Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf

Infrastructure for alpine summer farming: historical witnesses and spatial planning

Traditional buildings are an important part of the cultural landscape in alpine pasturing areas, serving as historico-cultural witnesses. They are, however, under pressure from structural change in agriculture and often require renovation. To assess their historico-cultural quality, a list of criteria has been drawn up which provides a basis for their agro-touristic development, i.e. for generating market value through tourism, where such buildings may serve as tourist attractions. The list draws on research on abandoned settlements and farmhouses, which can trace alpine summer farming back to the Middle Ages. If buildings need to be modified, renovated or extended to develop such tourist attractions, several federal and cantonal regulations specific to alpine pasturing areas apply. It is, however, also possible to develop agro-tourism without constructional measures, e.g. by creating theme walks.

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