Split Living Lab

UNESCO Global Capacity Building Programme – Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Cultural Tourism in Split Living Lab

As part of Split’s Living Lab activities, the Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism from the University of Split (FEBT), in collaboration with UNESCO, has organized a workshop focused on intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and sustainable cultural tourism. The workshop is focused on the capacity building of the local stakeholders on the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the ICH, emphasizing participatory inventory and awareness-raising on ICH. It aims to introduce the stakeholders to the key concepts of the Convention, its ethical principles, and methods of participatory inventory of ICH, and raise the awareness of the local community on the ICH’s richness and its potential in the context of sustainable cultural tourism development. The program has been planned as a four-part: two online and two live meetings. The manager of all four modules is Mrs Tamara Nikolić Đerić, PhD, a longtime UNESCO facilitator.

The first part of the program was organized on Monday (February 21) via the Zoom application. The focus was on identifying and inventorying local knowledge for cultural tourism development. There were approximately 20 LL participants, and it lasted 2 hours. The Convention on the Preservation of the ICH, its ethical principles, and participatory inventory methods were discussed during the workshop. After the theoretical part, the LL participants prepared a questionnaire for the participatory inventory of ICH under the facilitator’s supervision. Then, from February 21 to March 1, LL participants were given the task to identify one ICH element and conduct at least one interview with local community members in preparation for the next part of the workshop program. During the process, they were continuously supported by the facilitator.

On March 4, in the hotel President, in the city of Solin, the second part of the workshop took place. It was dedicated to the inventory of ICH. During the first half of the daily program, incentivisation processes were discussed among LL participants, emphasizing the challenges and opportunities identified while working together with the local communities. In the second half of the program, the meeting of LL participants and invited local community members from Solin was organized. They worked together on the development of the ideas.

The third part of the workshop happened on March 15, online (via the Zoom application). The main topic was raising community awareness of heritage potential in sustainable cultural tourism development. Also, the principles of the Convention on raising awareness of ICH were argued at the workshop. In addition to good practices and the potential that heritage offers to local communities, the necessity to be aware of the dangers that threaten heritage preservation and sustainable tourism development was emphasized. After the introductory theoretical part, an action plan for the pilot project was created.

Finally, the fourth part of the workshop is planned to occur in Split on April 4-5. During the two-day program, in collaboration with the local artists, LL participants will co-create the campaigns to raise awareness of ICH. Results are going to be presented publicly at the online event in May.

SmartCultour celebrates World Heritage Day: Spotlight on adaptation to climate change through coastal development plans

The H2020 funded SmartCulTour project aims at supporting regional development in all European regions with important tangible and intangible cultural assets, including those located in rural peripheries and the urban fringe, through sustainable cultural tourism.

The International Day for Monuments and Sites 2022 (World Heritage Day 2022) takes place on 18th April, focusing this year on Heritage and Climate. As a project supporting the sustainability of cultural heritage within the sustainable tourism framework, SmartCulTour is working with 6 local community Living Labs to develop sustainable tourism approaches.

One of the goals of the international day is to ‘safeguard all types of cultural heritage from adverse climate impacts’. The local authorities of the municipalities (which are members of our Split Living Lab – see Fig. 1), especially the coastal ones, have been very active in developing measures to adapt to climate change through implementing coastal development plans. Although this activity has neither been financed nor supported directly by the SmartCulTour project, we are reporting on this practice example provided by one of our Living Labs in order to help raise awareness about how climate change is impacting on our cultural heritage and how active solutions are being sought.

Figure 1. The Split living lab area consists of the following cities and municipalities: the cities of Split, Trogir, Kaštela, Solin and Sinj and the municipalities: Klis and Dugopolje.

The impacts of climate change are felt in the whole Split Living Lab (LL) area, in terms of the growing temperatures, longer waves of extreme heat and consequently longer periods of drought, changes in precipitation amount and regime (with occasional strong showers causing flooding) and stronger winds. In addition, Split LL coastal cities, especially their historical centres, are located on a narrow coastal strip and are affected by a significant rise in sea level. Figure 2 shows a significant change in the average monthly sea-level increase in the city of Split from the 1956 to 1997 period (blue columns) compared to 2017 (red line) (Margeta et al. 2019[*]).


Figure 2: Average monthly sea level rise in the city of Split from the period 1956-1997 compared to 2017.

According to Margeta et al., 2019, the city of Kaštela has experienced a 30 cm rise in seal level over the last hundred years and in response has developed a Coastal zone management plan foreseeing several adaptation scenarios to combat climate change.  The plan defines the development of an action plan based on integrated coastal zone management and maritime spatial planning. The goal of the Coastal Plan is the sustainable development of the coastal area based on tourism with a focus on measures to protect the sea coast that is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Some of the solutions proposed by the Plan to strengthen the resilience of the coastal strip and its infrastructure to climate change are already being implemented. These include infrastructure enhancements close to the heritage buildings within the old historical cores of the seven Kaštela municipalities that are the most endangered by the sea level rise (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Seven Kaštela municipalities – historical cores (Photos ©Mr. Boris Kačan, published with permission)

Another interesting solution in the City of Solin aims to mitigate climate change impacts and protect important historical remains (Katić, M., Bucat, M. 2022[*]). The city is rich with monuments from the Roman period and the early mediaeval ages when it was the seat of the early Croatian rulers. One of the most important monuments of that period are the remains of the so-called Hollow church (dedicated to St. Peter and Moses), the coronation basilica of the Croatian King Zvonimir (11th century A.D.). While in the eleventh century, it was above the level of the adjacent river Jadro, the ground level of the church is today situated below the height of the river (Figure 4). The terrain is flooded due to several factors, among others due to underground springs and the rise in sea level, considering that the river´s sea estuary is not far from the remains of the church. Therefore, the city of Solin has developed a plan to displace the course of the river a few meters away to protect this important archeological site from flooding (Figure 5). Although being technically and financially challenging, the project is a good example of partnership and cooperation among different experts and stakeholders, for example archaeologists (from the Museum of Croatian archaeological monuments in Split), architects (from the architectural bureau “Arhitektonski kolektiv” in Split), the City of Solin administration and the Croatian legal entity for water protection “Hrvatske vode”.

Figure 4. The remains of the Hollow Church in Solin
Figure 5. The solution for the flooding problem of the Hollow Church in Solin

[*]

Margeta, J.,Baučić, M., Vilibić, I., Jakl, Z. Petrić, L., Mandić, A., Grgić, A., Bartulović, H.,,Popić, N., Marasović, K.,Jajac, N., Rogulj, K., Ivić, M., Jovanović, N., Bačić, S., (2019), The city of Kaštela Coastal Zone Management Plan, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy, University of Split. Document financed by the ERDF, within the Interreg Med project CO-EVOLVE, pg. 16 (retrieved from: https://www.kastela.hr/projekti/plan-upravljanja-obalnim-podrucjem-grada-kastela).

Katić, M., Bucat, M. (2022). Budućnost starohrvatskih lokaliteta Rižinice i Šuplje crkve u Solinu, power point presentation from the 8th International Congress of the Historic Cities, Solin, 29/3/2022-1/4/2022.