Local endogenous development
and urban regeneration of small alpine towns


WP7 Regione Piemonte

Living in mountain areas: Valle Maira and Valle Po, Province of Cuneo

Case-project abstract

This is project is not well developed the moment.

The housing organisation of the Province of Cuneo (ATC Cuneo) and other actors are working with Regione Piemonte to define the case. The theme is "living in the mountains". The options at the moment are:

  • A study on the existing housing conditions in some part of the Cuneo valleys, the less touristic and declining ones, with underused or non adequate buildings, in order to identify issues to be solved to improve life for the local inhabitants.
  • A study on the sustainable promotion of the local built heritage, in the same contexts, in order to allow people to improve their houses in an architecturally sound way, to use them also for other purposes (such as bed&breakfast), to attract activities, business and people also by offering some of the abandoned buildings (for example old industrial buildings): this may imply the establishment of a sort of agency for local development.
  • A study on the housing question in an area where recent immigration is relevant (for example as far as the Chinese community in the towns Barge and Bagnolo are concerned). In these places there is an increase of the housing prices, a new demand for social housing, but also an interesting phenomenon of renewal of old abandoned farm buildings.
Reasons for the choice of this case-project

The partner and the ATC Cuneo believe that the question of housing can be crucial in order to improve the quality of life of the local population and promote endogenous development

Adopted methodology

Environment Park Spa has developed a building environmental assessment tool for the alpine context, named ‘Alpine Environmental Building Assessment Tool – AEBAT'. The tool allows to carry out assessments on existing buildings with respect to a wide number of criteria dealing with the most important environmental issues, such as: resource consumption, environmental loadings, quality of the indoor environment, quality of service. The result is a ‘picture' of the actual environmental performance of the building assessed. On the basis of the assessment results, it will be possible to define, for each typical alpine building, the best refurbishment strategies to improve its environmental quality. The strategies will be analysed taking into account also the economic aspects of the refurbishment actions.

Expected benefits (local and regional levels)

The case studies aimed at improving the environmental quality of existing buildings, which are the object of a retrofit action by means of the application of specific guidelines.
The guidelines are at disposal of local organisation (municipalities and mountain communities) to be adopted and to be used in building codes, funding programmes and to base economic incentives.
The long-term result will be a more sustainable local built environment.
The involved stakeholders are also: designers, users, investors, construction companies.

Are follow-up activities foreseen ?

The guidelines resulting from this case study will be adopted by several local authorities. Environment Park will support these initiatives by a technical point of view.  

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

The chance to disseminate the AEBAT and EPIQR tool and to performe relevant exchanges of knowledge and expertise on the subject at transnational level.

Output indicators

Guidelines containing the optimal retrofit actions for the typical alpine buildings

Impact indicators

Feedbacks from the workshops organized to illustrate the guidelines to the cooperating organizations and institutions.

Name of the town/s concerned

Valle Maira and Valli Po, Bronda e Infernotto

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

Most of the historical alpine building stock in Piedmont Alps is quickly deteriorating and the possibility of a retrofit and refurbishment action will be not feasible anymore.

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

The mountain resource plays a pivotal role in the development chances of the area concerned in relation to traditional mountain activities together with the relevant tourist industry.

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

There is a strong interest by local governments to recover the alpine villages and a strong will to do that in a sustainable way. To achieve this objective it is necessary to identify in short time an eco-efficient strategy involving local authorities at every level.

Who is the responsible for the concrete development of the project?
  • ATC Cuneo
  • Politecnico di Torino?

How are activities sub-contracted?

Environment Park Spa takes care of the whole carrying out of the case studies

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

The following local authorities were involved in the finding of the typical alpine buildings needed to perform the energy and environmental assessment: Comunità Montana Bassa Valle di Susa, municipality of Condove, municipality of Mompantero, municipality of Garessio, municipality of Mattie, Comunità Montana Valli di Lanzo, Dora Baltea Canavesana, Valli Gesso and Vermenagna, Alta Val Tanaro, Curone-Grue-Ossona, Valle Stura, Val Varaita, Valli Orco e Soana, Val Pellice.

Who are the main local/regional project actors?

Both public authorities and private stakeholders have a strong interest in the recovery of the alpine villages involved.

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?

Synergies have been developed with the other case studies of the same work package in terms of knowledge and experience sharing.

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

During the project period (2004-2006) the following activities will be performed:

  • identification of concerned typical buildings
  • assessment of the environmental performance of the buildings through specific tools (EPIQR and AEBAT)
  • development of actions to improve the environmental quality of the assessed buildings
  • cost/benefit analysis of the actions
  • development of a guideline containing the actions
  • organization of workshops to illustrate the guidelines to the cooperating organizations.

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

The COREP (Consortium for research and continuing education) of the Polytechnic of Turin played an important role in involving several Mountain Communities in the case study also through the organization of a master within the OPLAB Project supported by Piedmont Region.