Historical Cartography and Sustainable Tourism Development. Reconnecting Trento and the Fersina Stream through the Retrieval of Environmental and Cultural Heritage
Keywords: Historical Cartography, Fluvial Landscapes, Fersina Stream, Trento, Urban Canals
Abstract. Within the context of postmodern tourism, the importance of preserving and enhancing environmental and cultural assets of destinations is increasingly being recognised as one of the keys to sustainable long-term development of territories. The paper focuses on the complex diachronic relationship between the town of Trento, in the Trentino- Alto Adige region, and its watercourses, and, in particular, on its connection with the Fersina stream. The aim is to raise locals’ and visitors’ awareness of a largely forgotten urban water landscape, and to implement the town’s existing cultural and environmental tourist offer. This is achieved through the revival of collective memory of the fundamental role of water for the development of Trento and through the requalification of the stream and its network of canals, which once brought water to different parts of the city-centre. For such purpose, the validity of cartography and other geo-historical sources has been acknowledged; maps are particularly useful sources for retracing territorialisation processes, and rediscovering past territorialities and related landscapes. Accordingly, we have carried out a geo-historical analysis of cartographic representations of the town, shedding light on the past widespread presence of water within urban space and making some proposals for the enhancement and communication of such heritage.