Located amid Lagodekhi Natural Reserve in eastern Georgia, the Tree Top Trail is meant to maximize the experience of nature, intended as -in the words of David Attenborough, “the greatest source of excitement, beauty and intellectual interest”. The trail, takes advantage of the topography in order to avoid the use of an elevator. The access point is located on a higher point of the uneven terrain and, from there, it ramps up to reach greater heights, gradually showcasing the forest as a vertical ecosystem.
Its defining circular shape, sharply contrasts with the forms of nature, avoiding any simplistic mimic; furthermore, the trail trajectory is always curving, constantly disappearing within the forest canopy, generating a desire to discover the forest, step by step.
Three main attractions are placed within the trail: a copper sphere which functions as a multimedia room for 360 degrees’ projections, a large net, for visitors to lay or play and a panoramic tower which allows a view over the forest, and integrates a half-spiral staircase to exit, as an alternative to walking back through the long ramp of the trail.
The columns of the structure are organized in clusters, abstract simplifications representing group of trees in the forest and are made from cor-ten steel. In total there are 17 column clusters that support the trail and the additional elements.
In order to narrate the environmental and cultural heritage of this part of Cilento, there is a need to follow the traces of who has crossed these mountains. From the Shepherds, with the transhumance – the archetype of each trail, the landscape has been crossed by invisible lines marked by brigants, pilgrims, travelers, and now, tourists. For each of these categories the Jazzis -stone barns built by the shepherds- have represented and continue to represent dots to join, moments of rest in the experience of walking.
‘Songlines Cilento’ wants to give voice to the travelers that over time, have le traces of their cultural identity on these landscapes. Our proposal aims to give voice to the sound of their footsteps, their stories, their traditions, proposing the re-use and re-functionalization of two Jazzi and the definition of new thematic routes.
These wanderers, making up a predominately rural civilization, have passed down their knowledge orally for generations. It is crucial now to search for these traditions to save them from oblivion and so it is necessary to start from the ancient knowledge to be able to innovate and look to the future in continuity with the past.
The rural civilizations have passed on their tradition orally, between generation. Such proposal seeks for traces, knowledge, savoir-fair and traditions to bring them back to life, and therefore protect them from oblivion
The operational, management, and finances are shared in between the different partners and local organizations that deal with tourism promotion, culture and gastronomy.
Open Kitchen. Flavors are the protagonists of Jazzo Cupi Valleys. The unique products of these territories are an expression of local biodiversity, which needs to be preserved. Similarly, traditional techniques, savoir -aire, and recipes, also part of the oral tradition, need to be recovered before they are lost. The Jazzo Cupi Valli host an ‘Open Kitchen’, powered by renewable energy sources, that can be used to organize classes and traditional cuisine workshops. In the absence of organized events the open kitchen is open to travelers, used by those who, in passing, will stay in the Jazzo and where they may be closer to traditional culinary knowledge through practice. The Jazzo, the exterior portion of the structure, is occupied by a garden where the rarest plant species, most in need of protection, are harvested.
Library of Voices. Rural civilizations have handed down their knowledge orally for generations. It is important now, to search for these traditions to save them from oblivion. To do this it is necessary to start with ancient knowledge to be able to innovate and look to the future in continuity with the past. The Jazzo of Cropana is dedicated to sounds, voices. In the inner part is the ‘Library of Voices’ a collection and research accessible space of the oral traditions of the different local cultures in the form of fairy tales, songs, and poems; the same space are exposed and usable, the typical musical instruments of the shepherds, such as the bagpipes. The external part instead is characterized by a ‘sound park’, made up of installations (using natural materials) to recreate the sounds of local ecosystems and to amplify existing sounds, given the natural context.
