The Alpine area is rich in small thematic museums telling the history, culture and ancient crafts of the territory. These are often marginal spots on tourist itineraries, with few number of visitors due to both their proposal specificity and the difficulty of reaching them given their geographical positioning.

The SMART project stems from the need to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of local communities and offer tourists new opportunities to discover and experience the Alpine area.

The SMART project develops along two main phases (design and pilot actions), which will lead to the creation of an inclusive and innovative museum circuit designed to valorize small museums and promote new ways of experiencing Alpine area.

Throughout the project, a wide information campaign will be launched aimed at spreading the culture of accessibility among operators working in the tourism and cultural sectors, promoting pilot sites to a wide audience and stimulating citizens’ interest toward knowing, enhancing and safeguarding the territorial heritage of the target areas. The campaign involves the organization of 3 training webinars; study visits to pilot sites and targeted tour operators; educational visits dedicated to schools; participation in trade fairs; public conference to present project results to institutions and operators.

Finally, a practical guideline for tourism and cultural stakeholders, as well as recommendations for decision and policy makers, will be published to promote the harmonisation between regional and local policies related to accessible tourism.

SMART is a project funded by the European Union and Interreg V-AItaly-Austria 2014-2020 and lasting 30 months (September 2019-March 2022).

The SMART project aims to increase the attractiveness and accessibility of small museums in the 4 pilot sites located in the Alpine area through the creation of an innovative museum circuit, transforming them into a socio-economic development opportunity for the local communities in which they are located.

Accessibility and innovation are the central themes of the SMART project. The proposed museum circuit will be accessible not only to anyone in order to ensure an inclusive tourism experience, but also everywhere exceeding geographical distances, particularly hindering in the Alpine area.

Thanks to the use of design for all and new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality, visitors will be able to visit the circuit in real time or remotely, enjoying a complete experience of Alpine identities and connecting different territories.

SMART specific objectives are:

  • Valorization of local identities and cultural, historical and natural heritage;
  • Promoting design for all through multisensory paths able to make territory discovery customized and inclusive;
  • Spreading multimedia tourist itineraries able of exploiting new technologies, such as augmented reality and augmented reality

Four pilot sites have been involved in the project, characterized by the presence of small museums and significant landscape and cultural aspects: the Textile Machine Museum in the Municipality of Valdagno (Italy, Veneto Region); Ecomuseo Val Resia in the Municipality of Resia (Italy, Friuli Venezia Giulia Region); Ritzen Castle Museum in Saalfelden Municipality (Austria). An additional museum has been identified by the consortium, the Museo Peter Mitterhofer located in the Parcined Municipality (Italy, Trentino Alto Adige Region), that will be integrated in the innovative museum circuit.

  • 4 natural and cultural sites valorized
  • 12000 Habitat areas receiving support for improving conservation status
  • 2 promotional and informational campaigns
  • 3 study visits targeted to tourism and cultural operators and students
  • 3 webinars /mooc for stakeholders not directly involved in the project about accessible tourism and participatory processes for territory enhancement
  • 3 Participatory design paths
  • 1 Market analysis to identify the best strategy of raising awareness on accessible and innovative tourism
  • 1 Stakeholder maps with particular focus on disability sector
  • 1 app available to visitors for interactive and multimedia visits to museums, using augmented reality
  • 1 web platform hosting the shared museum circuit based and built on virtual reality and multimedia elements
  • 3 Silent Play itineraries implying new signage designed according to the principles of design for all
  • 1 training for Silent Play creation and implementation targeted to tourism and cultural operators
  • 7 multimedia museum installations
  • 6 museum themed paths using multimedia and multisensory elements
  • 1 light design for allowing visitors to enjoy museums during the night
  • 3 public inauguration events

Phase 1: design

In the first phase, the partnership will be engaged in both the design of participatory paths and the development of virtual tools for the use of cultural and natural heritage.

Participatory paths will be launched in the three pilot municipalities of Valdagno, Saalfelden and Resia, and will see the involvement of different social actors of the territory. The aim is to enhance the local cultural heritage as a common good and create a relationship between it and the community based on awareness, sense of belonging and responsibility.
Local communities will be guided in a process of elaboration, representation and enhancement of their cultural and environmental heritage, bringing out memories and knowledge, material and intangible contents getting lost. The tools used range from social research (f.i. creating community maps) to theatrical animation (autobiographical laboratory, community storytelling). Participatory paths will result in the development of territory and community narrative to be used for the creation of Silent play itineraries within the second project phase, while implementing pilot actions.

Virtual tools will help make tourist experiences in pilot sites more attractive, immersive and fun. They consist of:

  • A web platform allowing visitors to remotely visit the 4 pilot sites and enjoy special content, virtual collections and fixed or temporary multimedia
  • An interactive app to be used on site through dedicated tablets provided to the pilot sites, which will allow each visitor to choose the most suitable visiting mode and to enjoy additional contents at different levels, language and context.

Virtual tools will be tested during the second project phase, while implementing pilot actions.

Phase 2: pilot actions

Thorough pilot actions, innovative ways of enjoying the 3 pilot museums and local cultural heritage will be tested in the 4 SMART pilot sites, in an inclusive, interactive, multimodal, physical, virtual and multisensory perspective. These actions will contribute to significantly increase the accessibility of the pilot sites, raise awareness and sense of belonging in the local community and improve visitors’ tourism experience.

The pilot sites will host 2 types of interventions:

  • Introduction of new contents, such as thematic paths, interactive multimedia installations, 3D prints in museum indoor spaces. Museums will be provided with 40 tablets and 10 I-beacon hotspots, to allow visitors for selection of visiting modes and additional contents, using the interactive app developed within the project. Augmented reality will be used in museum rooms to increase their value and attractiveness.
  • The outdoor spaces will host Silent Play tours, starting from the museum venues and including also some cultural and natural stops characterizing the area in which pilot sites are located. Pilot museums will be provided with wireless radioguide systems to be used when performing Silent play tours, and accessible signage will be installed.