Poreč Supports and Implements Projects for Adaptation of Cultural Sights to People with Disabilities

Total Croatia News

Source: the City of Poreč
Source: the City of Poreč

July 27, 2020 – Last year, the City of Poreč implemented a project to adapt the Euphrasian Basilica for people with disabilities. Next year, they plan to implement more similar projects. In this way, they work on strengthening and encouraging inclusive tourism, which aims to bring the contents of tourist destinations closer to all people, regardless of their abilities.


The USEFALL (UNESCO Site Experience For All) project aims to make the rich UNESCO cultural heritage as accessible as possible for all, regardless of different needs or impaired mobility. In addition to the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, the project also included the New Basilica of St. Apollinaris in Ravenna, the Botanical Garden in Padua, the Museum of Oriental Art in Venice, the Archaeological Site and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia and Diocletian’s Palace in Split.


The importance of accessibility and inclusion

According to the City of Poreč website, a non-refundable fund of 100,000 euros has been approved with the USEFALL project to improve access for people with limited mobility at frequent locations within the old town.

Thus, in September 2019, the City of Poreč repaired the stone lining of the Coast of Dr. Ante Šonja, the famous Lungomare promenade. As part of the performed works, a new ramp for people with limited mobility was installed, the promenade was adjusted and arranged, to avoid slipping and remove damage.

„Projects like USEFALL, adaptations of communal equipment for people with disabilities – from facilities on the beaches to crossings and sidewalks, testify to how important accessibility and inclusion are to us,“ says Ajna Temimović from the City of Poreč.


Adaptations for all

In addition to better accessibility for people with mobility difficulties, with this project, the city has taken care of better accessibility of cultural sights for people with visual impairments. Thus, the description of the mosaics of the Euphrasian Basilica, the most significant cultural good of Poreč, was made in the form of an info panel in Braille so that blind people could get the impression of mosaic displays.

In May last year, tourist guides were trained to be able to communicate and interact with visually impaired people.


The famous Mosaics of Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč / Source: Pixabay


The project “I can train too” stands out, with which Poreč got the first gym adapted for people with disabilities. The gym is used and regularly trained by members of the Association of the Disabled Poreč under the expert guidance of members of the Bodybuilding Club “Veli Jože”.


Category of urban development

The USEFALL project was shortlisted for the European Commission’s RegioStars award.

“Every year, the European Commission awards the RegioStars Award to EU-funded projects that demonstrate excellence and new approaches in the field of regional development, focusing on areas that are crucial for the future of EU regional policy,” explains Temimović.

Although this project stands out with its innovation, unfortunately, it did not enter the finals of the competition.


More projects to come

Temimović points out that such endeavors are especially challenging when it comes to cultural goods or facilities located within the zones of cultural and historical units.

“Namely, immovable cultural goods are protected by the Law on Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage, so for each construction project on protected cultural sites we need additional permits to perform works,” explains Temimović, adding that such special conditions for the protection of cultural goods sometimes hinder their ideas.

Nevertheless, they will re-apply for similar projects in the new financial perspective of the European Union 2021-2027.

“Based on successful cooperation with partners, we will apply for non-refundable funds, which will allow us to capitalize and upgrade the results achieved by the implementation of the USEFALL project,” says Temimović.


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