general policy, Provincial Authorities and mountain communities manage implementation and local authorities deal with specific projects.

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.)

The regional territory of the Veneto comprises:

  • an Alpine area
  • a pre-Alpine and hilly area
  • lake Garda
  • the coastline and lagoon
  • the pedemont plain and lowlands

The Veneto contains widespread mountain areas, totalling 29% of the territory, a hilly area comprising about 15% of the area and lowlands comprising 56% of the Region.

The 19 mountain communities in the Veneto comprise 171 local authorities with a population of 490,821 inhabitants representing about 34% of the Regional territory.

The woodland area stretches over 294,000 hectares, more than 204,000 of which are subject to forestry settlement plans in compliance with art. 23 of Regional Forestry Law 52 of 1978.

Public woodlands cover over 121,000 hectares.

In this mountain context, there are 196 woodland companies (128 in Belluno) and over 37,500 farming businesses.

The Alpine area comprises three regions:

  • the northern Dolomites (Cadore, Complico and Sappada, Alto-Zoldano and Alto Agordino) - an area of beautiful countryside with some ancient settlements and with considerable tourist potential;
  • the Dolomites in Belluno and Feltre (the area between Val Belluna, Cismon and Boite) characterised by a total lack of settlements and by wild nature with extremely valuable ecosystems in terms of flora, fauna and geology;
  • Val Belluna (the middle Piave valley) characterized by many settlements and quality farm land.

Structure of the towns within the region

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

The Veneto Region is characterized by a policentric urban structure, with small and medium sized towns (between 100,000 and 300,000 inhabitants) with a fairly high standard of living after the change-over from agriculture to industry and problems relating to the lack of services and urban infrastructure, the ageing of the population and recent phenomena of immigration.

Names of all administrative area/s involved in the case-projects

The local authorities involved are the mountain communities of Complico and Sappada and Agordina.

The local authority mountain areas of Complico and Sappada include:

  • S. Stefano di Cadore
  • S.Pietro di Cadore
  • Sappada
  • Comelico Superiore
  • Danta
  • S. Nicolň Comelico

The local authorities in the mountain area of Agordina include:

  • Agordo
  • Alleghe
  • Canale d'Agordo
  • Cencenighe Agordino
  • Colle S.Lucia
  • Falcade
  • Gosaldo
  • La Valle
  • Livinallongo
  • Rivamonte
  • Rocca Pietore
  • S. Tomaso Agordino
  • Selva di Cadore
  • Taibon
  • Vallada Agordina
  • Voltago

Number of inhabitants in these areas
  • The Mountain Community of Agordino - about 21,000 inhabitants
  • The Mountain Community of Complico and Sappada - about 9,400 inhabitants

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

The structure of the urban mountain centres is characterized by a blend, comprising old and/or historic buildings, with some modern buildings here and there, generally rather clashing with the old buildings in terms of architecture and size (i.e. they are much bigger).

In addition, during the Second World War, some renovations were carried out with some completely extraneous architectural details.

The small Alpine centres are also not very accessible, have few services and little infrastructure. Hence many people leave in both the towns and neighbouring areas and the remaining population grows gradually older, buildings are not maintained and the historical heritage declines, particularly where there this is productive of income.

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

Once independent, largely farming communities with little contact with the outside world, since the Second World War economic developments elsewhere - urban developments in the valleys and lowlands - have isolated the areas, making them remote and destroying their economic viability. The economy is currently based on the production of spectacles, which however is now facing tough competition from Asian countries, threatening employment.

Winter and summer tourism does exist but the levels are poor, with inadequate and uncompetitive services compared to other resorts in the Alps (Ampezzano, Val Badia or Val Pusteria for example). Therefore tourists are few and far between, and growth is hampered by poor services and facilities. The following data give a clearer picture of business activities in the region.(see table)

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 environmental value of the region is very strong, with its great natural and unspoilt beauty. On the one hand the lack of tourism has prevented economic growth but on the other, this has maintained the natural beauty of the mountain scenery. This is partly due to the centuries-old woodland management (dating back to the fifteenth century) by "Rules" Associations, which still exist, whose practices are enshrined in nationwide legislation.

Mountain regions need to find a new economic and productive balance based on the concrete analysis of the services and facilities the market requires and the nature of the tourist attraction. Agriculture, tourism and culture are the basic building blocks for developing the regions in a sustainable fashion. The "environmental dimension" is important and requires maintenance of the natural beauty of the scenery.

In relation to the various social groups, Ladin culture still remains in Sappada and throughout the Biois Valley, but the population is entirely integrated with its neighbours, so there is no social conflict.

On the other hand, the gradual ageing of the population is a problem, making the ability to attract new settlers, above all young families, a priority.

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-ŕ-vis the mountains? What are the objectives? What are differences with other areas/regions?)

On 3 July 1992 the Official Bulletin of the Regional Authority promulgated Regional Law 19 with the heading "Regulations" for the formation and functioning of mountain communities. This law was necessary due to the inadequate nature of previous legislation and to incorporate the principles set out in Law 142 of 8 June 1990, articles 28 and 29, governing natural resources and the role and functions of mountain communities. The new statutory framework for local authorities included Regional Law 51 of 18 December 1993, promulgated by the Regional Authority and governing regulations for the classification of mountain communities.

Less than two years after the introduction of Regional Law 19/92, Law 97 of 31 January 1994 overhauled the entire legislative framework governing mountains. The law was entitled "New dispositions for mountain areas" and reaffirmed the primary importance of Regional Authorities and local authorities in safeguarding and promoting mountain areas, which constitute "a pre-eminent national interest", as established by article 1. The regulations are the logical consequence of Law 142/90 reforming local authorities and providing extensive powers.

Among other things, Regional Authorities are given the task of defining policy criteria for local authorities, dictating regulations and allocating resources. For this purpose a National Mountain Fund was created (art. 2) with resources from the Community, state and general public, divided into regional funds adding to the resources of local authorities. In this connection, article 17 of Regional Law 19/92 was modified by Regional Law 3 of 3 February 1998, replacing the existing fund for investments in mountain areas with Regional Mountain Funds.

These statutory chops and changes required an organic review, which was enshrined in Regional Law 9 of 9 September 1999, modifying various articles of the previous law 19/92 but preserving the role of mountain areas in view of their unique geographical location and socio-economic conditions, treating them organically as a whole whilst giving powers to specific authorities to plan and implement policy.

Regional Law 19/92 as modified by article 13 includes the drawing up of a long-term plan. With this programme, Mountain Communities identify the actions to be carried out and the resources required to promote the socio-economic wellbeing of the community in a 5-year plan, drawn up in compliance with statutory requirements and in line with Provincial and Regional Authority policies.

Political approach:

  • Art. 19 b) of R.L. 19/92 sets up the "Permanent Mountain Committee".

In particular it specifies:

  • The Permanent Mountain Committee comprises the Presidents of Mountain Communities, the Presidents of Belluno, Treviso, Vicenza and Verona Provincial Authorities, three mountain community mayors as appointed by the Veneto Regional Association of Local Authorities (ANCI), the President of the National Union of Mountain Local Authorities - the Veneto Regional Delegation (UNCEM), and is chaired by the President of the Regional Authority or a Regional Councillor appointed by him/her.
  • The Committee reports to the Regional Authority within the first 6 months of each year, and the Report specifies works in progress and plans for mountain areas.
  • The Committee makes recommendations on Mountain areas to local authorities and the Regional Authority concerning the implementation of programmes in mountain areas and all other relevant matters for their development."

In the last three years, an average of two or three Conferences have been held by the Committee each year, ensuring co-ordinated policy by the Regional and local Authorities.