The French town of Passy was awarded the title of “Alpine Town of the Year 2022” for its sustainable development policy. In the upcoming Alpine Town Year, the municipality in the Savoy Alps is focusing particularly on improving energy efficiency and air quality as well as managing sensitive natural areas.
The international jury named the municipality of Passy in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, which has around 11,300 inhabitants, “Alpine Town of the Year 2022”. In doing so, the town with a view of the Mont Blanc range, which stretches widely over six hamlets, joins the “Alpine Town of the Year” association (see box). The international network of towns is committed to urban development in the Alps that is fit for the future.
Energy renovation, cultural heritage and protection of natural spaces
Different reasons were decisive for the jury. Passy has already implemented three projects dealing with the energy renovation of schools, the implementation of an air quality policy and the development of barrier-free tourism. Furthermore, Passy stands out for its cultural and architectural heritage of international importance, which it values for its guests as well as for the local population. Two important cultural initiatives – the International Mountain Book Fair and the Street of Contemporary Sculpture – are examples of this. The city also deals – through spatial planning approaches, but also through approaches to enhance local agriculture – with the interactions between natural spaces, agricultural areas, settlement areas and tourism. Also worth mentioning is the Sixt-Passy nature reserve, which is part of the Alpine Network of Protected Areas ALPARC.
Active role in the network
Passy has already participated in several activities of the Alpine Town of the Year network. A delegation from the town also visited the Alpine towns of Bolzano-Bozen/I and Bressanone-Brixen/I for an exchange on air quality. For the future, the committed Alpine Town delegation from Passy is planning further projects, for example to improve the energy efficiency of public buildings, to implement the mountain running event “Trail des Fiz” in an environmentally friendly way, or to find ideas for year-round tourism at the skiing area on the Plateau d’Assy. These activities clearly contribute to two goals of the Alpine Town of the Year Network: “Involving the population” and “Shaping a sustainable future”.