The waterway regions involved in the SWARE project all share a unique natural and cultural heritage: protected areas with a rich biodiversity and a set of charming historical cities and buildings connected to water. These characteristics make them more and more attractive for leisure activities, with the result of an increasing number of visitors (increase of 30-50% in the last 10 years) that causes conflicts with aspects related to heritage conservation. All SWARE partners recognize that the socio-economic future of their regions depends fundamentally on the search for synergies between the preservation of cultural and natural values for future generations and at the same time “opening their doors” with controlled visitor management. By demonstrating the economic value that a “green” leisure industry can bring to a region, it can build strong public and political support for both the protection of heritage and its sustainable
THE FINAL CONFERENCE
On the 8th of October, the SWARE project team organized the digital final conference to thematically close the project by sharing the results of the past years of knowledge exchange and action planning. Due to the pandemic, the last year of cooperation has been different, but nonetheless inspiring. The SWARE project has almost come to an end. But the exchange of experiences and knowledge between the partners will continue, even after 2020.
During the event, speakers and guest speakers from the SWARE project, the INTERREG Europe Programme and the European Parliament spoke about the successes of the SWARE project, the continued involvement and possibilities connecting the SWARE lessons learnt to the goals of the European Union and the regions in future projects.
One of the main topics was the sharing of results. All partners discussed how their region implemented the lessons learnt, how they achieved policy change or started projects that were inspired and influenced by good practices from other partnerregions. A good example of which is the Gauja promenade & Tidal Park project.
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The conclusion of the Sware Project
For all the project partners the conclusion of SWARE is an opportunity to relaunch a new model of economic and social development of their territories, based on the enhancement of inland waterways and all their potentialities that, in these 5 years of work together, have been exposed.
Future projects concerning these important resources will be able to count on the valuable networks of relationships and knowledge built at local and national level and on an important capital of international relations that will contribute to give even more tangible results.
The SWARE consortium wanted to address a final document of Joint Policy Recommendations to the European Commission with the intention of making it a guiding tool for future policies to safeguard the wealth and development opportunities related to our inland waters. The European Green Deal will be for the former partners of SWARE, who have collaborated in excellent synergy, an important opportunity to realize new projects in a scenario now more favorable if we consider the objectives of sustainability, integrated management of resources and the creation of new green jobs already pursued by the project.
The post-SWARE for MCM is being realized with the changeover to the LUIGI project – Linking Urban and Inner-Alpine Green Infrastructure.
Luigi is a project launched in 2019 in which the themes of the livability of urban and rural areas are proposed again through interventions designed to preserve, enhance and promote Green Infrastructures (GI) and related Ecosystem Services (ESS) that connect metropolitan and urban areas with the rural realities of the entire Alpine arc.
As we know, SWARE has put at the center of the future economic development of our territories the revitalization of inland waters and the modernization of the related infrastructures. With this aim the Metropolitan City of Milan decided to nominate for the national Recovery Plan the project for the requalification of the entire Navigli metropolitan network. This funding would provide the opportunity to reopen them to light navigation and to make them the driver of a sustainable and inclusive development that makes the relationship between metropolis and suburbs mutual and harmonious. A program that requires an investment of ideas and capital that combines public and private resources.
As for example in the great strategic project that involved the Rotterdam region with the Kinder Mills and Nationaal Park De Biesbosch where it was decided to entrust a private management to promote and relaunch the public heritage. As a demonstration that profit oriented managers can contribute to public aims, finding the right way to make a profit, thanks to a complete and complex business-plan built all around the site of interest.