The Living Labs in TranStat: Experimental Roles and Objectives

Nov 15, 2023

In the TranStat project, the ski resorts selected were not selected solely on the basis of their physical characteristics (typically their altitude and the possible impact of a lack of snow), or their ski areas, but more generally on the basis of their vulnerability to global change and their willingness to engage in a process of reflection on transition. The ski resorts, members of the TranStat Living Labs network, participate in the project, accepting the idea of a participatory and inclusive approach. Figure 1 shows the ski resorts involved in the TranStat project in the Alpine region.

Figure 1 : TranStat Living Labs – Pilot Ski area territories- locations

Although their physical and/or socio-economic configurations are very different, these territories express and share common concerns in terms of change: climate change and the resulting lack of snow, the length of the ski season reduced (i.e. : Maniva, Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse and generally all LLs) with different intensity, higher energy prices increasing costs (higher energy prices, shorter season, etc. (i.e.: Kranjska Gora, Grosses Wassertal), uncertain labour market, flow control, reconciling interests of residents and tourists, aging population (housing, care and mobility services, low birth rate, youth emigration, pressure on public services (schools, post offices, village shops/pubs, lack of affordable rental housing (especially for families), (i.e. Surselva & Breil/Brigels Region, Megève), finally, implement and facilitate participatory governance (i.e. Valmalenco).

The heart of the work in the network of the 10 stations considered as Living Labs, is the implementation of a participatory and inclusive approach and the experimentation of a set of scalable local solutions and scenarios. The challenge is to co- build ad-hoc transition paths towards open processes and desired futures.

The 2023-2024 winter season is an important step in the construction of this transition process, as the TranStat LLs are systemically analyzing their territories and will be able to draw relevant observations from this winter.

In France, LL Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse is preparing this winter’s opening of its ski area. The opening of only part of the ski area, managed by an association, is part of a collegial, territory-wide reflection, on the resort’s year-round tourism transition model.

In LL Megève, following the major renewal of the municipal executive, the transition issues have evolved since the beginning of TranStat project, towards an expected focus on the issue of secondary residents, in connection with the site’s attractiveness and tourist-sports practices.