Problems to be addressed
In the Alps, the controlling of land development requires special consideration due to topography, scarcity of land, overlapping land use interests and problems of traffic management. Therefore, land resources for commercial development are scarce and framework conditions for business development are not optimal in many municipalities, which are at the same time facing a high demand for promising approaches to economic development in order to enhance their competitiveness and overcome the demographic shift and out-migration of young and graduated people.
In addition, many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) have to address serious issues such as recruitment and retention of appropriate human capital, especially regarding the search of successors on the management level. Up to now, the strategies of commercial development on the municipal level have been to react to single cases in the short term. A coordinated and concerted strategy using the regional and local potentials is missing.
Moroever, commercial development often takes place in strong competition with the adjacent municipalities instead of being focused on keeping the existing enterprises in the region and to provide them attractive options for development. Insufficient multi-sectoral evaluation of the local and regional resources and potentials as well as the lack of a systematic analysis of what local enterprises need for their further development and what could be attractive for potential investors result in supply strategies. These neither meet the real demand nor make effective use of the human capital and the already established economic values. Often valuable natural resources are squandered instead of being used in a sustainable way.
Finally, the public image of many Alpine regions today is still mainly focused on tourism. The quality and potential of its human resources and SMEs are so far missing in the public perception.