This article describes the process undertaken by the Municipality of Macchiagodena with the technical and operational support of Città Sotto Scacco srl to improve local tourist accessibility, improving internal orientation through a wayfinding project. However, let’s take a step back! We first try to provide a framework of the local context.
Rural areas, small municipalities scattered around Italy are among the most significant challenges for professionals working in the accessibility and sustainable mobility sector. The low population density and the long distances between small and large centres of inland areas are among the main issues to be addressed when dealing with rural development. A child or an elderly person who lives in a rural area must have the same opportunity to access services as someone who lives in an urban area. This is a very important challenge for Città Sotto Scacco!
For this reason, it is necessary to develop a methodology for involving all the stakeholders and the community in order to find priorities to start from and that can reflect economic and equity needs. In Macchiagodena since 2021, we started from a clear need: to improve the accessibility of the centre for tourists and for those who live the village every day.
It is a small mountain village of about 1700 inhabitants in the province of Isernia, the national headquarters of the network “The reading villages”. It is an ancient jewel perched on the Molise Apennines. A place that is embarking on a particular path of revitalization and rural tourism development. There are several initiatives and original actions of the Administration to encourage local tourism, with a view to strategic tourism development in the Matese-Sannio area. Among the tourism development initiatives, we find “Genius Loci”, a literary tourism project that represents a good practice for all small Italian villages. In the next lines, we will go a little deeper to understand the objectives of the Municipality of Macchiagodena through the wayfinding project.
The Wayfinding project in the historic center of Macchiagodena
The Municipality of Macchiagodena had the objective:
To improve the visibility and availability of tourist attractions;
To have an integrated / visible signage system;
To improve the accessibility of the centre;
To allow tourists to experience the village and think of signs for a village on a “human scale”.
The idea is that with a QR code the tourist can open the interactive map uploaded on the website of the institution.
Città Sotto Scacco Srl, took care of the drafting of the graphic design of the new signage. He coordinated the Offices, Administration and suppliers through various meetings. Some meetings were significant in understanding the main needs relating to the integration and improvement of existing signs.
The Way-Finding project for the Municipality of Macchiagodena is part of an integrated process that started with the drafting of the new Toponymy Plan and consequent updating of toponyms and house numbers.
They have been identified six strategic points of interest in which to make changes to the tourist signs:
- To insert tourist information points (at points of interest);
- To update the existing tourist signs (signs provided by N.C.d.S.);
- To insert new information panels to welcome the urban centre.
All coordinated within a graphic project that includes a system of pictograms and colours that represent the identity of the Borgo. The material produced is part of a summary document, which describes the tourist signage system, and WayFinding of the historic centre.
In particular, we have produced:
- The interactive map;
- The location of the interventions;
- The technical scheme of the tourist info-point signs;
- The technical scheme of “Welcome” signals;
- The pictogram scheme.