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Digital tools and neglected waterways heritage: re-evaluating minor rivers and canals between participation and research needs

WCC Scotland
September 22, 2016

Digital tools and neglected waterways heritage: re-evaluating minor rivers and canals between participation and research needs

The EuWatHer project (European Waterways Heritage) aims to promote the knowledge and rehabilitation of the unique cultural heritage of minor waterways and historic canals in 4 European pilot regions. The project is aimed at co-designing with people to generate a body of data that could reveal the cultural heritage of minor waterways, in order to promote associated ways of communicating with digital tools this heritage to a range of audiences.

WCC Scotland

September 22, 2016

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  1. Digital tools and neglected waterways heritage: re-evaluating minor rivers and

    canals between participation and research needs. World Canal Conference 2016 Inverness, Scotland Francesco Visentin & Francesco Vallerani Ca’ Foscari University of Venice 22th September 2016
  2. Eu.Wat.He: Who we are? The EuWatHer project, founded by JPI

    Cultural Heritage programme, is an ongoing project developed by: 1) Ca’ Foscari University (project leader) 2) Brighton University 3) Leiden and Amsterdam Universities 4) Girona University
  3. Brighto n Leide n Venic e Giron a Italy

    Canal/Lower Bacchiglione and Sile river (Venice) Spain Catchment of the Ter (Girona) England Rochdale and Ashton Canals (Manchester) Netherlands Laag Holland/ Hollandse Plassen (Amsterdam) Where Eu.Wat.Her is develop?
  4. Eu.Wat.Her: the project? Eu.Wat.Her is the acronym of European Waterways

    Heritage, a project aims to enhance the understanding of the cultural history of European waterscapes as it may still be found in the landscape itself, that is in both tangible and intangible waterscapes heritage by having an impact upon the complex dynamics of territorial competitiveness
  5. Starting Questions? • Which relationship between waterscape and the local

    river-communities? • Can river-tourism be an option for a post- industrial revaluation and how? • How to communicate the waterscapes heritage?
  6. Context and starting assumptions • The reorganisation and control of

    water flows are among the most significant aspects of the human transformation of the natural environment (N. Smith 1975, T. Glick 1996, V.L. Scarborough 2003) • The interactions between natural support and anthropic intervention produce particular types of landscape (S. Schama 1975, E. Swyngedouw 2007) • Landscapes as the result of the intellectual and material transformation (D. Cosgrove and S. Daniels 1988)
  7. Theoretical Approach ‘Landscape’ is best seen as both a work

    (it is the product of human labour and thus encapsulates the dreams, desires and all the injustices of the social system that make it), and as something that does work (it acts as a social agent in the further development of a place (D. Mitchell 1998, p.94) Key Elements: “The ‘world’ is a process of perpetual metabolism in which social and natural processes combine in an historical- geographical production process of socio- nature” (E. Swyngedouw 1999, p.447) Natural base Technonatural transformation Hydro-social Landscape
  8. Is tourism an option for a post-industrial revaluation? The presence

    or absence of river-tourism activities along a waterways can tells us what kind of relationships a society has with the hydrographic networks of its territory and which kind of cultural dialogue entertains with it
  9. Results - Collecting and unlocking information on - tangible and

    intangible - water related cultural heritage. Developing a database
  10. Meeting local Community • 8th April 2016 (Venice) • 7th

    May 2016 (Quarto d’Altino) • General Workshop • Dedicated Workshop • Local Interviews • Dialogues with experts or individuals
  11. How to communicate this water-heritage? Recording and situating community stories

    thus bridges the historical practices of unearthing contingent social, political, economic and technological complexities of context, and a prefigurative interpretive stage, following Ricoeur (1984), of understanding the structures of river and fluvial life that enable narrative and make storytelling possible.
  12. Through Storytelling Example of video interview about the daily activities

    of a boatmen: “a real boatman has to deal with hundreds of activities: from driving a boat to cook a meal, from sawing a sail to recognise dangerous water flow and depth of the river course…..”
  13. Example of small storytelling 1) The history of the Battaglia

    Canal. Why a river port was built and developed exactly in Battaglia Terme? 2) Which kind of goods was carried on the barges and why? The importance of Trachyte volcanic stone as building material (the example of streets and squares of Venice). But also: sand, wood, beet sugar, wheat and corn flowers…etc
  14. The challenge • The Eu.Wat.Her project seeks to explore the

    interplay between geospatial technologies (geo-ict), civic engagement and cultural heritage and tourism. • The EuWatHer core methodological approach addresses these gaps by deploying a co- design approach that allows researchers to work with people (local and visitor, stakeholder and public sector, etc)
  15. Conclusion Next steps of the Eu.Wat.Her: • Reinforcing the network

    with stakeholders • Arranging and filling the database • Organising the next workshop activities • Designing the draft-itineraries to share with the stakeholders
  16. The end Thank you for your kind attention Francesco Vallerani,

    Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia [email protected] Francesco Visentin, Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia [email protected]