Sepe, M. (2016). Softly smart: experiencing place identity. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Urban Design and Planning, 170(5), 231-243.
A recent approach to place development is to construct integrated systems for managing cultural and identity resources so that they can be enjoyed through ‘experiential itineraries’. These itineraries are designed on the basis of a survey of existing heritage, with a view to support creative industries or to help develop new ones. Visitor experience of a place can be further enhanced and virtualised using smart technologies. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the studies on experiential itineraries. The studies are rooted in the disciplines of psychology and economy, and, more recently, in disciplines that study places. The author proposes an analysis and design software tool for identification and enhancement of cultural and identity resources. The tool is a dynamic and interactive platform for complex and sensitive management of qualitative data of a place. It is conceived as a single platform with different entry points, both private and public, for local authorities, professionals and citizens. The paper concludes with a brief presentation of case studies carried out in the historical centres of Palestrina and Gaeta in Italy, both characterised by low-impact tourism. The main objective of these studies was to achieve smart experiential knowledge of a place allowing sustainable enjoyment of its resources.
The historical centers of Palestrina and Gaeta in Italy are characterized by low-impact tourism. However, the region is home to rich cultural heritage that could be better promoted, managed and sustained. Smart technologies and innovation could be used to preserve and promote new activities for different types of actors. Studies on experiential itineraries are developed as a participatory tool for identification and enhancement of cultural and identity resources.
Description of method used in the article
An analysis and design software tool is developed and tested for two cities. The tool can be perceived as a platform with different entry points, both private and public - for local authorities, professionals and citizens. The tool collects data and material from various sources and can be complemented through manual input. The following thematic itineraries have been developed: In the first city, Palestrina, the first is a cultural and landscape itinerary, the second on a religious itinerary, the third on enhancing public spaces and monuments, the fourth on differentiating activities, and the fifth on information points. In the second city, Gaeta, the first is an itinerary of height differences, the second on censorial experiences, the third on monuments of historical interest, the fourth on differentiating activities, and the fifth on information points.
Of practical use