The decline of many traditional industries across Europe during the last half a century has had a profound effect on many urban areas struggling to free themselves from an image of a location in post-industrial decline. This decline and the negative stereotypes which are generated by this, has come to define these locations. This has had a particularly great impact on young people considering their options for further education and future careers. They have grown up since the decline set in which means they are all too quick to dismiss their local area as one with little going for it.
Using the European Year of Cultural Heritage, as a catalyst to challenge these negative stereotypes around areas of industrial decline; Metropolis is an Erasmus + funded project that links cultural Heritage to the Jobs of the Future. The objective of the project is to provide an innovative digital resource for guidance professionals that will help young people learn about the employment potential in post-industrial areas through an engagement with the past.
The platform will challenge young peoples’ stereotypes of their local area by highlighting the value of industrial heritage. Through interactive city maps, young people will be able to explore their local area and gain a better understanding of the legacy of the industrial past and an insight into the jobs of the future. A project transnational team from Germany FAU, Italy CESIE, Cyprus Euroculture, Belgium Monceau-Fontaines and England Aspire-igen and CHY Consultancy will develop this platform
The transnational team have met twice in Germany and recently in Cyprus with a series of research activities have been carried out, to map the cities being explored in the digital tool both in terms of the cultural heritage to be used and the information about future job trends.
This research will feed into the content of the app, as well as provide a standalone offline tool for use by advisors, schools etc.FAUs’ research has led the focus on Further Strasse a centre of industrialisation in the past in Furth Germany. Monceau-Fontaines have focused on around Le Bois du Cazier museum an industrial heritage and coal mining museum in the City of Charleroi. Eurocultures’ research has differed to other partners with Cyprus being a small country the project brief has adapted to map the whole country instead of just a local town with a heavy focus on the service industry.
Aspire-igen research has led to several collaborations with local civic groups and the Bradford metropolitan council. The Bradford council run project Bradford City Centre Townscape Heritage Scheme has been an invaluable tool in mapping out the city with its own aims to restore old industrial buildings to former glory with new business. CESIE research has focused on Palermo city centre which is a centre for employment in the region of Sicily. Palermo has been chosen as a city for focus to create a pull factor to get young people to come from the rural areas of Sicily who have never been to Palermo city centre.