The resort of Risoul in the Hautes-Alpes will be car-free in 2010. In its move to pedestrianise its town centre, Risoul has built a three-level car park with 637 spaces (430 of which are covered). From here, all attractions will be within easy walking distance.
Risoul signed the Mountain Resort Charter last spring in favour of sustainable and collaborative development. The town is working on a number of green initiatives, including removing cars from the resort centre, setting up a hydroelectric micro power station for electricity production, a cafeteria serving 90 percent organic food for school children, and building environmental lodging consisting of a four-star holiday residence with 76 apartments.
Risoul is also making efforts to reduce the impact of snow cannons. The town now draws water for artificial snow from an underground branch of the Durance River. The amount drawn is 0.5 percent - significantly lower than the legal limit.
The resort will be holding various events throughout the winter season to raise awareness among holidaymakers on sustainable development. There will be educational activities for children aged three to 12, conferences, workshops, and weekly outings.
The interconnected resorts of Risoul and Vars combine to form the Foret Blanche ski area. Together they offer 180 kilometres of runs located between 1850 and 2750 metres. Eighty-five percent of the area's runs sit about 2000 metres.