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16. août 2021, Voyage d'études

ETH-EPFL Summer School: Transects Through Alpine Water Landscapes


Alps, Water, and Infrastructure
Water is a finite resource that has increasingly become a major geopolitical issue. In the European context, the Alps hold a strategic position as the ‘water tower of Europe’. Industrialization and urbanization apply significant pressure onto the water ecosystems of alpine valleys. Modifications to the flow of rivers can significantly impact downstream regions, across very extensive areas. Thus, concerted landscape management and urban planning is essential, especially as natural and man-made water systems are affected by climate change.

The Valley Transect
The conceptual starting point for this summer school is Patrick Geddes’ Valley section from hills to the sea (1923), a transect that follows changes in resource availability and use across a continuous landscape. The transect is a way of recording occurrences and relations along a set path, revealing larger territorial logics. We propose to re-engage with the spatial aspects of water infrastructure by walking such a transect along the Massa river, from the Aletsch glacier to the Rhone valley floor. This case study presents archetypal water management issues and opportunities.

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