Ávila, finalist in the European ILUCIDARE awards with SHCity

Ávila, finalist in the European ILUCIDARE awards with SHCity

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The Smart Heritage City project (SHCity) that served to transform Ávila into a smart heritage city, It's one of the finalists in the European ILUCIDARE awards, convened by the consortium of the same name, the European Commission and Europa Nostra.

The award, whose winner will be announced in the fall, recognizes the value of outstanding projects in the heritage field. SHCity competes in the innovation category with two other cooperation projects developed in the Netherlands and Estonia.

“Being among the finalists of such a prestigious European award, for us, is already a triumph”, Says Rosa Ruíz, municipal archaeologist in Ávila, who recalls that the SHCity project was already recognized in 2018 with the European Seal of Cultural Heritage.

Innovation applied to heritage

Not surprisingly, Smart Heritage City (SHCity) served to implement in Ávila a technological platform that facilitates the management and conservation of the city's historical complex, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, in addition to contributing to its tourist revitalization. “The system allows us to take the pulse of the city, to know how our heritage is at all times. Even now, in times of confinement, by connecting to the control panel, I can see the status of buildings such as the Palace of the Executioner or the Palace of Superunda to guarantee that their environmental conditions are ideal "Ruíz comments.

The project, developed within the Interreg SUDOE program, represented the collaboration of a multidisciplinary team of professionals from Spain, France and Portugal, made up of researchers from the Santa María la Real Foundation, the AIDIMME Technological Institute, the CARTIF Technological Center, the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, NOBATEK and the TECNALIA technological center.

During 30 months of work, 29 spaces of the historical complex were monitored on which a network of 215 sensors and devices was deployed that control in real time a score of environmental or structural parameters, as well as others related to safety, energy consumption or the number of visitors.

Facilitate diagnosis and decision making

The data collected by the sensors are added to those derived from other existing systems, generating a flow of information that facilitates the work of managers such as the municipal archaeologist. As? Simple. From your computer, you have access to a control panel in which, through a 3D model of the city, you can access information on each of the monitored buildings online.

In this way, knowing what happens in each one of them, with objective and precise information, can improve diagnosis and decision-making. In addition, the platform issues an alert in the event of detecting any risk or uncontrolled parameter, so that it can react immediately.

Application for tourists and interactive panels

Along with the platform for wealth managers, SHCity developed an application for tourists, available by download through a QR code, which takes advantage of the information captured by the monitoring systems and provides a more informative approach.

The app allows the visitor design your own routes around the city, assessing the time available, the spaces of interest closest to your location or those where you will have to wait less time because they register fewer visits at that time.

In addition, interactive panels were installed, so that blind people can have access to certain data of interest.

"By developing a network of sensors linked to an open source and smart management assessment tool, this project is a shining example of heritage-based technical innovation",ruled by the jury of the ILUCIDARE awards, to add that it also constitutes "An intelligent and original solution that addresses different aspects of heritage management in a holistic way, including environmental and security issues, leading to better decision-making". Finally, the jury of the awards has an influence on the potential of the project “To be applied in other urban heritage contexts throughout Europe”.

In fact, replicability was one of SHCity's challenges and, hence, prototypes were already delivered for possible development in the cities of Sintra-Cascais (Portugal) and Ribarroja de Turia (Valencia, Spain).

The development of the project involved an investment of 1,194,333 euros, within the framework of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), within the European Interreg V Sudoe program.


«The ILUCIDARE Special Awards show how cultural heritage unites our past, our present and our future. They bring to light the enormous potential of Europe's shared heritage to foster innovation and enhance the positive role of the EU in the world through international cultural cooperation ”, explains Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. "In these difficult times, the shortlisted projects for the newly launched ILUCIDARE Special Awards are a great inspiration to all of us. They are true champions of the Europe of Talent. Now, more than ever, we need to mobilize and unite the worlds of culture, heritage, innovation and research, and strengthen our international collaborations. I warmly congratulate the shortlisted projects for showing that cultural heritage is a powerful catalyst for the recovery and rebirth of Europe », concludes.

The two winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Awards, one for its excellence in heritage-based innovation Y another for excellence in heritage-based international relations, will be announced in the fall of 2020.

The SHCity project in Ávila compete in the first category with the Bastion of the Netherlands project, which has served to innovatively restore and remodel a defensive element from the 16th century in the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and with the Estonian Museum of Printing and Paper, dedicated to the conservation of printed and paper heritage and the promotion of international relations.

The ILUCIDARE Special Awards They are supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, as well as the Creative Europe Program for Culture and the audiovisual sectors of the European Union, which supports the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards.

Via NdP Santa María la Real Foundation of Historical Heritage

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