16 March 2018

Convention signed between the Lombardy Region and Alto Oltrepo’ Pavese

An important step for the Lombardy Apennines


At the beginning of  March the National internal areas strategy in Alto Oltrepò Pavese reached a further important result, thanks to the collaboration and planning of 15 municipalities of the Alto Oltrepò Pavese with the technical support of the Mountain University – UNIMI, Lombardy Region, and  the Comitato Tecnico Aree Interne, thanks to the signing of the Convention between the Lombardy Region and the territory, with the Project Leader Gianfranco Alberti, Mayor of Varzi and President of the Comunità montana dell’Oltrepò Pavese.

The National internal areas strategy has outlined a detailed, transparent and participated programme for the Lombardy Apennines which has allowed the activation of an authentic process to make the local community aware of such issues and to increase  networking both within the community itself and  with the outside world. A path that has involved the Mountain University for technical assistance with the internal areas team of Unimont coordinated by Prof.ssa Giorgi, from the very outset back in 2016 with the presentation of the application by the Municipalities, up to today with more than 300 young people, innovators, resilient citizens and stakeholders of the territory involved in a path that lead to the identification, in co-planning with Lombardy Region and the Comitato Tecnico Aree Interne, of the lines of intervention and of the Area Strategy.

A complex challenge in a territory with important critical points represented both by the most relevant statistical data (health, depopulation, aging, digital divide), which place it in an unfortunate position at a  national level, as well as due to strong territorial fragmentation in a “forgotten and self-referential” land that despite benefiting, over previous decades, from a significant amount of financial resources has so far failed to activate significant reversals of trends or to ensure a civic and participatory approach to the development of the area. A comprehensive strategy has been developed in these months of listening and work, with more than 30 actions, to try to respond to the complexity of the area by identifying a combination of rediscovery and innovation as perspectives necessary for a fragile area that has so far failed to activate signals for the future that trigger returns year after year.

It will be necessary to make  local people  aware and  involved and to attract innovators, to ensure a solid basis to the challenge of development in the Apennines. This is highlighted by the many interventions including the establishment of a co-creation space between innovators, universities, businesses and the creation of a civic hackers community. The process of constructing the strategy and defining intervention sees the signing of the Convention as an important but not final step. In fact, in the coming months, the work of co-planning with the Lombardy Region and the Comitato Tecnico Aree Interne to arrive at the signing of the Framework Program with the Ministries which will also take place in the next few months will be fundamental.

The National internal areas strategy will also bring a drastic change to the Alto Oltrepò area compared to the past because it allows the experimentation of new approaches and community perspectives regarding the complexity of fragile areas only thanks to all the citizens, administrators, innovators, government agencies, stakeholders with the valuable support of the Lombardy Region and the Comitato nazionale aree interne.

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