Start . 2016
Duration . 34 months
Principal Investigator . Isabel Soares de Albergaria (CHAM)
Website . https://www.otacores.com/greenga/
Direção Regional da Ciência e Tecnologia
Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional / União Europeia
CHAM — Centro de Humanidades
Observatório de Turismo dos Açores
Fundação Gaspar Frutuoso / Universidade dos Açores
Universidade dos Açores
The parks and gardens of the Azores are an important heritage, due to their historical, botanical and landscape aspects. A growing global demand for garden tourism has opened the path to the international affirmation of Azorean gardens. In 2014, Terra Nostra Park was considered among the 270 best parks in the world (Gardener's Garden, Phaidon) and, in 2013, distinguished as Garden of Excellence (ICS). The achievement of five international meetings on ancient camellias and several thematic tours prove the potential of this destination. Despite the positive signs, there is still much to do to raise awareness of these sites. The project "Green Gardens - Azores" aims to contribute to the affirmation of the historical gardens of the Azores as a quality tourist product associated with nature, culture and well-being, through reflection and enabling development dynamics of local garden tourism. It should be noted that this project was integrated into the strategic framework of Turismo de Portugal "Plan of Action for the Development of Tourism in Portugal 2014-2020"
The conceptual and methodological instruments centred on the current dynamics of garden tourism present three main goals: To protect, safeguard and value the landscape heritage of the Azores, especially relating to historical gardens; to qualify and raise awareness of the product "Gardens of the Azores" as part of a cultural tourism niche; to enhance and enrich the visitor’s experience.
This will involve:
- Producing information for visitors based on multidisciplinary scientific research;
- Designing and implementing communication and cultural mediation strategies, giving priority to ICTs, namely through the creation of a mobile application;
- Conceiving and testing marketing strategies tailor-made for different user profiles, with a view to creating a brand that will enable the economic exploitation and cultural management of the gardens of the Azores;
- Encouraging the transfer of knowledge among researchers, managers, caregivers, owners and potential users of the gardens, creating a base to support strategic decision-making leading to the conservation and dynamism of the historic Azores gardens, as well as to enhance the experiences of the visitors.
SCIENTIFIC INDICATORS OF ACHIEVEMENT AND EXPECTED RESULTS:
A - Books
A bilingual book (Portuguese/English) with scientific disclosure and aesthetic awareness-raising content on three public gardens in the region is to be produced. It is to be co-published through a partnership with the respective municipalities and Parque do Ilha do Faial, possibly co-funded by tour operators and other private companies:
- Jardim António Borges;
- Jardim Duque da Terceira;
- Botanical Garden of Faial.
A. 1. - In addition, multilingual leaflets or similar, containing information on other parks and gardens are to be produced. Furthermore, a brochure with examples of best practice for garden managers and caregivers is to be created, encompassing environmental education activities and strategies to assess/promote the effectiveness of communication activities, whose gains can usually be perceived as immaterial and/or difficult to quantify.
B - Articles in international journals
At least two articles for each year of the project are to be published, presenting partial data and assessing the achieved results. Depending on the field of study, publication is foreseen in scientific journals such as the Collection of Gardens and Landscapes Studies or Archipelago, as well as other dissemination magazines, such as Gardens & Landscapes of Portugal and Art & Travel, etc.
C - Nine expected communications in scientific meetings over the three years of the project: two per year in national meetings and three in international meetings. Events such as the International Congress of ICS; the North American Garden Tourism Conference, Conference of the European Institute of Gardens and Places, and/or the Congress of Environmental Psychology, are among those possible to choose from. This number may increase, as the project foresees the organisation of its own scientific meetings.
D - A yearly progress report will be made available.
E - Organisation of two international scientific meetings with different goals and target groups:
- "Garden Tourism in Portugal and around the World" - to help support the work to be developed throughout the Project; to discuss this field of study in order to manage the project according to the most up-to-date guidelines; and to consolidate scientific networks in the field.
- "Communicating Nature with Gardens" – workshop/seminar to happen during the 3rd year of the project, with the purpose of sharing processes and results achieved with the partner institutions, working together to translate the conclusions and recommendations into measures that contribute to the enrichment and qualification of the gardens and parks. This meeting is also expected to feature an opening and closing conference by landscape conservation and science communication specialists such as: landscape architect Carl Steinitz, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Mass., USA) and the environmental psychologist Susan Clayton, professor at the College of Wooster (Wooster, USA).
F - An event to promote the GreenGA Application and its website is planned with local agents and tour operators, in order to make known the new device and facilitate its international dissemination through trade fairs.
G – Concerning training, it is expected that two masters dissertations arise from the project (one in the field of ex situ collections of the Azores native plants and another in the field of Environmental Conservation) and provide partial data for a PhD thesis (in environmental education) and a postdoctoral scientific report (communication of science in natural and cultural spaces).
H – A model for evaluating the results and impacts of communication interventions in gardens is to be created and implemented, which may be replicable in similar situations.
I – An Application for mobile devices with the Android platform will be designed, to use online and offline. The device will allow stand-alone visits where the user explores the available menus, according to her/his interest/curiosity, and will allow different levels of depth.
Isabel Soares de Albergaria . Coordenator
Ana Margarida Arroz
Carlos Alberto Santos
João Mora Porteiro
Maria João Pereira Trota