lunedì 12 luglio 2010

EcoPolis 2010 Completes First On-Site Workshop in Northwest Sardinia

The objective of the first EcoPolis workshop of the 2010 edition was to study local development issues in Northwest Sardinia, focusing attention on the relationship between the large-scale tourism development concentrated in the coastal areas facing the Mediterranean Sea, and the interior regions of the island. The interior of the Northwest Sardinia is characterized by low levels of human settlement and the dominant presence of the Mediterranean Vegetation Zone, in which one can still find many small hidden points of great cultural value, insulated for centuries from the radical and unsustainable transformative dynamics that characterize the coastal zones, which have been subjected to deep environmental, social, economic and cultural impacts. Currently, within the Province of Sassari, the areas of greatest use and impact from tourism are concentrated in the focal points of Alghero, Stintino and Castelsardo. These areas attract significant flows of tourism during the months between May and
October, with big peaks during the three months in the middle, reliably offering hospitality and service amenities, even if these are not always well coordinated or innovative in their nature. These same areas often experience congestion problems during the summer while loosing much of their charm and interest during the winter months. As well as being near the coast, the interior zones of the Province offer areas of extremely high environmental, historical and cultural value that are currently poorly connected with the coastal tourism activity, but are areas that retain their potential as attractive destinations throughout the entire year.

Starting from a territorial analysis developed by the Master’s working group, with a particular focus on the area in and around Villanova Monteleone as a representative case, the objective of the workshop was to reinforce the relationship between the coastal and interior areas using an integrated vision, based on sustainability, that is born out of a multidisciplinary analysis for building a shared vision that serves as a guide for the development of the entirety of the interior of the region, maintaining a dialogue with the coastal system, and demonstrating the potential for a region that realizes the possible benefits of being part of a marginalized area. The goals of the workshop were to analyze factors, dynamics and resources outside of the coastal region, that are not dependent upon the summer season, and that can be utilized to address the problem of attracting tourism by defining regional policies and strategic development guidelines for the valorization, realization, and coordination of the area’s untapped potential (in the sense of economic, environmental, and social factors).

The final presentation was attended by local politicians, researchers and citizen stakeholders. The results were well received and preparations are already underway for a follow-up workshop in 2011 addressing related issues. The final report is available here for download (in PDF format) as well as on the the EcoPolis website; where there is more specific information available about Edition III of the program, as well as general information about the objectives and activities of the EcoPolis Master.