Ostana is an Occitan multi-centric settlement in the north-western Alps, in the Po valley, facing the Monviso mountain in Italy. In 1921 there were 1 200 inhabitants. At the end of the 20th century only six were left with a depopulation rate of 99,5%.
Nowadays, the inhabitants count 50 permanent ones, while in the summer and high season this number grows to 500 tourists and second-home owners in total. The rebirth of the village began in the late 80s of the 20th century when a group of former Ostana inhabitants returned from Turin with the idea of a high-quality architectural renovation based on very strict rules and the protection and promotion of alpine landscape.
Over the years, Ostana was able to attract a network of qualified supporters and build a system of competences and alliances from outside the valley. A small and tough community created the conditions for a better life, including work around architectural renovation, providing services to the inhabitants, developing cultural projects, and taking care of the deployment of renewable energy, agriculture and forest management.
Ostana is a collective project and a recognised model of alpine regeneration. In order to strengthen its vocation and avoid any real estate and touristic speculations, it now needs to face new challenges by attracting new qualified working inhabitants and easing the creation of entrepreneurships. It is therefore in the process of developing a smart village strategy.
(Photo creadit: Laura Cantarella)
A focus on Ostana and rural mobility
Ostana is in the spotlight of the 3rd regional workshop of the Smart Rural 21 project, held online on 27 January, while the event focuses on ways of improving rural mobility.
The village will present its smart approach, strategy, and solutions in terms of architecture, social innovation and e-mobility. Overall, the event will additionally explore the ‘smart village’ support framework in Italy and beyond.
Ostana participates in a rural mobility programme
Ostana was among the chosen destinations of the ‘UNITA - Rural Mobility’ programme promoting mobility and skills by offering University students internships at various entities and companies in rural areas.
The internships took place between August and December 2021 and other countries whose rural areas received interns included Spain, Portugal and Romania. Ostana alone received over 60 student applications.
Wondering what life is like in an Alpine village? Try Ostana!
Ostana offers the possibility to professionals of all walks of life, ranging from researchers, to artists, to entrepreneurs, to spend a certain period of time in the village. This would allow them to develop their own projects, contribute to the growth of the community or simply experience the village life.
The Ostana Residency Programme has been running since January 2021 and represents both an intercultural laboratory and a way to test liveability in the Alps.
Ostana library – reference for contemporary Alpine culture
The Open Library of Ostana (Biblioteca Aperta di Ostana) has opened its doors to avid readers, following the completion of a long-lasting project and thanks to donations and the commitment of the local community, enriching the cultural and book heritage of the municipality.
The library aspires to be a reference point for contemporary Alpine culture – it is part of CAISiDoc, the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) book archive. In addition, it regularly hosts book presentations, movie screenings and events for adolescents and children. The library part of a network of national and European partners.
Village strategy :
Smart Rural Journey
Follow along with our Village Roadmap here :
Ostana has sought expert support to prepare a smart mobility plan, including through e-mobility solutions, in order to overcome the mobility challenges due to its narrow streets, especially aggravated during peak tourist seasons. Additionally, the village received support for identifying possible funding sources for key actions, such as planning applications for national calls for temporary residency, as well as for improving its smart actions communication.
Step 1/6 : Plans to create environmental friendly transport solutions
Park & ride aims to provide sustainable solutions for reducing private transportation and carbon emission, including dymanic system of booking and efficient shuttle services.
Step 2/6 : Plans for the carpooling system
In order to descrease the number of circulating vehicles a carpooling system has been planned: light transport vehicle with capacity of 7 to 9 persons, coupled with a platform for the management of booking.
Step 3/6 : Mobility Development Plan of the village
Ostana’s Mobility Development Plan aims to (1) Define an executive and sustainable path for freight management services and the arrival and departure of tourists, (2) Identify a management strategy for community mobility, (3) Develop an action plan for the enhancement of the experience and communication.
Step 4/6 : Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan sets out how to plan specific interventions, how to organise actions through the engagement of the community, how to plan and schedule investment and how to identify financing through various funding sources.
Step 5/6 : Identifying relevant programmes and calls to fund actions and prepare funding applications
The SR21 project has provided support to identify relevant programmes and calls (google translated English version) to fund actions and prepare funding applications. In particular national calls on temporary residence, relevant pilot action calls under the Alpine Space programme, and ERDF-funded regional and national programmes and calls in Italy have been identified.
7th Smart Rural Café, Ostana (14 December 2021)
Enrica Alberti, Laura Cantarella and Silvia Rovere talks about the regeneration process of Ostana from structural, social, cultural and sustainable points of view. A particular focus is put on contemporary approaches for future development such as cultural events, residence programme and sustainable mobility.
A Cultural Hub for Ostana
An innovative cultural centre for high-quality services and cultural productions was set up in Ostana as part of a wider strategy to develop a long-term infrastructure and renewed community spirit and to attract new visitors to the village. It is one of the highlighted ‘smart solutions’ of the Smart Rural 21 project.