Alpine towns gather people, economic actors, ideas, resources and cultural activities. They interact with the Alpine nature and landscape, but they also connect to large agglomerations. They act as ‘brokers’ between rural areas and the main metropolises in and around the Alps. Due to this role, Alpine towns might not only mitigate adverse processes, but also pass on positive effects to their surrounding areas.
Alpine towns should thus receive special attention as ‘multipliers’ for the implementation of regional development strategies. Successful transformation relies strongly on capacity building and coordination within entire functional regions. Only if towns coordinate their efforts over larger areas and with multiple stakeholders will policies have positive effects and help to avoid unwanted trade-offs or competition within the spatial network.