Digital maps, inclusion and tourism

Digital maps, inclusion and tourism” is the second article of Quaderno 14

Social inclusion, environmental sustainability, territory, and digital services can be combined in many, different ways.

Social inclusion and environmental sustainability are elements that are often viewed with suspicion or annoyance by commercial activities. In fact the first word that is often associated with these is “costs”, and the second “enforcement”. “Making a place Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable means spending, but I have to do it because it’s the law”.

Therefore I have started to write this article as an  itinerary through a sequence of keywords linked together by a logical sequence.

Digital maps inclusion and tourism

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Bolognola and its trails

Bolognola and its trails were “a discovery” (for us) on April 21, 2018.

We went up to Pintura, and the first things that struck us were the view of the sea, and the numerous trails that radiate out to cross the Sibillini Mountains.

A beautiful area that was already in the reconstruction phase after the earthquake. The Municipality was thinking about how to relaunch the area, starting precisely from its characteristics.

The second thing that struck us is a signal, located in the village square, which shows all the “Mountain Bike Excursions”.

Bolognola and its trails

When we asked if we could have the itineraries in a Digital Map, accessible by mobile, we were told that yes, all the paths could be downloaded “in PDF format”.

Why a digital map?

From there, a collaboration process began with the Municipality of Bolognola, with the aim of being able to transfer information into a real navigation App, Google Maps.  Maps allows you to use your mobile phone not only to reach the place where you can start hiking (Bolognola) but also to be able to carry out your hiking  with an application that made additional information immediately available to the user:

  • Length of the route, travel time, altitude. This is fundamental information for all hikers, as it allows you to make a preliminary assessment to decide whether it is a trail suitable for you or not
  • Points of Interest along the route, whether it is natural attractions (waterfalls, panoramic points) or places of refreshment (Refuges), with the possibility of consulting the contributions (photos and reviews) of those who have visited them before you.
  • Position in the trail, accessible even in case of lack of internet connection, which allows you to always know where you are, in case you have deviated from the trail and want to know how to return to the correct position.
  • Ability to change your route, perhaps to reach a new destination.

This is simple information, sufficient for those who want to take a safe walk in an area like Bolognola.

The process took shape in June 2022, through a program that allows Organizations and Associations to become partners of Google Maps and to insert their own cartographic information within the App. Bolognola and its trails have finally become digitally accessible

We will talk about this in person from Bolognola next October, during our Tea at 5 included in ASviS 2022 Festival for sustainability


Burano, somewhere over the rainbow

Burano and the colors of the rainbow to give some light in these strange days. Since we cannot move, we continue with our photographic walks in an environment that is becoming more and more sustainable day by day.

Burano and the Venetian lagoon where Nature is regaining its place

Some info

Writing about Venice and its Lagoon is not very simple. Venice and the Lagoon, and the other islands like Burano inside the lagoon, are part of a complex ecosystem with a lot of different aspects. The heterogeneity of what we call Venice is clearly visible by clicking on this link

Mestre, on the mainland, is representing the Industrial / Commercial part of the area.
Venezia, the unique city, is the touristic, overcrowded aspect, as opposed to Lio Piccolo, the rural area of the Lagoon, where quiet and nature are the absolute protagonists.

Venice, the crowd and the parties of Carnival just a month ago, on one side and the silence of the nature on the other.

Nature that is claiming its place back, now that we must #stayhome. If you think for a moment… Human Being is THE virus … We must remember this when this pandemic will come to an end, we must remember the sound of silence and the fresh air. It is now time to reconsider our production processes in a sustainable way. 

But now let’s go to Burano and its houses as colorful as a rainbow


If you look at the maps, you will see a lot of small islands in the Venetian Lagoon. On the Islands, one part of the Venetian economy is still active, even if some of them are abandoned now. Today we will reach Burano, the village on the island further away from Venice.

Burano and the rainbow

To reach Burano you have obviously to use a ferry, a “vaporetto”

You will understand where Burano is when you will start to see a stain of colors over the water. Because this is what Burano is: a crayon box with people living inside. You can get lost in the alleys and along the canals of this colorful little Venice. The sense of orientation is lost after a few minutes in the alleys that seem all the same, even if each one is different from the other.

