History

Here you find the milestones about the Association since the initiative started in 1997:

Foundation
The Alpine Town of the Year project was founded in 1997 and, that same year, it first awarded the title to the town of Villach for two years.
1997

It was Villach/AT that originally came up with the idea of founding the Alpine Town of the Year initiative, inspired amongst others by Gerhard Leeb. It was motivated by the idea to promote Alpine towns for their endeavour in favour of models of sustainable development to achieve harmony between the preservation of the unique natural landscapes, economic activities and urban life. The idea emerged in the wake of the Alpine Convention, at a time when several organisations including the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) were reflecting on relevant paths to put into practice the international set of agreements laid down by this convention. The “Alpine Town of the Year” initiative was also intended to raise awareness of politicians and citizens alike for the sustainable development of their territories at a time when these issues where quite new in the public sphere.

Secretariat
During the first years, Villach, in the person of Tony Kübler, assumed the sponsorship for the “Alpine Towns of the Year”. Trento then took over the secretariat for several years, with Ettore Bonazza.
From 2003 on, the secretariat was entrusted to CIPRA International. Several people have followed one another in leading and directing the association, including Michel Revaz, Andreas Götz, Aurelia Ullrich, Serena Rauzi, Madeleine Rohrer, Andreas Pichler and Magdalena Holzer. Since 2016 the secretariat has been provided by CIPRA International together with Claire Simon of Val&Monti / OXALIS Scop SA.
since 1997
Community of Interests
The development of the network then required a new organisation and, on 22 March 2003, the Alpine Town of the Year Community of Interests was founded.
2003
Establishment of the Association
For legal reasons the Community of Interests was re-established as an association, the “Alpenstadt des Jahres e.V. – Ville des Alpes de l’Année – Città alpina dell’anno – Alpsko mesto leta” in November 2006.
2006
Presidents
Colette Patron from Gap/FR was designated as the first president of the Community of Interests (and then of the Association). She remained in this position until 2010. Hubert Buhl, from Sonthofen/DE, succeeded her from 2010 to 2013, followed by Thierry Billet from Annecy/FR until 2020.
since 2006
Memorandum of Understanding
On 11 January 2008 the “Alpine Town of the Year” Association and the Alpine Convention reaffirmed their willingness to work together on a long-term basis through a Memorandum of Understanding.
2008
Projects
Since its participation in the Alpstar (Interreg Alpine Space) project in 2011, the association initiates or participates in projects funded by European programmes or by several national delegations of the Alpine Convention.
since 2011
Association's headquarters
For many years, the association was domiciled in Bad Reichenhall/DE; since 2019 the domicile has been in Sonthofen/DE.
2019