Cross-border connectivity in the Alpine Region


Papers, studies, articles and interesting contributions about the Alpine Region


Cross-border connectivity in the Alpine Region

Luca Cicchelli - TOPIX Consortium
Lorenzo Moro - TOPIX Consortium
Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffé - SDA Bocconi
27th Sep 2019

The study aim to support the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region Action Group 5 activities, covering the economic and technical feasibility for cross-border backbones of connectivity across the Alps. By complementing the targeted network infrastructure with distributed computing power, digital ecosystems and possible strategic applications, the analysis aims at supporting the Alpine region in facing major challenges, such as:

  • leveraging on its specific geographical position in Europe, as an area of connection and exchange among communities and economic areas, as well as a natural laboratory for cross-country collaboration, institutional development and environmental sustainability;
  • fostering the knowledge and information society to face global changes and reinforce its competitive and innovative position, for both export development and tourism attractivity;
  • rebalancing negative demographic trends of mountain areas, attracting new residents and contrasting the combined effects of ageing and new migration models, by striking a new, positive equilibrium between rural and urban models of citizenship, with a specific focus on harmonic balance between human presence and natural environment.

The analysis has mapped a sample of the existing cross-border connectivity infrastructures across the entire Alpine Region. The purpose of this sample-based mapping is not to cover all the existing or potential cross-border links, but rather to provide a possible blueprint for intervention and technical replicability. The analysis has classified the connectivity gaps according to four main criteria: Maturity, Access, Ownership, and Governance. The feasibility of recommended intervention has been classified with a score for each of the 19 cross-border routes selected as a sample for the analysis, providing possible guidelines for interventions and investments and defining main recommendations, while targeting the provision of neutral facilities and local shared infrastructures.

The four cross-sectoral strategic applications suggested in the study, Smart Mobility & Logistics, Smart Nature Parks, Smart Outdoor Sport Areas, Smart Villages for digital tourism and advanced agriculture, range from advanced mobility and logistic solutions, based on availability of digital infrastructures of high-speed, low-latency connectivity and sensorization of roads, passes and railways, to the transformation of the existing residential and touristic assets of the Region in “smart & sustainable digital zones”: from outdoor sport areas, to nature parks, to logistic infrastructures, to smart villages and sustainable, digital tourism and agriculture. The recommendation, hence, is to define a so-called “minimum viable solution” for each one of the listed projects, to be implemented in areas with the highest level of feasibility and growth potential, targeting a subsequent replicability and scalability in order to reach a critical mass across the entire Alpine Region, while granting consistency of institutional and technological governance, as well as the desired level of openness and interoperability in the resulting digital ecosystem. These recommendations are therefore addressed not only to authorities at the EU level, but also to regional/local institutions and private organizations that share the same objectives and that can benefit for the standardization and the scalability of the suggested investments in terms of cost saving, increased efficiency and effectiveness with the help of connectivity infrastructures and digital ecosystems as development drivers.

Title of the Study: Cross border connectivity in the Alpine Region: analysis and development according to network evolution
Authors: Top-IX Consortium, Prof. Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffé
Publication: 27.09.2019
Contracting authority: Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta


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