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E-Governance Model and Tools for Managing Cultural Heritage in Urban Tourist Destinations: The Case of Genoa. Aline Chiabai Krassimira Shapira Paskaleva Livio Chiarullo ITAS Lorena Rocca FEEM. Bologna 29/06/2007.

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E-Governance Model and Tools for Managing Cultural Heritage in Urban Tourist Destinations: The Case of Genoa

Aline Chiabai Krassimira ShapiraPaskaleva

Livio Chiarullo ITAS

Lorena Rocca


Bologna 29/06/2007


conceptual framework
Tourism destinations in Europe need intelligent environments to increase access and exploitation of their local heritage, as well as an efficient management.

Existing ‘top-down’ approaches of defining and managing the “objectively recognised heritage” of cultural tourist destinations, often fail to employ effectively diverse local assets for the sustainable and competitive development of the Community.

ICT can help create user-friendly interfaces in cultural destinations, linking heritage with tourism, in order to:

Promote the value of European cultural heritage assets

Extend participation and public engagement in the decision making, using the ‘e-governance’ paradigm, according to a bottom-up approach

Conceptual framework


eu fp6 project isaac objectives
The aim of the current study is to develop an e-Governance Model for Managing Cultural Heritage in Urban Tourist Destinations

Case study: application of the Model to the City of Genoa, Italy.

Part of the current EU FP6 Project ISAAC (Integrated e-Services for Advanced Access to Heritage in Cultural Tourist Destinations)

multi-disciplinary research initiative aiming to valorise the cultural assets as tourism resources through user-friendly and stakeholder-relevant integrated e-services in urban tourist destinations.

EU FP6 Project ISAAC Objectives


integrated methodological approach
Based on a ‘bottom-up’ approach and a public participation process

means promoting a territorial governance which look at the local community (different social actors) as a co-protagonist in the definition of the different rules an as a promoter of the possibilities for local development

Using ICT tools

Suggest a ‘Compromise’ between the image of the city as promoted by the decision-makers and the vision that visitors and residents have of the territory

Integrated Methodological Approach


the social actors concerned
The insiders are those who live and work in the local territory and those who work there but live elsewhere.

The outsidersor tourists, are those who use the territory in their free time (for amusement, sport, visiting monuments, participating in events…), but they do not live in the territory.

The insider stakeholdersare the collective actors which can be private (local associations, tourist agencies, ICT providers) – or public (municipalities, the department of cultural heritage, museums, tourist information centre, public transport).

The outsiderstakeholdersare the public authorities at a higher level which have political-administrative responsibilities over the territory, and international associations (eg. for the conservation of historical and artistic heritage, UNESCO).

The social actors concerned


the specific case study methodology
Development of an e-governance website

Based on innovative methodology for applying the participatory system: blended focus groups

The specific case study methodology


1 the study e governance web site www isaac genovaculture eu

To increase the involvement of all the social actors who produce new knowledge about the territory. This objective aims to identify network nodes and to create a “network of the territory” and a “virtual territorial network”: a virtual meeting place where territorial identity can mature through a continuous exchange between real and virtual territories.

To create an innovative model for surveying the territory and for suggesting strategies and actions.

To promote the diffusion of a culture of responsibility for the place where a person lives.

To use and test New Technologies and the Web as useful tools for implementing an e-participation process and to make the results of that process visible.

1. The study e-governance web site


web site structure and functions
The e-governance web site is structured into 3 areas:

Informative area: to inform and sensitize people about local cultural heritage resources

Communicative area: uses new technologies to favour communication and critical reflection among citizens/tourists allowing a mutual learning process (sharing experiences)

Co-operative area: participatory process for developing urban cultural tourism

Web site structure and functions


2 innovative methodology for applying the participatory process in genoa
Blended focus groups

Organised with in person meetings, followed by on-line activities (facilitated by a moderator)

Involve local social actors: citizens, tourists, decision makers and other stakeholders (municipality of Genoa, travel agencies, tourism information points, IT providers, transport, … )

Offer the opportunity to manage times and places for participation autonomously (adapt to each person’s needs)

2. Innovative methodology for applying the participatory process in Genoa


the potential merits
Recognising cultural diversity as the starting point for interpreting and representing the cultural goods of the territory.

Identifying the cultural resources in the territory from the different social actors’ viewpoints (discovering or rediscovering links with the territory, aspects of identity, sense of place and belonging to a territory).

