The role of Alpine development regimes in the development of second homes: Preliminary lessons from Switzerland

Gerber, Jean-David; Bandi, Monika (2018). The role of Alpine development regimes in the development of second homes: Preliminary lessons from Switzerland. Land use policy, 77, pp. 859-870. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.09.017

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In a majority of the tourist municipalities of the Swiss Alps, more than 50% of residences are second homes. However, the growing awareness that second homes contribute to the shortage of available land and to the standardization of landscapes in sensitive alpine environments has had little effect on the pace of development. Following the adoption of the popular initiative “Stop the endless construction of second homes”, which aimed to limit the share of second homes in a municipality to 20% of homes in the area, a new law came into force on 1 January 2016, taking a clear stand against further uncontrolled development of second homes. Although it is too early to measure the impact of this new legislation, many observers proclaimed the beginning of a new development era in alpine regions. However, this optimism did not consider the strong position of the developers in these regions and their strong ties to local decision makers. This article appraises the impact of the new legislation on the long-term development model of Alpine tourist destinations, which is still largely based on strategies of land rent capture. Relying on urban regime theory, we maintain that the impact of the new regulation will depend on its ability to weaken Alpine development regimes. Urban regime theory allows us to capture the complexity of the changing context of the tourism industry and highlight five main factors that potentially impact the status of the development of second homes as a central issue of local governance. Based on empirical evidence from the Upper Engadin region, we discuss the measures implemented to regulate the growth of second homes and formulate preliminary remarks on the effectiveness of the new regulations in curbing development of second homes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography > Unit Urban & Regional Planing
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics > Institute of Economics > Economic Policy and Regional Economics
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics > Institute of Economics
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
11 Centers of Competence > Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)

UniBE Contributor:

Gerber, Jean-David and Bandi, Monika

Subjects:

700 Arts > 710 Landscaping & area planning
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

ISSN:

0264-8377

Publisher:

Elsevier Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Melanie Moser

Date Deposited:

20 Aug 2018 11:52

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2018 09:14

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.09.017

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.113082

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/113082

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