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June 15, 2012 / landscapeiskingston

Head of National Programmes, British Waterways: Social cohesion + capacity building

Social cohesion, capacity building and all that sort of stuff!!……Andrew Stumpf, Head of National Programmes at British Waterways talks with Landscape Interface Studio, Kingston University describing British Waterways’ contribution to the Waterways Forward project and analyses how canals and waterways support European communities and economy in general.  Andrew discusses how waterways can contribute to people’s lives, cultural history and society. This recording was one of a series which took place during a partners’ meeting in Budapest, Hungary in January 2012.

“Tourism supports many facilities that are equally important to the local community.  For example in Britain in rural areas canal tourism – both day visitors and those staying longer – support pubs and shops that form community hubs encouraging people to socialise. The need to attract tourists also promotes people to understand, appreciate and want to protect their cultural heritage. It is a virtuous circle; if local people take pride in their place they will be more likely to “sell” it to visitors; if visitors take an interest in their place then local people are more likely to take pride in it.

Our built and natural heritage create the character and distinctiveness that sets places apart creating their unique selling point. Birmingham in England used canals as their unique selling point to great effect transforming people’s perceptions of the “Black Country”. Here in Wales Cadw has been undertaking characterisation studies to develop and understanding of the way towns developed, their grain, and their architectural nuances, the patina. In parallel Wales has sustainable development as its central organising principle which means seeing the natural environment as underpinning the economic and social health of the nation. We see our natural and built heritage as Wales’ greatest asset and the canals are an important part of that with internationally significant built, social and natural heritage in their own right and paths that create easy access to such more of the landscape.” 

Source: Andrew Stumpf, Head of National Programmes at British Waterways

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