Progetto comune di ricerca

Itinerari culturali e la "One Belt One Road Initiative". Buone pratiche e politiche di conservazione e sviluppo turistico

Responsabili di progetto
Heleni Porfyriou, Bing Yu
CINA - CACH - Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage
CNR/CACH triennio 2019-2021 2019-2021
Scienze umane e sociali, patrimonio culturale
Area tematica
Scienze umane e sociali, patrimonio culturale
Stato del progetto
Relazione per il rinnovo

Proposta di ricerca

The outcomes of our previous bilateral project with CACH on "Cultural routes: valorisation and management of big historical sites. Via Appia - a Roman consular street - and the Grand Canal of China", coordinated by Bing Yu and Heleni Porfyriou have given evidence of the importance of the subject for comparative research. The forthcoming publication "Italy-China: Routes of culture, valorisation and management" edited by the project's coordinators (Roma: CNR 2018) clearly illustrates the results of our research and of the seminar we organised with the Italian Ministry of Cultrure - MiBACT (Rome, 25 September 2017); while the approaching meeting in autumn 2018 in Beijing - China further shows the validity of our hypothesis: that comparison on the enhancement of big cultural routes was not yet adequately researched and that it could allow for a better a more fruitful understanding of numerous issues relevant to heritage protection and management policies in both countries.

The profitable research work developed throughout the previous bilateral project (2016-2018) has seen the collaboration of various Institutions, local and regional administrations and international organisations, such as, the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Chinese National Heritage office for the Protection of Traditional Villages and of the Grand Canal, the Institute for the Cultural and Archaeological Heritage of Zhejiang Province and the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (WHITRAP) located in Shanghai. The new project wants to capitalise on these multilateral collaborations, consolidating them, with the direct participation of selected members of these institutions in the Bilateral project.

The scope of the new proposal, therefore, is double. On the one hand, consolidation of the knowledge and of the collaborations obtained relative to the specific routes of Appia Antica and of the Grand Canal, examined throughout the period 2016-2018. On the other hand, extension of the subject and of the object of our research to comprise an investigation on the best practices and guidelines promoted throughout Europe and China in relation to cultural routes and big historic serial sites with the final aim to compare them with the cultural and economic policies underlying the strategic vision of the "One Belt, One Road" Chinese initiative.

The relationship between conservation and development is the focus on which the new Bilateral project wants to concentrate its activities. The big historic linear sites and cultural itineraries represent, due to their nature, a particularly appropriate sector for an interdisciplinary and international approach because they offer and facilitate the possibility to create networks, to develop systemic methodologies and proposals, to structure a diversified offer, etc; all central themes in order to face the issue of the relationship between conservation and development in a sustainable and inclusive way.

The work already done, in the previous Bilateral, represents the basis for this broader research that aims to exploit the collaborations and the knowledge transfer acquired in order, on one hand to study in depth certain subjects, such as for example the network of the small historic water towns in China and of the historic hill cities (borghi) in Italy; while on the other hand, to extend to a broader geographic scale the investigation on the subject of the big cultural routes. Considering that out of the 35 Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, 22 are on Roman routes (that is on routes built during the Roman Republic and Empire) which are still crossing Italy, it is clear the importance of this project for Italy -- in order to promote an integrated tourist agenda -- and the great value of this comparative research for both counties, particularly in reference to the "One Belt One Road initiative (BRI).

More specifically, as our previous bilateral project has shown, cultural routes bring to the foreground, more clearly than other heritage sites, the strong relationship that exists between conservation and enhancement policies, on one hand, and tourist policies and practices, on the other. This relationship is a particularly sensible argument for both China and Italy. For Italy it's enough mentioning the fact that heritage assets have no economic value, as it is clearly stated in the article 9 of the Constitution of the Republic. Attempts to reconsider the country's immense patrimony also in economic and tourist terms have been intensified lately (since 2013) with the reform of the Ministry of Culture and the autonomous management assigned to big museums and archaeological sites since 2016-7, as our publication has highlighted (H. Porfyriou, B. Yu (eds), "China and Italy: Routes of culture, valorisation and management" (Roma: CNR 2018). Similarly for China only recently (that is in 2018) with the reform of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism has been integrated, introducing a more unified approach to cultural heritage. However, for both countries the path for a balanced conservation and tourist approach to heritage is long and full of obstacles. In this sense our research aims to open up the debate and introduce integrated protocols and best practices and policies positively affecting the heritage along these cultural routes both in terms of preservation and promotion. Because, as it is obvious, conservation without development doesn't exist and development interventions divorced from heritage policies are often deleterious.

Obiettivi della ricerca

1) identification of conservation best practices and of an innovative tourist agenda for the sustainable development of big cultural routes throughout Europe and China, linking them to the "One Belt One Road initiative" (BRI) proposed by the Chinese government
2) elaboration of protection and development protocols and guidelines able to promote the sustainable growth of historic small towns and their integration in territorial or virtual networks.
3) Development of a "training in situ" protocol able to enhance capacity building in local communities along big linear heritage routes

Ultimo aggiornamento: 01/06/2023