Co-creation & design- “Living heritage routes” project: memory itineraries for the city of Lamego
Keywords:Historical centre, small town, mental maps, co-creation, itineraries
The “Living heritage routes” project aims to interpret a given geographical area for tourism - the city of Lamego - based on the visual/oral perceptions and memories of the residents, so that it is possible to create tourist proposals, based on co-creation, that involve the local community, students and cultural agents through the contemporary interpretation of the space. The project has three distinct phases: 1st survey of the material and immaterial cultural heritage; 2nd elaboration of tourist itineraries and 3rd realization of an event that promotes and divulges the project - through a historical recreation of the space. The main objectives of this study were to involve the local population in projects that aim to recover and promote the local tangible and intangible cultural heritage. We believe that it is possible to create new cultural and artistic products, such as thematic itineraries, based on the image, perceptions and memories of the resident population, which can attract more visitors, improving the development of sustainable tourism aimed at local culture promoting.
The methodology of this project, as far as its 1st phase is concerned, went through a qualitative approach, using mental maps, accompanied by interview, as a method of enquiry, in order to understand the local community's perception of their urban space. The analysis and interpretation of the mental maps will follow the methodology presented by Kozel (2007). The results obtained through a first analysis of the interviews and the mental maps, applied to 40 residents of the city of Lamego from four different age groups allowed, in a first preliminary analysis, the identification of new natural and cultural tangible and intangible heritage resources, as well as the identification of several points connected to the singularity and identity of the city and its districts. It was also clear that the connection of residents to their districts influences the way they perceive the city, as well as its symbolic and representational icons.
The results reinforce the importance of involving residents, in the co-creation of heritage tourism products, allowing the construction and renewal of the tourism offer in small historical towns.
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