Cross Cutting Topics

The Institute for Regional Development works on several topics, which are not strictly connected to one of the research groups. We call them "cross-cutting topics".

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The cross-sectoral “Community Practices” working group aims to improve the social reality in which it operates through the direct involvement of local communities. Using participatory techniques, experts and local actors work together in co-designing the most appropriate solutions to achieve a desirable future and to be protagonists of their own change.

Contact person: Federica Maino: T +39 0471 055 329 |


Creative industries are regarded as an ever increasingly vital sector of local economies. A vital creative industry sector contributes to innovation, social wellbeing and to the valorization of mountain and rural communities. Creative sectors can moreover support the revitalisation of villages at risk of depopulation through art and engaging processes. Creative people can start and accompany participatory processes, create a sense of community, and transform empty buildings into spaces for dialogue and socialization.

Contacts: Marzia Bona T +39 0471 055 186|


The international cooperation with NGOs, public and private organisations and networks in the Alps and other European mountain regions is one of the main concerns of the Institute. The regional developers are members of various thematic working groups or commissions of the EUSALP, as well as the Alpine and Carpathian Conventions. An international exchange of their experience and the joint acquisition of research funds within the framework of the European research programs are promoted.

Contact person: Christian Hoffmann T +39 0471 055 328 |


Literature can represent a wake-up call and sharpen our perception of the environment. New, unusual and individual perspectives on everyday life, the world, social events and developments as well as history are conveyed. Numerous authors place scientists at the center of their work. Scientific findings and texts are processed in stories and narratives. Thus, knowledge and order are supplemented and expanded. In this way, utopias and dystopias anticipate possible developments and criticize current grievances. Their great narrative strength is the fact that fictional literary texts bring unnoticed, hidden and new possibilities of reality to light and thus convey specific knowledge. This makes them accessible to a broader audience, which is more aware and curious about them. This differentiates them from other media such as non-fiction books and professional articles. In the era of the Anthropocene, this seems important considering the narrative impact of literature and big social challenges.

Contact Person: Thomas Streifeneder T +39 0471 055 315 |


The group deals with spatial issues of regional development, especially land consumption and the fragmentation of landscapes. Analyses and visualisations of spatial development and legal instruments are used to highlight problem fields and possible solutions, which are discussed with planning experts.

Contact Person: Andrea Omizzolo T +39 0471 055 324 |


The thematic group “Sustainable Mobility & Tourism” works at three levels. First, it addresses research topics dealing with mobility and transport planning with a focus on rural areas. Second, it explores the role of tourism in different geographical contexts, the local ecological, economic, and social impacts of the sector. Third, it works at the interface between mobility and tourism, with a focus on cycle tourism, which conceives the bike as alternative transport means.

Contact Person: Alberto Dianin T +39 0471 055 426 |