Less Regional Rhetoric, More Diversity. Urbanised Alps in the Interest of Cohesive Societies


The current regional development strategies require mountain regions to specialise in their landscape resources and to value them independently. The hypothesis is that this strategy has to be questioned in view of increasing spatial inequality in Europe. In the peripheral areas, this inequality is mainly due to differences in development opportunities. It finds its expression in an increasing social cleavage, which in turn is expressed in polarized voting practices of the population: Rich regions are acting regionalist in order to leave the larger community of solidarity of the nation state. Poor regions see nationalist and openly racist currents spreading. Cities, including those in the Alps, attract an educated and more prosperous population and are able to handle social conflicts more generously. The gap between the large core cities and their hinterlands is widening. In the interest of cohesive societies, it does not seem very expedient in this situation to further intensify reg...

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