The project Centrality of territories is promoted by the University of Bergamo for the development of an international network of cities similar to Bergamo. The research raises the regeneration of Bergamo and its territory by the activation of a new tourism s-Low (which combines low-cost mobility and a sustainable use of the territory). Combining airline connectivity, cultural and natural resources and local knowledge, indeed, we retrieve the centrality of territories as a key force on which to anchor a new business model: an innovative socio-economic system based on micro-entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability and citizen participation.
The research provides a double scale focus, international and local, and the creation of three multi-level networks: universities, municipalities and airports. In the first phase of research (2013-2014) was set up a networks between universities, during the International Conference Centrality of territories held in Bergamo the 4th of March 2014. The Rectors of the universities of the seven European cities involved (Bergamo, Beauvais / Amiens, Cambridge, Charleroi, Girona, Lübeck, Santander) have signed an inter-university cooperation framework Agreement: ended the first phase of the research and it has entered the second.
During the second phase (2014-2015) was set up a networks between municipalities, during the International Conference Centrality of territories held in Bergamo the 24-25 of September 2015, organized as part of the initiatives for EXPO2015, the Mayors of seven European cities involved have signed a cooperation framework Agreement.
In the next phases it plans to create a network of airports.
The research has led the creation of a common methodology based on the interdisciplinary competencies of each research team involved. Through this methodology, it was possible to create an interactive three-dimensional mapping system called "Seven Beauties s- Low" face to show the little-known resources of the territories involved promoting the present initiatives in terms of sustainability.
The research provided the organization of seminars held at the Diathesis Lab of the University of Bergamo as well as monthly web seminars involving the researchers. Moreover, three international events were organized in Bergamo (4th of March 2014; 10-12 October 2014; 24-25 September 2015) and two international events were organized in other cities of the network: in Santander (17 April 2015) and in Charleroi (12-14 May 2016).
The research results were published in the book: E. Casti, F. Burini (a cura di), Centrality of territories, verso la rigenerazione di Bergamo in un network europeo, Bergamo University Press, Bergamo, 2015, and the researchers are working to publish other contributions in an international journal. Also, are considering the presentation of a European project under the program Horizon 2020. Finally, a research collaboration on smart technologies was started with the CNR in Milan for monitoring air passengers using the social network.
In addition to organizing an exchange as visiting professors in the Master of Planning and Management of Tourism System of the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Communication Studies of the University of Bergamo, Erasmus agreements and placement projects were drawn up between the universities of the network. Finally, the researchers from Bergamo have joined in an IFTS project (Istruzione e Formazione Tecnica Superiore - post-secondary technical and vocational education and training) with the Fondazione Ikaros and the Istituto professionale Galli on tourism s-Low - titled "Techniques for the promotion of tourism products and services with attention to territorial resources, opportunities and events".
Research / Action
Four pilot project were activated on the Bergamo Province to apply operationally on the territory the proposed model, creating synergies issues in an international scale. The areas on which the research is working are: the Orobie an extraordinary mountain system that integrates nature and culture; the Unesco World Heritage Sites as a test bed for a tourism of excellence at local and international level; Bergamo plain as strategic area to activate an eco-museum of castles of Bergamo and creating a networking with castles in the European territories involved in the research; Bergamo with its unique mixture of stone and green architecture to promote a urban agriculture of excellence.
These projects involve the organization of local and international thematic tours, involving the carrier Ryanair who declare its interest in promoting and supporting the research.