Resolution No. 4 on Problems of mountain regions in respect of urbanisation
1. Recalling Resolution No. 3 on Mountain regions and regional planning, adopted at their 2nd Conference, (La Grande Motte: 25-27 September 1973), Resolution 570 (1974) of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on the European Functions of the Alpine Regions, Resolution (74) 7 of the Committee of Ministers on the Economic and Social Problems of Mountain Regions and Resolution (75) 9 of the Committee of Ministers on Endangered Alpine Regions and the Ecological Charter on Mountain Regions in Europe;
2. Having taken note, at their 3rd Conference, of the special report and working papers on mountain regions and urbanisation presented by the Austrian and Swiss delegations, and considering that Alpine regions are ideal for the study of the problems of mountain regions;
3. Noting with interest that the Committee on Co-operation in Municipal and Regional Matters of the Council of Europe is studying the problems of the development of tourism in mountain regions, and particularly methods for enabling the local population to participate in economic, social and cultural development;
4. Applauding the fact that co-operation between Alpine regions has increased in the last few years, as was pointed out in the final declaration of the representatives of Alpine regions in Grenoble;
5. Anxious to co-ordinate efforts still more effectively both in those regions and in other European mountain regions where the problems arise in a different manner;
6. Believing that the Alpine range performs a specific function, because of its situation between the major industrial and demographic concentrations of Europe, as a social and ecological compensation area and also as a transit area;
7. Pointing to the many and varied effects of growing urbanisation in Europe on the development of the Alpine area;
8. Noting with satisfaction that the Alpine countries are endeavouring:
– to enhance recreation areas;
– to use the resources offered by nature;
– to reinforce the major transversal axes without thereby damaging irreversibly the specific and basic features of the Alps;
9. Make the following conclusions:
A. Regional planning in the countries concerned needs to be conceived in such a way as to:
a. protect and develop mountain regions as areas providing the resident population with a livelihood and living space;
b. enable the indigenous population to benefit from the economic and social effects of the development of tourism;
c. protect the ecological function of Alpine regions as a source and storehouse of natural resources;
d. maintain the social role of the Alpine regions as recreation areas of European importance;
e. consolidate the functional nature of Alpine regions as a zone of transit between the major European centres of demographic concentration, in favour of the local population and mountain economy without, however, impeding the other functions.
B. In addition it must ensure:
a. that the local population is encouraged to remain by the guarantee of job opportunities spread over the different occupational sectors; as well as by collective facilities and readily accessible services;
b. that there are adequate leisure and recreational opportunities for tourists, but without the implantation into mountain regions of large-scale tourist infrastructure and without a disproportionately high amount of investment coming from sources outside mountain regions;
c. that natural resources are rationally husbanded, protected and regenerated;
d. that the viability of mountain regions at inter-regional and European level is improved by the planning and building of a national network of communication routes for transit purposes;
e. that within the framework of national policies and a European agricultural policy, a substantial effort should be made to offset the disadvantages of mountain farming and to compensate the farming community for the essential function they perform in protecting land and landscape in the mountains.
C. Given these occasionally rival aims, it is necessary:
a. to analyse and plan with great care the development of the urban network in mountain regions, gearing it to urban patterns in Europe;
b. to promote land-use policies that preserve landscape diversity, maintain the productive capability of land, ensure its protection against damage from natural sources and ensure a balance between urban development and rural needs;
c. to investigate and define the capacity of mountain regions and take steps to guarantee this development while not allowing that capacity to be exceeded, paying special attention in so doing to the greatest concentrations of tourist traffic in time and space;
d. to develop in the Alpine region concerted planning programmes and particularly in this respect the development of transfrontier co-operation.
And instruct their senior officials
e. to pursue the study of these problems with a view to devising solutions to them at European level, and particularly to examine the measures which would give to mountain regions and their population equal chances of economic development and improvement in the quality of life, and to submit proposals to this effect.
f. The ministers gratefully accept the offer by the Austrian and Swiss delegations to continue the studies on mountain regions and to hold a seminar on the subject in 1978, in co-operation with the Council of Europe.