How can agriculture, tourism and spatial planning work together in a circular model, adding maximum value to a sustainable year round local economy? Experts from the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland and Arber Togani, winner of Master Chef Albania, have explored combinations and collaborations between the agricultural sector, production and processing, the tourism sector and spatial design. A great number of local stakeholders have teamed up for this project- with the international experts and business people who have worked on a model for tourism and agriculture, integrating the sectors where possible and working on profitable business models for individual entrepreneurs. Getting to the core of the uniqueness and traditions of the area while looking for ways to innovate at the same time.
Qeparo, is a village in the southern coast of Albania. Divided in the more recent lower Qeparo and the historical upper Qeparo, has suffered from the Albanian Diaspora that caused a great loss of human capital, which mainly moved to Greece, with consequent neglect of buildings and agricultural fields. Today the village, as many others in the coastal area, is facing return immigration of the ‘natives’, and has the opportunity to be revitalized with agro-tourism. The landscape with its products, can be the starting point for a new prosperity.
The exploratory mission consisted in creating a common table where local entrepreneurs, international experts, local policy makers and tourist operators could share their opinions and wishes, and resulted in the identification of several business cases. In less than 2 months five business cases found interested parties and investors willing to bring the cases into realization.
Restore the Aqueduct. The old irrigation channel bears the potential of reactivating terraces by providing continuous irrigation. A surface of 161.000sqm of terraces would need an amount of water ranging from 9660-20.125 cubic meters. Solving the summer irrigation demand can foster a more intensive cultivation (mixed-farming) of the terraces and consequential better maintenance. That will result in a drastic improvement of the local landscape aesthetic and productive qualities. By restoring the water inlet the, channel can feed the terraces and becomes a touristic attraction as well. In-fact, a very simple path can run along the infrastructure rendering it accessible, and becoming a new alternative pedestrian connection to link Qeparo with Borsh.
The Perfect Hectare. The agriculture areas of Qeparo, similarly to other villages of the region, are characterized by the monoculture of the olive tree. Although the climate and soil typology allow a broader range of potential crops, there is an extremely low agro-biodiversity.
The goal of the ‘Perfect Hectare’ is to create a model, a tool for the farmers, of mix-farming. The case is about growing more and diversified crops beneath the olive grove canopy, bearing in mind that the light and moisture conditions are peculiar.
The hectare is a square of 100m edge, containing 196 olive trees and divided in 4 equal areas as following: 1. Lettuce and Radicchio, 2. Zucchini and Pumpkin, 3. Grass and Alfalfa, 4. Asparagus. The first 3 areas have to rotate every year while the Asparagus has a 10 years life span.
Taking advantage of the local potential agro-biodiversity means than the food supply can be strengthen and diversified. The culinary industry can take direct advantage of a broader choice of ingredients. Alongside the Masterchef winner Arber Togani, we delved into the landscape a discovered forgotten ingredients that the chef used to reinterpret the tradition in a modern dish.
The ‘Shepherd Path’. Is the experience of following the herd alongside the shepherds; the services are two-fold: 1. The daily grazing: from October to June, is a 5 hours track. It starts and ends at the shepherd downhill shed. 2. The transhumance: in June, when the herd moves in the mountain for the summer. Is a 2 days track, 2 nights of camping, where the shepherds cook dishes of the tradition. The track starts from the downhill shed to the mountains. In September, the transhumance goes down-hill following the animals from the mountains to the base shed in the valley. The shed area in the mountains bears the potential of being developed in the interests of the shepherds and the tourists, as following: 1. a water reservoir of 130.000L (dimensioned for a 500 sheep herd); 2. a paved gathering point with a central space for bonfire; 3. basic services to assist the campers;
Qeparo, is a village in the southern coast of Albania. Divided in the more recent lower Qeparo and the historical upper Qeparo, has suffered from the Albanian Diaspora that caused a great loss of human capital, which mainly moved to Greece, with consequent neglect of buildings and agricultural fields. Today the village, as many others in the coastal area, is facing return immigration of the ‘natives’, and has the opportunity to be revitalized with agro-tourism. The landscape with its products, can be the starting point for a new prosperity. Spatial and planning proposal will follow soon…
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