Sustainable and innovative economic development based on natural resources in Val Schons

source: SIG


Municipalities of Andeer, Casti-Wergenstein, Ferrera, Lohn, Mathon, Zillis-Reischen

ARE Swiss within the framework of the programme, “Model-projects for sustainable regional development 2014-2018”

Project dates


Context and objectives

In the fall of 2014, the newly developed regional area of activity in Val Schons in Grisons came up with a strategy to promote sustainable and economic development. The objective was to utilise the existing natural resources (stone, wood, water, landscape, biodiversity) within the region and explore new opportunities across its value chain to contribute to the growing economy of the region. It aimed at creating new products, new fields of activity and better processes for the local industry. Many of the local authorities, regional organisations and interested stakeholders were involved in the overall process of implementation.


In the first stage, the overall potential for the regional fields of activity of stone, wood, tourism and agriculture were analysed, in terms of materials-flow analysis and quantitative analysis. This led to identifying wood value chain as the core area of activity that would promote economic development within the region and the touristic center of Nislas. In the second stage, concrete projects were worked out for implementation.

Sofies has undertaken the following services under the field of wood value chain in the region:

  • Feasibility analysis and financial models for a wood drying plant in the sawmill of Ferrera ;
  • Technical proposals, including organization, financing and progress of the project for the feasibility of a wood drying plant in Zups.

Sofies identified the following points for the touristic centre of Nislas, which is the second area of implementation under the project:

  • An internal management plan as a working base for the development of a participatory process;
  • Organise group discussions and feedback sessions involving the concerned fields of activity, the regional municipal authorities and the local public;
  • New plans for innovative ideas, identifying barriers and stumbling blocks
  • Twenty architecture projects, signifying the urban development of Nislas prepared by students of the HTW of Chur.
  • Under the framework of NRP-project, identify potential projects for strategic and commercial development including organization, financing and overall process.

The project launched by the municipalities will be completed in 2017 and is supported by the Confederation as a model-project for sustainable territorial development.

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