Sustainable Eco-Cultural Valorization of Mines and Quarries Sites in the Cross-Border Area


Project Number – MIS 5047956
Priority axis 2 - A Sustainable and Climate adaptable Cross-Border area
Investment priorities 6c - Conserving, protecting, promoting and developing natural and cultural heritage
Intervention fields 094. Protection, development and promotion of public cultural and heritage assets
Call 2nd Call for proposals under priority axes 2 & 4
Lead Beneficiary Municipality of Madan
Beneficiaries Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Production and Management Engineering
International Hellenic University-Department of Business Administration - Discipline of Tourism Management
Municipality of Pilea-Hortiatis
University of Mining and Geology “St. Ivan Rilski”
Start Date Jul 04, 2019
End Date Dec 15, 2022
Budget 1.260.812,56 €
ERDF Contribution 1.071.690,68 €
National Contribution 189.121,88 €
The central idea of the proposed project is the valorisation of the mines and quarries of the cross-border area of Greece – Bulgaria and their transformation from places of traditional crafts and professional activity, to attractive and operational visiting places, for the local population as well as for visitors. The development of the project has been initiated by the Municipalities of Madan, in Bulgaria and Pylaia-Hortiatis in Greece, in acknowledgement of the re-vitalisation of the old mines and quarries as a common challenge and opportunity.

The project’s global objective is the preservation and valorisation of the old mines and quarries of the cross-border area for tourist purposes. Through a series of small-scale interventions and the enhancement of the local capacities it is expected the project,on a first level, to improve the current condition and future potential of the targeted areas, while, on a second level, strengthen cooperation and promote the development of innovative sustainable economies around the areas. To this end, the project will produce 4 interwoven streams of outputs: (a) studies and valorisation tools; (b) interventions for the improvement of the current condition and valorisation potential; (c) pilot solutions to improve the attractiveness of the area, engaging diverse stakeholders and (d) dissemination outputs and promotion of the developed solutions. 

The project adopts an integrated approach aiming with a multi-level perspective. On the micro-level, the idle mines and quarries will be rehabilitated, better preservation and their overall condition improved, enhancing their carrying capacity as local cultural assets. On the meso-level, the creation of a common understanding among diverse stakeholders will be promoted, concerning the value and potential of local cultural heritage in a systemic manner. Finally, on the macro-level, new solutions for the promotion of sustainable tourism business practices will be promoted, focusing on innovation, diversity and synergy through a multi-stakeholder approach. 

The novelty of the proposed project lies in the integration of the previously adopted fragmented efforts and the promotion of innovative solutions. The project aims to build on long-existing relations between the targeted areas, in order to leverage touristic demand, using the local historical and cultural context as a reference point. In this sense, the cross-border approach, on one hand, increases diversity and promotes cross-sectoral synergies, while, on the other hand, a broader impact is being achieved, in terms of both territory and scope. The added-value of the project is identified in the development of an integrated strategy for the creation of a niche touristic market on cross-border level, which will tentatively represent a model for future emulation in other areas. 

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