According to SFU's press service, "the Siberian scientists were invited by the Italians as part of a plan to reinterpret the cultural legacy of the region, and make it more popular, accessible and attractive for the local population and tourists." As of today, the park's structure is represented by a network of walking trails consisting of nine routes with a total length of about 54 kilometers.
The Russian team has gathered an extensive database that includes information about the location and length of the trails, the park's flora, landscape and ecosystems, plus information about the ethnohistorical traditions of southern Italy. They also took into account the experience of experts from the University of Naples Federico II, who have been studying the national park in the spheres of green construction, volcanic hazards, climate change and tourism. Moreover, scientists also analyzed the historical and cultural value of the development, planning and improvement of the territory, as well as the architectural and technical characteristics of the buildings located close to the volcano.
"The patterns of urban development on the territory close to the volcano are dense, there are no recreation areas for citizens," said Lyudmila Makarova, head of the project and senior lecturer at the SFU School of Engineering and Construction's Department of Building Design and Real Estate Examination, while noting the need to integrate the park into the surrounding urban area. This involves coordinating the park's construction designs with the general plans for the development of the city's network of cultural and domestic institutions, and taking into account the recreational areas and transport communications located nearby, Makarova added.
#Pompeii has been a popular tourist destination for over 250 years. it one of the most popular tourist sites in Italy. It is part of a larger Vesuvius National Park and was declared a World Heritage Site by @UNESCO in 1997 pic.twitter.com/Qfw6hng3nG— Planet Pompeii (@PlanetPompeii) December 20, 2017
The team from SFU proposed zoning the territory, dividing Vesuvius National Park into several sections for the purpose of monitoring visitor flows. Zoning involves creating recreation areas, venues for hosting large-scale events, plus sports grounds. The large events zone will include areas with amusement rides and fields for hosting festivals and large-scale games. Improvement of these areas requires taking into account the high density of visitor flows, with their movement confined to specially designed pathways. According to the designers, the park's recreation areas will feature natural landscapes, All health and fitness facilities will be merged into a single complex, which, with the exception of bike paths that are to be decentralized, will be created in the open areas of the park with the relatively flat terrain.
Today we climbed a volcano 🌋— Alex Johnstone (@Alex__Johnstone) September 26, 2017
Vesuvius National Park pic.twitter.com/MyKjuWruO7
Moreover, the design features an educational space, the SFU press service reports. Designers proposed creating a separate cultural and educational zone with small exhibition pavilions offering information about the history and culture of Italy, or simply scattering them throughout the park instead.
Special attention was paid to the issue of transport. Ever since the cable car and the lift to the top of the volcano were destroyed by an earthquake and volcanic eruption in the early 20th century, in order to see the crater, visitors must hike up on foot. Researchers suggested using the SkyTran capsule-based public transit system, which will be powered by solar panels installed on the system's supporting structures.
"This type of transport has a range of advantages," Lyudmila Markova noted. "Firstly, the construction of paths for this system will require less money than the construction of ordinary roads. Secondly, this is a great opportunity to utilize the previously unused part of the landscape and make it possible to reach the top of the volcano quickly."
Another part of the design is dedicated to studying the flora of the park. Director of SFU's Botanical Garden Yelena Selenina stated that the current situation with unregulated urban growth has a disruptive effect on the park's ecosystem. "The southern slope of Mount Vesuvius consists of open spaces and different-sized cenopopulations of stone, black and Aleppo pines," Selenina said. "The soil seed bank is very large; however, this has no effect on the processes of reforestation."
Mt. Vesuvius national park & alas sunshine.. pic.twitter.com/wW3deMdp69— Brian Brannigan (@adotldots) May 9, 2018
Among the main reasons for poor regeneration of pine forests, Selenina named uncontrolled trampling by people, the thickness of the pine needle layer on the ground, the weed infestation and the invasion of southern service trees and oak. The expert believes that the pine forests on the southern slope of Mount Vesuvius, which perform forest forming, hydrotechnical and climatic functions, require efforts to promote natural reforestation processes. Selenina also pointed out that designers must preserve these forests in their plans. "The forests of the northern slope, located up to 765 meters above sea level, are perfect for organizing spaces for recreation," she added.
The press release also states that the design has already been presented to the Italian side, and was commended by the national park's administration. Its further implementation depends on the successful coordination between the municipalities the park is located on and Russian institutions.