© 2012 Aaron billboard_second_home_contstruction

Progress or ?

I came across an intriguing billboard this morning while I waited for my bus to work. The billboard says, “No more offshore construction of second homes.”

This is of interest to me because both Kim and I have heard locals – from the man who replaced a broken part in our refrigerator, to people we meet on the streets – lament the influx of international residents and the changing landscape.

In a previous post, we saw a stance from the most liberal Swiss political party that emphasized the increasing number of expats and mass immigration.

This most recent campaign is heavily focused on the impact of tourists and international residents who build second homes in Switzerland. However, I don’t think it excludes the impact of wealthy locals who have a thirst for real estate and holiday chalets. The focus is on new construction and how it effects the natural surrounding and elicits feelings of “locals displaced in their own village.”

Of course, this sort of thing occurs in many countries, including our home country, the USA (chalets in Colorado or other hot tourist regions, built by non-residents). So, this is not unique to Switzerland.

How will countries manage this growth to keep local cultures and environments thriving, even as progress does what it does – progresses?

» Second Home Initiative campaign website

 

Comments

  1. Jamison
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm | #

    Yep, not any different here in the US. When we were building a cabin-home for a friend of ours in SW Montana in 2005, we happened to ask the local excavating guy what he thought of all the new construction from out-of-staters happening. His response was “I don’t think much of it at all”. Talk about slap the hand that feeds you! In many ways, I do understand the sentiment.

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