Burano, rainbow, canals

To find your way look at the Bell Tower, that is clearly visible from every alley of the village. Inclined of an impossible angle, like a kind of Venetian “Pisa’s Tower”, it seems to be the only building that has its natural color.

Burano, rainbow and belltower

And finally when, following the bell tower, you reach the main square, you understand what Burano is famous for. Do you know what is produced in this island?

In Burano fantastic craftswomen produce laces. They have always produced laces in Burano . The lace school was founded in Burano in 1875, and after three years it already had more than one hundred students. Even today, the Burano laces are among the most exclusive and expensive in the world.

Burano, rainbow, laces

We can stop now but we will be back. It is really worth visiting Burano and its rainbow, but let’s always remember all its ecosystem. A fragile ecosystem that must be respected and preserved. We will talk about that soon


The sixth R. Rethinking, redesign

At the beginning there were 3 of them. The three Rs that represented the cardinal principles of respect for the environment:

Reduce the amount of waste you produce. A recognition of the difficulty of a world without waste, but certainly the key principle to start managing the next steps.

Reuse for a different purpose what you already have and that is no longer useful for the initial purpose. An extension of the life of what you have. Give or exchange what you no longer need, but which can serve others

Recycle everything that you can’t reuse, through waste sorting and composting

By increasing the awareness, two more Rs have been introduced. The change of principle is clear, as the new concepts have an important potential impact on the market, and therefore on the world economy.

Recover / Repair. Almost an extension of Reuse / Recycle, with the awareness that our planet is not a world of “endless resources“, and that the concept of “throw it away and buy one again, it costs less than repairing it” is not feasible endlessly. Just think about how many printers you have changed.

Refuse purchasing products that do not have the possibility of being reused / repaired. The refusal is destined to become the cardinal rule, the first on the list, the one that can actually change the way of conceiving the production of goods, but …

Awareness versus price

…. What about the collision course of awareness with a very powerful variable: price? Buying disposable products is good for the economy, disposable products are cheap, they are always new and above all they make industry work, and with the industry they make us work.

Faced with this, our awareness fades, personal responsibility is replaced by a more generalist concept that assigns to someone else (governments, institutions, scientists) the role decision makers, transforming us from actors of a change to passive spectators of the choices of others.

The sixth R

A step back

We must take a step back, to understand this concept, and understand what we did wrong.

In the 60s and 70s, the years of the economic boom, the orientation was directed to the production of consumer goods accessible to all. A house for everyone, with bathroom, heating, appliances. A car for everyone, finally free to move and travel. It is obvious, nowadays, but not when the consumption spiral began. 

Energy. We needed a lot of energy, but access to fossil fuels made it cheap, easy to have. Plastic seemed a democratic way of producing durable, low-cost goods, and the pollution was an acceptable price to pay.

Today we know that this was not the case and that the reckless use of energy – an energy that the first countries of the world use in an extreme way and that emerging countries want to be able to use in the same way – has shifted the heat balance of the planet, and did it in a much faster way than expected. The basic problem, which is often diverted to “secondary” problems, is that at this moment, with the reduction of those natural mirrors that are glaciers, our planet reflects much less solar energy than in the past, and therefore heats up faster. and faster, making the thought of “stopping” the current energy consumption almost pathetic.

It is no longer a problem of “energy resources”, the point is that the use of those resources will have to be reduced dramatically, in order to imagine to try to slow down the global warming.

A new way of thinking. The sixth R

It is no longer just a question of reducing energy consumption, it is a matter of Rethinking and Redesigning a way of life, giving it a shape that we cannot even imagine at the moment. It is the sixth R.

The sixth R

The idea that we can “maintain the status quo” in a “more environmentally friendly” way is a contradiction in terms, which will not lead us anywhere. Of course, thinking about “green” is important, doing our part is important, because it increases awareness, but “getting the right conscience” will not get us anywhere unless we start thinking that our life will have to change radically. Our life will change anyway, whether we like it or not.

Give up all hope …? Absolutely not. Abandon the technology? Not even. It will be the technology, in the hands of less conditioned minds of ours, the hope of an evolution of our way of life.

A different way of living, which I’m not able to tell. For now I can only imagine ….

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