Savoie in Vorarlberg!

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Organized by the CAUE of Savoie and Metropole Savoie, the study trip SUSTAINABLE AND PARTICIPATIVE TOWN PLANNING gathered 24 people (elected people, managers of public services, architects, town planners and project leaders) for three visiting days in December, 2014.

The integration of the participative initiatives and the valuation of the local resources were in the center of the exchanges with the Austrian local authorities.

The program allowed to discover a big variety of projects, both by the size of the municipalities and by the typology of buildings (public places, multifunctional district, housing, school, waste reception center)
These various projects highlight three main teachings :

  • The necessity of a better cooperation
    • Beyond the skills already shared at the intermunicipal level, a widened cooperation allowed for example the realization of an exemplary building with a waste reception center
    • Generally speaking the strength of the ecoresponsible buying group increases capacities of communities, especially the smallest, thanks to the effects of the mutualization
  • The importance of the implication of the inhabitants
    • The met contracting authorities underlined the positive impact of the citizen’s implication , of the upstream in the approval of the projects
    • This dialogue, always framed by professionals, takes diverse forms : public meetings, workshops, drawing lots, allowing citizens’ largest number to find its place
    • The social and functional mix is approved by a large majority as common factor of success of the projects
  • The use and the valuation of local wood
    • Key Resource of a territory with 90 % of surfaces in mountain, the wood industry includes 3500 jobs.
    • The wood industry gets organized to cluster, around a high quality sign
    • Omnipresent in the visited buildings, the wood represents 40 % of the residential construction to Voralberg

And, for every visited building, a quality of exemplary conception and realization, the passive level is now the constructive standard on the territory (triple glazing, walls with skeleton wood with organic insulations, double-flow ventilation, thermal and/or photovoltaic solar energy).

In conclusion, let us resume the words of Dominique Gauzin Mûller, in The ecological Architecture of Voralberg:

“It is in the human relations more than in the technical innovations than it is necessary to look for the new models of society able to assure our future”.

Thanks to Laura JOLLY, from Metropole Savoie, for her synthesis work on this journey

Nathalie NOEL, ASDER

Etienne Vienot (RAEE)

Author: Etienne Vienot (RAEE)

I am project manager in charge of european projects at the regional energy agency of Rhône-Alpes.

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