O-CITY: culture, nature and education for the social sustainability of tourism
The O-CITY.org - Orange economy, Creativity, Innovation and Technology - project, funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus Plus programme, is developing a technological tool to visualise the natural and cultural heritage of towns and cities around the world on a digital map. In this atlas, cities can represent not only their monuments and natural spaces, but also their culture and traditions through videos, photographs, animations and other multimedia elements that can be implemented in the field of education as sustainable development projects.
O-CITY a global project born in Valencia
Thirteen partners from six different countries -Spain, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Serbia and Colombia-, led by the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) at its Gandia Campus have built this project over three years (2019-2021) aligned with three fundamental objectives.
Firstly, O-CITY is an instrument to support the discovery and promotion of culture, heritage, traditions and the natural environment of cities around the world; secondly, it involves the introduction of innovative educational tools that connect culture with education to improve the social sustainability of tourism; and thirdly, it proposes the digital transformation of traditional economic sectors through the training of professionals and the economic promotion of cities through cultural and natural tourism.
Throughout the development process of the project, cities have been joining the O-CITY world. The first six cities, Gandia, Matera, Larisa, Novi Sad, Kranj and Barranquilla, were the driving forces behind the project through their partners and with them the O-CITY heritage cataloguing methodology was developed, classified according to UNESCO: cultural, natural and mixed; tangible and intangible; mobile and immobile. Today, more than 1000 heritage elements in 400 cities around the world can be visited on the platform, and utilities have been implemented for the creation of attractive tourist routes and marketing tools, especially designed for humble destinations, with few resources, but proud of a culture and traditions that deserve to be shared with the rest of the world.