The potential merits


phase 1 application city of genoa april may 2007
Objectives of the blended focus groups

To identify what residents/tourists perceive as the territorial heritage in Genoa, taking into account cultural, tourist, historical, social, symbolic, traditional and environmental aspects, as well as people personal experience, affective and emotional factors (for both tangible and intangible “CH resources”: goods, landscape, activities).

To identify, for specific cultural goods, their contribution to the development of the community, weaknesses and possible actions for improvement.

To identify which on-line services (on the web) could be associated to specific cultural goods in Genoa and what added value they bring to the good itself.

To test the web site as a support for the on-line activities of participation and as an tool for the e-governance framework development. In particular, the objective is to test if people accept this tool as a mean to communicate with the Municipality of Genoa and other stakeholders and to participate to decision-making, involving the cultural goods in Genoa.

Phase 1 application:City of Genoa, April-May 2007


face to face discussion
Written questions, answered separately by each participants, about sites to be visited and added value for the territory

Working group discussion:

Selection of the most relevant sites for the Community and perceived added values

Identification of their contribution to the community, weaknesses and actions for improvement



on line discussion phase
Presentation of the web site and guided navigation

Definition of on-line services, presentation of a list of on-line services and discussion of concrete examples

To be delivered on the web (pc or kiosk)

On-line activities (questions) using the reserved area Geoblog of the web site



interim results of the face to face discussions
Respondents give relevance to several Sites in the City which are not traditionally included in the officially recognised tourist tours and CH.

The sites mentioned can be “goods” (museums, monuments, historical buildings…) or “landscape” (including environment).

Many sites have been linked with “activities” (events, expositions, etc).

Intangible values have been spontaneously mentioned and linked with specific sites or places (local traditions, symbolic value for past life, lifestyle, meeting point, etc). They may refer to goods or landscape. As regards tourists, this shows a tourist image who wish to know the history of the city and its past life, as well as its life, habits and traditions.

Perceived values for the territory: cultural/artistic, historical, environmental, social, tourist, traditional, symbolic, emotional.

A critical aspect which is often mentioned is the quality and quantity of information about the city.

Interim results of the face-to-face discussions


interim results of the on line discussion
Tourists focus more on informative on-line services (tourist information like virtual tours and itineraries, etc)

Residents focus more on

e-participation services for discussing with other people about cultural events and sites, for proposing ideas about CH management, for monitoring the actions taken by the municipality

accessing updated information about programmed events in the city (exposition, concerts, cultural events, etc.)

Some participants noticed the importance of multiple combined on-line services related to specific type of cultural good (one-stop-shop).

On-line services have been suggested for tangible as well as for intangible “resources” (opportunity to spread local traditions, gastronomy, lifestyle….).

Kiosks providing different on-line services have been often suggested. This is seen as a solution to access on-line services when people are on the site visited.

Interim results of the on-line discussion


summary conclusion

The face-to-face discussion had positive results and has facilitated the subsequent on-line activities, namely participants’ involvement and interaction on the web

Geoblog has been appreciated and enjoyed as a tool for communicating

Durability of results

Depend on how much decision-makers/stakeholders accept to interact with citizens

Aim of the study is to encourage direct communication between citizens and decision-makers, and to consider citizens’ needs and requirements in the CH management and ICT related tools

Democratic decision-making and long-term aspects

Interactions between decision-makers/stakeholders and citizens might reduce existing conflicts between local authorities and residents

Summary conclusion


next phase
Objective: involvement of stakeholders (municipality, department of cultural heritage, museums, tourist agencies, public transport, experts in information technologies …) in a focus groups discussion.

Methodology: Blended Focus Groups

Face-to-face discussion to identify perceived and added values of cultural sites from their perspective; to identify possible solutions to the questions raised by residents and tourists in the previous focus groups; to propose on-line services which respond to the requirements identified by residents and tourists taking into account current feasibility and economic efficiency

Evaluation of the on-line discussion using Geoblog tool

Timeframe: October-November 2007

Expected results: to make decision-makers and other stakeholders more aware of the potentiality of e-participation instruments in a context where a top-down approach has to combined with a bottom-up approach to respond to citizens’ needs

Next phase



Aline Chiabai Krassimira Shapira Paskaleva

Task 1.4 leader Project Coordinator

Research team: Lorena Rocca Livio Chiarullo

Integrated e-Services for Advanced Access

to Heritage in Cultural Tourist Destinations