Local endogenous development
and urban regeneration of small alpine towns


WP6 Niederösterreich

Network Youth in small-medium alpine towns

Case-project abstract

In the province of Lower Austria you can find a lot of activities and efforts to integrate young people in the social life of towns; especially the program of urban regeneration has started some projects in the field of youth. There are important experiences from the projects concerning the different ways of implementation, the challenges and the results.

A network between local authorities, associations and appropriate authorities is needed to give new ideas, new impulse, and new points of view. The set up of infrastructure for networking and know how transfer will allow to carry out projects using efficient financial and personnel resources in the future and will encourage new and innovative forms of development in small-medium alpine towns.

Reasons for the choice of this case-project

Today you need a "new language" to work with young people. The adults complain about the lack of interest of the youth, and young people about being not understood. The local authority is interested in doing something for young people, but often they are not able to get in contact with each other. So often public facilities are destroyed by vandalism. The aim of this network is to gather the needs and ideas of the young generation and to form projects fitting to them. A special part of this network will be in finding the right method for working with the young people. Thereby young people shall get the feeling, that their needs are important for the society. So there is the hope, that the facilities are accepted as their own ones and used in an appropriate way. Further this process shall be able to decrease the migration of young people out of small alpine towns.

The local authorities in alpine regions will get support and solutions to challenge the diverse problems (youth unemployment, vandalism, drug abuse, no participation) in the field of youth work.

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WP6: services/quality of life

Adopted methodology

The chosen methods will vary depending on the local situation. Many conflicts with young people have their cause in former projects or personal matters. Therefore the process of motivation and engagement has to start at a different level of communication.

In some alpine cities there are already groups of very active persons dealing with this challenge as organized youth associations or local discussion groups lead by adults.

In many alpine cities a representative of the legal communal body is designated to face youth interests. These persons often have some good ideas and know the needs of the youth in their city but lack know-how or time for action. In this situation an external initial impulse often give the kick-off for projects.

In other cities there is a need to establish structures for activities and to know what the kids really want. The mayor of Fischamend for example stated in the year 2000: "We lost the contact to our youth. We don't know what they exactly want, what they are doing (in their spare time) and where they meet. So we want two youth consultants to go out, meet young people, gain their trust and consult us (the municipality) what to do for the well-being of young people in Fischamend."

A small number of cities in alpine regions do not deal with their youth in an organized way at all. In these cases the advantages for local development, necessities, costs and long-term effects have to be pointed out and a positive climate for youth activities has to be created in a first step.

Expected benefits (local and regional levels)
  • to provide qualified support for local authorities in the field of youth
  • to share good practice on successful youth projects
  • to create a network between local authorities, associations, appropriate authorities and schools
  • to take projects forward with different methods to activate and to encourage young people on independent and honorary work
  • to present projects and activities, outcome and success from projects and to intensify the exchange of experiences between all target groups
  • to improve the flow of information between youth groups and appropriate authorities

Are follow-up activities foreseen ?

The partnership in this project is the start of more networking activities run by the Town Regeneration in Lower Austria. Experiences how to work together will be necessary of more cooperation on EU-level.

Expected value added (other than financial) from the participation to an INTERREG project

We are sure, that our partners have lot of experience how to cooperate on EU-level. Town Regeneration in Lower Austria wants to carry out innovative forms in the vast field of regenerating European towns. Ideas can be shared to improve services in the partner countries.

Expected transnational exchange benefit gained from the case

The networking activities in the fields of youth should encourage the partners to enhance their efforts in these subjects. The different starting positions of the municipalities in Lower Austria will enlarge the possibility to transfer the results to our partners. Learning from mistakes, the following projects will go on in an easier and quicker way.

