Val Grande National Park, Italy.
Val-Grande is a national park shared between 10 mountain communities located in the remote Alpine area in the Piedmont region. Like many rural territories, the area is at risk of marginalisation. Recent depopulation led to a progressive abandonment of built heritage, but also threatens the transmission of local knowledge, values and memory. Since 2015, the Commonlands project aims to activate and empower local mountain communities to take responsibility for the preservation and valorisation of their shared cultural and natural heritage as a driver for community cohesion, wellbeing and sustainable development.
The 250 inhabitants triggered a bottom-up process to co-design and manage cultural and tourism initiatives in a sustainable way. The participatory approach enabled local communities to re-appropriate natural and cultural heritage as a source for local development and sustainable tourism. In the medium-long term, the project is expected to lead to the creation of an eco-museum to further sustain and expand the ongoing initiative.