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 programme addressed 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 Alpine Space countries. The programme aims to accelerate the deployment of low carbon policies in winter tourism intensive regions. With a potential to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%, Smart Altitude is positioned as a powerful lever to engage Alpine resorts in a common process of implementing climate resilience and energy transition, applicable to different governance models and responding to the geophysical and human diversity of the Alpine arc.
To achieve this ambition, the programme has four complementary approaches: 1) defining a methodology for diagnosing the energy performance of territories; 2) testing and validating innovative and efficient technical and 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) drawing up a roadmap and a body of recommendations for decision-makers in territorial policies in the Alpine region with a view to replicating and disseminating the approach at macro-regional level.
This approach is already attracting a lot of interest from other resorts in the Alps. This is evidenced by the participation of 110 mountain stakeholders and decision-makers in the conferences and working groups organised by videoconference over the last six months, as well as the involvement of more than 20 other mountain resorts in the process. This participation has formed the active core of a European network of resorts and stakeholders committed to a common approach for the implementation of a resilient, efficient, responsible and exemplary model of mountain tourism in its ecological transition dynamics.
EUSALP is the European strategy for the Alpine region that combines human passions, natural resources and economic assets, linking cities, plains, valleys and mountains to find solutions to the challenges we can only solve together. EUSALP coordinates planning, integrates best practice in the fields of economy, education, environment, accessibility and mobility, and is committed as institutions to creating sustainable solutions for the benefit of citizens.
EUSALP is jointly creating Europe’s future by translating sectoral policies to the regional level, enabling the best ideas to be realised in a sensitive natural and multicultural Alpine area. By balancing innovative solutions in a healthy environment, SUERA shapes the common future. By bringing governance closer to the citizens, SUERA proves that the European culture of cooperation is alive.
Why a joint Smart Altitude / SUERA / OCOVA event…
The tools, set up by Smart Altitude for the benefit of a community of mountain resorts, the communities that support them and the territorial authorities that support them, aim to develop a responsible approach to mountain tourism through the implementation of low-carbon solutions. The process should continue beyond the end of the project, of which this event marks the official closing. The objective, from the first core of more than twenty resorts in the Alpine Space that have joined the project, with the support of EUSALP, is to make the Smart Altitude approach one of the driving forces of the energy transition in the winter tourism territories of the Alpine Space.
The joint Smart Altitude / SUERA / OCOVA event on 10 and 11 May marks the completion of three years of achievements and opens up the prospects for the mountains of tomorrow. It combines on the one hand the experience developed by the OCOVA forum in the dissemination of innovative digital technologies for actors in the development of territories, on the other hand the achievements of the Smart Altitude project and its exchanges with all its stakeholders, and finally the strategic vision of SUERA for the ecological and tourism transition, federating decision-makers in development policies at the European level.
… In Les Orres!
Les Orres is the pilot resort for the ecological and tourist transition of mountain resorts in the Southern Alps. Smart Station Flexgrid, living labs of the Interreg Alpine Space projects ALPSTAR (2012-2014) and SMART ALTITUDE (2018-2021) and leader of the 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 all-season 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 took place under the high authority of Joël Giraud, Secretary of State for Rural Affairs, Renaud Muselier, President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, with the participation of the two other French regions of the Alpine Space: Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne Franche-Comté, as well as the other European regions of the Alpine Space and the French Presidency of EUSALP.
Video recordings in English are available below:
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