Output indicators
  • 2 workshops
  • 1 virtual platform on the web
  • 1 network structure for personal meetings
  • 1 web-site
  • 30 local meetings
  • 10 publications (press
  • 1 final report (experiences, best practice)
  • 1 mailing list

Impact indicators
  • Better understanding of youth interests and problems
  • Local projects to improve living conditions for young people
  • Local organisations were funded to face youth interests

Name of the town/s concerned

The partner are not fixed up to now: Brunn am Gebirge and Gloggnitz will be partners. As mentioned above, the network will stay open for other municipalities to join in.

Administrative level: local authorities as municipalities, regional cooperations

The department of culture of Lower Austria and the department for youth will be involved.

Demographic, social and economic situation of the town/s concerned and specifically identified problems

Please see Form 2: specific issues, economic structures

In some alpine cities (e.g. Brunn am Gebirge) there are already groups of very active persons dealing with this challenge as organized youth associations. In march 2004 Brunn has won an award for "youth-friendly municipality".

In many alpine cities a representative of the legal communal body is designated to face youth interests. To stop the "brain drain" to the big centres is one of the main tasks.
In other cities there is a need to establish structures for activities and to know what the kids really want. (e.g. Gloggnitz: is trying to establish a self-organized youth club)

A small amount of cities in alpine regions do not deal with their youth in an organized way at all. Chances and threats of dealing with this group and their importance for town-life will be shown up.

Role of the mountain resource within the local development chances of the town/s concerned (positive or negative)

The biggest role of the mountains is to make the physical contact between the young people in the rural surroundings harder. On the other hand, better environmental conditions are given in towns with mountains nearby. Leisure and sport activities in close range to places of learning and working gains importance for personal quality of life. Smooth tourism and the discovery of regional specialities is strongly supported by the state and by countless associations and regional organisations.

Expected contribution of the foreseen actions towards the development of the town/s concerned

The network will encourage opinion leaders and young people to think about the role of youth and youth interests in small alpine towns. More activities to foster ties between young people and their native towns will ensure the necessary human resources to face global changes. More well trained people living in these towns will be the base of successful local development.

Who is the responsible for the concrete development of the project?

Partner: Village and Town Regeneration of Lower Austria together with external experts of the association of "village and city regeneration".

The partner has the biggest interest in positive results. The importance of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and their social acceptance (network libraries) and the potential of young people (network youth) is part of the philosophy of this non-profit organisation.

How are activities sub-contracted? (if it is the case)

The local part of the activities is subcontracted to the Association of "village and Town regeneration", which is dealing with these matters since 15 years in commission from the Village Regeneration of Lower Austria. Motivation of the inhabitants, project management on local level, public relations etc. are the main tasks for the subcontractor.

Beside the partner, which administrative authorities are involved in the project? How?

As the network activities in this scale are quite new to Lower Austrian administrative authorities, the communication to other departments will be established in the course of the project. Information about objectives and planned activities will be the first step, closer contact will be useful when local projects are carried out.

Who are the main local/regional project actors?

The main project actors are the partner and the external experts in close co-operation with local activists such as opinion leaders and representatives of the local authorities. Young people of the alpine towns and organisations or associations dealing with youth interests will play a major role in this network.

Are there important actors who are not integrated or are opposing the project?

The case is isolated or integrated within a broader frame/ programme of activities? How? How are these activities being financed?

Network youth are embedded into everyday work of town regeneration in Lower Austria. The results in this field will have strong impact on further networks in this scale. The work of Town Regeneration is financed by the federal Province of Lower Austria.

Timetable for the project development (July 2004 - May 2006)

Survey and preparation: 09/2003 - 06/2004

Implementation: 06/2004 - 05/2005

Workshop: 06/2005

Dissemination: 07/2005 - 08/2006

Total cost for the case (Euros)

The total costs will be 38.350 Euro.

Are experts (non SSC) involved into the case and research activities undertaken for the case? What is their role?

Lower Austria has agreed in financing a stageaire to find out good practice examples in order to learn from experiences already made in Lower Austria. The communication and discussion between the partners and together with the scientific steering committee should ensure a big step ahead towards innovative forms of development in these subjects.