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Dynamics of repopulation in mountain areas: new highlanders

Call for papers: before July 30st, then February 1th, 2014


Observing the recent situation of demographic trends in the Alps, it is possible to put in evidence an interesting turnround in some alpine territories, especially alpine marginal areas. This situation invests not only the Alps but in general the European mountain territories, where the effects of this turnround become evident: from requalification of old villages and the creation of technologic buildings, to implementation of different forms of tourism (green tourism, soft tourism), from experimentation of new services (through ICT solutions), to implementation of sustainable mobility policies and finally to creation of green entrepreneurial activities (CIPRA, 2007, Messerli, Scheurer, Veit, 2011).

This phenomenon of repopulation is generally linked to immigration processes and not to birth increases in the Alps as in the other part of European mountains. Analysis on this issue have pointed out the existence of a group of subjects – called new inhabitants – attracted by mountains and determined to move to the mountains for different factors: landscape, quality of life, close to the nature, job opportunities, outdoor activities, etc. They are mountaineers by choice. Referring to these different territorial factors of attractiveness and taking into account differences through mountain territories (also in the Alpine Arc), some typologies of new inhabitants has been proposed from amenity migrants to returnees, from creative people to alpine commuters and so on (Bender O., Kanitscheider S., 2012, Cognard, 2006, Corrado, 2013, Fourny, 1994, Moss 1996, Perlik, 1996, 2006, Steinicke, Cede, Fliesser, 2010).

In relation to the topics treated in the Journal of Alpine Research n. 99-1 2011, this call proposes an update on the theme “New inhabitants of the mountains”, focusing the attention on the different types of recent movements of population to the mountains, especially in Alpine contexts, in order to deepen the scientific framework with the description of the phenomenon, its characteristic and its impact on local territories.


Taking into account the reflections proposed by Manfred Perlik in his recent article “Alpine gentrification: The mountain village as a metropolitan neighbourhood” (Journal of Alpine Research, n. 99-1, 2011), the themes approached in this volume are preferably those based on scientific issues related to the following aspects:

diffusion of new models of living mountains areas (multi-local dwelling, amenity led migration, ethic life style and so on) and related impacts on territorial dynamics of repopulation (alpine gentrification, repopulation of abandoned village and so on);

territorial policies oriented to fight depopulation in mountain area in integrated way and to attract new inhabitants (welcoming policies, territorial marketing to attract entrepreneurs, etc.);

experiences or policies in which new forms to supply territorial services (school, health and medical and social services, etc.) are implemented, especially through ICT systems, in order to give a good quality of life to local communities, also in mountain marginal areas;

dynamics of cultural integration between “new” and old inhabitants, taking into account that new inhabitants could be permanent but also temporary subjects as multilocal dwellers, seasonal workers and so on.


Proposals are expected before July 30th, 2013, (500 words abstract) and final papers should be handed out before November 1th, 2013 (see Rules for publication).

Contact : Contact : ,, et


Bender O., Kanitscheider S., 2012.– « New immigration into the European Alps : Emerging research Issues », Mountain Research and Development, vol. 32 no. 2, 235-241.

Cipra, 2007.– « Nous les Alpes ! Des femmes et des hommes façonnent l’avenir », 3e Rapport sur l’état des Alpes, CIPRA International.

Cognard F., 2006.– Le rôle des recompositions sociodémographiques dans les nouvelles dynamiques rurales : l’exemple du Diois, Méditerranée, 107, accessed 7.03.2013.

Corrado F., a cura di, 2010.– Ri-abitare le Alpi, Eidon Edizioni, Genova.

Corrado F., 2013.– « Territorial dynamics of repopulation in the Alpine area and their impacts on local development paths », Mountain Dossier, no. 1, accessed 7.03.2013.

Dematteis G., a cura di, 2011.– Montanari per scelta. Indizi di rinascita nella montagna piemontese, Franco Angeli, Milano.

Messerli P., Scheurer T., Veit H., 2011.– « Between Longing and Flight – Migratory processes in mountain areas, particularly in the European Alps », Revue de Géographie Alpine / Journal of Alpine Research no. 99-1, accessed 7.03.2013.

Fourny M.-C., 1994.– « Nouveaux habitants dans un pays de moyenne montagne », Études Rurales, 135-136, p. 83-95.

Moss L. ed., 1996.–The Amenity Migrants, Cabi, Wallingford.

Perlik M., 1996.– « The specifics of amenity migrations in the European Alps », in L.A.G. Moss ed., The Amenity Migrants, Cabi, Willingford.

Perlik M., 2011.–« Alpine gentrification : The mountain village as a metropolitan neighbourhood », Revue de Géographie Alpine / Journal of Alpine Research, n. 99-1, accessed 7.03.2013.

Steinicke E., Cĕde P., Fliesser U., 2010.– « Development patterns of rural depopulation areas. Demographic impacts of amenity migration on Italian peripheral regions », Mitteilungen der Osterreichischen Geographischen Gesellschaft, 151, p. 195-214.

Revue de Géographie Alpine / Journal of Alpine Research, 2011.– n. 99-1.

Varotto M., 2000.– « Montagna e sostenibilità : le terre alte tra fuga e ritorno », Rivista Geografica Italiana, 107, pp. 187-205.

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