The Impact of alpine Ski Tourism on the Austrian Alps
Landschaftsarchitektur und Entwerfen - Emerging topics in Landscape Architecture
Leibniz Universität Hannover
Whether people are beginners or advanced skiiers, both know the exhilarating thrill of sliding on snow and the spectacular views of towering peaks of the alps. Paradoxically, many people ski because of their connectedness and love for nature, the same nature that has been damaged and overbuild because of new and expanding ski areas. Over the years, winter ski tourism has rapidly grown in Austria and the construction of infrastructure has caused irreparable damage to the alpine landscape. The regeneration of the original vegetation in alpine terrain is becoming increasingly difficult in higher altitudes while stakeholders prefer to invest in high altitude ski resorts. Nonprofitable ski resorts at lower elevation are shut down because of the missing snow. In the future, more and more skiing infrastructure will fall into disuse because of cli-mate change. These abandoned infrastructures can be subject to repurposing ambitions. Also, an increasing number of out-door enthusiasts seek snowy slopes by practicing lower-impact forms of skiing. But all of these minor adjustments do not tackle the core issue of climate change and the rising snowline.