City-mountain relations: between historical tensions and new partnerships - a view from the European Alps

The presentation debates the city-mountain relations by stressing the ambivalent relationship between the two. Through time, the urban logic has prevailed more and more on mountain areas and mountain societies. This has led to some tensions but this also has offered some opportunities. After decades of tensions, could new partnership between the two emerge? This question is examined in the context of the European Alps. The presentation addresses the issues of functional territorial relations but also issues of identity. How does the mountain specify an identity of a town, a city or even a metropolis? The presentation considers different types of urban settlements: mountain towns/cities, cities and agglomerations in the mountains, and metropolises on the edge of mountain ranges.