Linking Urban and Inner-Alpine Green Infrastructure - Multifunctional Ecosystem Services for more liveable territories (LUIGI)

What are the common territorial challenges and/or joint assets that will be tackled by the project?

Two diverging territorial megatrends are presently ongoing in the Alpine Space. While urban and metropolitan Areas are flourishing and, at the same time, becoming aware of the value of a more sustainable development, rural reas feel often perceived as a source for supplying cities with goods and services (e.g. food products, recreation etc.) that benefit only urban dwellers. Meanwhile, the decline of plant and animal species and the collapse of pollinators raises concern for the growing loss of biodiversity. New and more cohesive rural-urban partnership models are required to maintain high-quality living space for the future. These models are designed on the basis of multifunctional Alpine GI networks not only as ecological corridors, but also as ways to exchange economic and cultural values related to ecosystem services for the joint benefit of rural and urban areas, in the perspective of a greener economy, financial innovation and a diffuse and more sustainable tourism.

What is the project's approach and why is transnational cooperation needed to address these common challenges and/or joint assets? What is innovative about the project's approach? How is this reflected in the project activities?

The project aims at shaping a transalpine GI-network as ecological,economic and cult. connectivity factor of rural and urban Alpine territories,acting as a joint Alpine lighthouse to implement the political declaration of EUSALP Environmental Ministers of States & Regions on GI.Based on EU standards for GI and ESS(e.g.MAES)and on previous ASP projects(e.g.AlpFoodWay,AlpES),value chains for goods and services,provided by representative GI structures(meadow orchards and comparable landscape structures),related management and business models and financial instruments will be assessed and optimized.Based on harmonised procedures,a set of representative cities and rural areas will be covered.Findings will be extrapolated on Alpine scale via existing networks like protected areas,LEADER and specifically the Alpine city network initiated by LOS-DAMAproject.Innovative mechanisms of local empowerment and creative citizen involvement(citizens science&design thinking) will be checked and set up.

What is the overall objective of the project? How does it contribute to the programme's objective?

The main project objective is to valorise, preserve and promote the GI elements that can ensure a durable ecological, economic and cultural connectivity between rural and urban territories providing social enrichment, added economic value and fair financial compensation for the goods and services supplied to the cities and metropolitan areas by the rural areas of the Alpine Space. By valorising the products and services of representative GI elements like orchards and other green/blue GIs, the project strengthens the land-planning capabilities of the local policy-makers, a more sustainable spatial development, the development of strategic connectivity networks, a higher social cohesion and a better quality of life.