PROSPELASIS: Development and application of an exemplary methodology for the improvement of accessibility of archaeological monuments and sites of Thessaloniki
Development and application of an "exemplary methodology" for the improvement of accessibility of archaeological monuments and sites of Thessaloniki, by people with mobility impairments.
In six important Byzantine Monuments accessibility improvement interventions have been realised which include:
• systems facilitating physical access (bridges, ramps, lifts, platforms)
• information provision via WiFi using different modes (audible, text in three languages, Greek and International sign language)
• creation of haptic models.
A major action of the project involved signing and interventions realised on a route connecting three of the most important Monuments of the city, i.e. Hagia Sofia, Acheropoietos and Rotunda.
The above route was established in order to underline:
that the project takes into account the needs of people with learning difficulties and cognitive impairments
the need to “connect” Monuments of great interest and facilitate movement from one to another
the need to increase the accessibility, especially after the completion of the ongoing Metro line construction works, of the main monumental axis of Thessaloniki which is Egnatia St.
Characteristics of the route
Interesting route with many shops, old houses, Monuments, churches
Much traffic of private cars and buses
Much “visual noise” is evident.
The project has been financed by a grant of the EEA Financial Mechanism (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein - 50%) and the public investments programme of the Hellenic Republic (50%).
Evidence of success
The interventions were received very positively by the local media and people.
The route has activated local Municipality to improve route’s accessibility.
It attracted the interest of tourists and visitors.
Following explanations on the scope of interventions the interest has increased.
Following vandalisms, a discussion has been raised to apply the interventions with more durable materials.
Potential for learning or transfer
The methodology developed in PROSPELASIS project in Thessaloniki can be applied in other cities with similar monuments for accessibility of visitors and accessible tourism. Accessibility in tourism is a main component of 'smart destinations'.
The PROSPELASIS methodology and results can be very useful toewards transforming tourist destinations into smart destinations through improved accessibility and tourism for all.