Since 2004, the OCOVA forum has been the place where territorial development actors meet to discuss the contribution of digital technologies to the intelligent and sustainable mountain of tomorrow. 150 to 200 innovation leaders, industrial players, development aid organisations, local authorities and decision-makers meet to share their visions on the development of mountain territories. The forum is an opportunity to take stock of the evolution of uses and markets, technological breakthroughs and future solutions, as well as the obstacles to their deployment.
The forum’s programme addresses two major priorities at the heart of tomorrow’s mountain sites: 1) the management of infrastructures (energy, water, mobility, waste, etc.) from a sustainable development perspective, 2) the promotion of attractiveness in all seasons in all its components (mountain sports, indoor and outdoor activities, tourist accommodation, safety, etc.)
Smart Altitude brings together 10 partners and 24 observers from six countries of the Alpine Space. This programme aims to accelerate the deployment of low-carbon policies in regions with high winter tourism intensity. With a potential for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%, Smart Altitude is positioned as a powerful lever for enlisting Alpine resorts in a common process of climate resilience and energy transition implementation, applicable to different governance models and responding to the geophysical and human diversity of the Alpine arc.
To achieve this ambition, the programme involves four complementary approaches: 1) defining a methodology for territorial energy performance diagnosis; 2) testing and validating innovative and efficient technical-economic solutions in real conditions in four pilot resorts; 3) making available and facilitating the implementation of practical decision-making, planning and implementation tools; 4) developing a roadmap and a corpus of recommendations for decision-makers of territorial policies in the Alpine space with a view to disseminating the approach at the macro-regional level.
The approach is already attracting a lot of interest from other resorts in the Alpine arc. This is shown by the participation of 110 actors and decision-makers from mountain areas in the conferences and working groups organised by videoconference over the last six months, as well as by the involvement of 20 other resorts and areas in the process. This has formed the active core of a European network of resorts and actors committed to a common approach to the implementation of a model of mountain tourism that is resilient, efficient, responsible and exemplary in its dynamic towards ecological transition.
EUSALP is a European strategy for the Alpine territory joining human passions, natural resources and economic assets, linking cities, plains, valleys and mountains to find solutions to challenges we can solve only together. EUSALP coordinates planning, integrates the best practices in the fields of economy, education, environment, accessibility and mobility, and commits as institutions to create sustainable solutions for the benefits of the citizens.
EUSALP co-creates the future of Europe by translating sectoral policies on regional scale, enabling the best ideas to happen in a sensitive natural and multicultural Alpine area. By balancing innovative solutions in a healthy environment, EUSALP is shaping the future together. By bringing governing closer to the people, EUSALP is proving that the European culture of cooperation lives.
Why an OCOVA/Smart Altitude/EUSALP event
The tools, set up by Smart Altitude for the benefit of a community of actors developing a responsible approach to mountain tourism, are expected to continue after the end of the project, scheduled for Mid-April 2021. Discussions are underway with the French EUSALP Presidency to ensure the continuity of the Smart Altitude approach beyond the end of the project. The aim is to make the Smart Altitude approach one of the driving forces for the creation of a common and shared action of the energy transition in winter tourism territories of the Alpine Space.
The joint OCOVA/Smart Altitude/EUSALP event on 10 and 11 May marks the completion of three years of effort and opens up the prospects for the mountains of tomorrow. It combines on the one hand the experience developed for almost 20 years by the OCOVA forum in the dissemination of advanced digital technologies for intelligent territories, on the other hand the achievements of the Smart Altitude project, and finally the strategic vision of EUSALP for the ecological and tourism transition, federating decision-makers in mountain development policies at the European level.
… in Les Orres
Les Orres is the pilot resort for the ecological and tourism transition of mountain resorts in the Southern Alps. Flexgrid Smart Station, living labs of the Interreg Alpine Space projects ALPSTAR (2012-2014) and SMART ALTITUDE (2018-2021) and leader of this latter project which brings together 10 partners from 5 countries of the Alpine space around the energy transition, pilot commune/resort for the deployment of optical fibre and 4G/5G, Les Orres is also fully committed to the promotion of outdoor activities and the development of new all-season activity models for the tourism transition. Every year, it hosts the OCOVA forum, of which its mayor, Pierre Vollaire, is the founder.
The event will take place under the high authority and in the presence of Joël Giraud, French Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Renaud Muselier, President of Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, with the participation of the two other French regions of the Alpine Space—Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté—as well as of the other European regions of the Alpine Space and of the French Presidency of EUSALP.
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