An Atlas for the Alps

If you want to know how the Alps area will look like in 2050 our ESPON project Alps 2050 is the best source of information. The project focused on the challenges the broader Alpine area is facing such as specific geographical position, globalisation, demographic trends, climate change and its impact on the environment, biodiversity, territorial pattern of activities and living conditions. The major challenge for the Alpine area is to balance economic development and environmental protection in a way that will ensure quality and sustainable living standards for its inhabitants.
The Alps 2050 project developed a unique atlas, to project these challenges and develop spatial visions and perspectives for the Alpine region towards the year 2050. It visualises the existing data from the project that show structures, patterns and trends that contextualise the spatial development, to fuel the debate on territorial development in the Alps.

What is evident when reading the Atlas is that the Alpine region is certainly a very dynamic region offering multiple opportunities for future development without focusing solely on growth dynamic. But the territorial development in the Alpine Region is complex and diverse. Different maps tell different stories as sometimes it is the morphological context that sets the picture, the contrast between urban and rural areas or the differences between North and South or East and West.

This complexity underlines the fact that spatial development is not determined only by mountains and morphology, it is equally a political process open for political struggles, societal debates and democratic decisions.

Policymakers should consider this reality in their designing of territorial strategies. From a transnational perspective, the parallels can be perceived as common challenges that stand in the heart of macro-regional strategy implementation. At the same time, regional and national differences can be a potential for diversity, best developed on political levels of the European multi-level system in subsidiarity.
You can download the Atlas below. 



  • Acrobat Document | 24.61MB