Development Trends in the Alps

 

Development Types and Recent Development Trends

Development Types

The individual municipality types are listed in Table 1. The definition of each type is based on a set of indicators, the most significant of which are the economic parameters (allocation to sectors), the level of commuting, and the intensity of tourism (see BÄTZING, MESSERLI & PERLIK 1995).

The municipality types can be summarised as follows:

  1. The (municipalities of the) urban areas: This includes the cities and the strongly urbanised surrounding municipalities. Strongly urbanised means that there are many jobs and incoming commuters. On maps 1-3 these municipalities are shown in red and dark violet.
     
  2. The tourism municipalities or areas: These are the second most active areas of growth in the Alps, sometimes demonstrating urban phenomena. On maps 1-3 these municipalities are shown in dark yellow.
     
  3. Suburban and peripheral municipalities or areas: The residential function dominates here, but there is only limited economic potential, few jobs and therefore many commuters and close interconnection with the urban areas. Suburban means: on the outskirts of a city or large town. These are the classic "sleeping municipalities". Peripheral means: far distant from the urban centres. These area the isolated side valleys. For technical reasons it was not possible to show the suburban and peripheral areas separately on the maps. However, it can be assumed that, with the exception of the job situation, the suburban municipalities fare better than peripheral municipalities in many other development indicators relating to demographic change or prosperity levels. In the following tables, this situation is reflected by fairly positive overall ratings for the grouping of suburban and peripheral municipalities. The more negative values of the peripheral municipalities are "hidden", as it were, in these positive values. On maps 1-3 these municipalities are shown in purple.
     
  4. Balanced municipalities: These are municipalities in which no particular sector strongly dominates and where there are no significant commuter movements. On maps 1-3 these municipalities are shown in grey.
     
  5. All other municipalities or areas: This includes for instance agricultural or industrial municipalities. The proportion of these specialised types is now so minimal in the Alps that in the tables they have been combined into a single 'others' group. However, on maps 1-3 these different types of municipalities are still shown separately.
Further Readings & Links

Municipality Types Over the Last 20 Years

What can be interpreted from the developments of the last 20 years? (See Tables 1 and 2)

  • The number of balanced municipalities has reduced by over 1,400, so by almost two thirds. While in the year 1981 still 38% of Alpine municipalities could be described as being "balanced", by the year 2001 it is only 13%.
  • In contrast, particularly the strongly urban municipalities have increased, but also the suburban, peripheral and tourism municipalities. Other municipalities (eg. agricultural, industrial) have decreased significantly.
  • It becomes clear that there is a polarising and specialising process happening here.
Beispiel
Table 1: Change in number of municipalities of each type 1981-2001 (Source: Adapted from CIPRA 2007).

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Table 2: Change in the percentage of municipalities of each type 1981-2001. (Source: Adapted from CIPRA 2007).

Changes in the Types of Municipalities from 1981-2001

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Map 1: Types of municipalities in the Alpine arc in 1981 (Source: Adapted from CIPRA 2007). Click on the image to enlarge it.

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Map 2: Types of municipalities in the Alpine arc in 1991 (Source: Adapted from CIPRA 2007). Click on the image to enlarge it.

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Map 3: Types of municipalities in the Alpine arc in 2001 (Source: Adapted from CIPRA 2007). Click on the image to enlarge it.

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Map 4: Development types of municipalities from 1981-2001 (Source: Adapted from CIPRA 2007). Click on the image to enlarge it.
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DAX (2001)
Endogenous development in Austria's mountain regions: From a source of irritation to a mainstream movement.

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