What is your heritage? How can we understand our shared cultural heritage on the local and the European level? How to connect to our local culture?
These questions have been in the focus in the last 1.5 years of the project called ENriCH: Reveal EuropEaN Cultural Heritage implemented in the framework of Europe for Citizens programme. HÉTFA have provided professional support for the project that aims to involve young European citizens to develop a deeper understanding of their local and European cultural heritage. Five European partner towns (Veszprém [HU], Lendava [SI], Eisenstadt [A], Saint-Omer [FR], Tartu [EE]) participating in the project, and in each, groups of local young people were involved in the project’s events and activities. One of the core activities was preparing local city maps. In Veszprém, this map has been published under the title ‘Act like a Veszprémer’ inviting young tourists and visitors to discover the town through the locals’ point of view.
The map-making proved to be an efficient tool to actively involve the youth in discussions about local and European identity. Young participants – high school and university students – brainstormed, expressed their ideas, conducted interviews, shared stories and finally decided on the content of the map. The professional support was ensured by our colleagues, Zsolt Szendrei from the Division for Territorial and Urban Development and Fanni Bobák from the Division for International Cooperation of HETFA. They coordinated the monthly meetings with the youngsters and the almost one-year-long preparation process. The result is a unique and up-to-date map that includes personal recommendations on over eighty local attractions, walking tour routes and a brief overview of the city’s history and traditions in English – made solely by young locals. The maps – printed on recycled paper – are freely available at various touristic locations in the city and the region. The online version is also available here.
All in all, by making a map of their taste, young participants gained opportunity to redefine their connection to local heritage and build a community of active young citizens. Based on the so far achieved results, ENriCH has been recently announced as a good practice project by the Tempus Public Foundation, the Hungarian National Contact Point of the Europe for Citizens Programme. Moreover, the new local city map will serve as a useful resource not only for tourism, but also for education at the middle and university level, too. These local institutions already praised the map as a unique, niche creation. Partner cities’ (including of Tartu, ECOC 2024) maps are in progress and will be published online on the project’s webpage by the closing event of the project that will take place on 6-7 March 2020 in Veszprém.