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Natural deposits of mineral waters and hot springs are well known in central Europe. Their healing power is widely used and they are important drivers of local and regional economies in health care, wellness and tourism sectors. However, a common challenge is the sustainable management of mineral and thermal waters which on one hand are a basis for the existence of spas and on the other hand are a subject of various threats and pressures related to economic and urban development, mass tourism and careless sector policies.
The Healing Places project aims at a more sustainable development of spas by protecting the unique resources that constitute their basis. The partners will extend knowledge and awareness regarding the influence of various factors on underground water deposits by building multi-level and multi-territorial governance models of managing natural spa resources. A crucial element of the project will be the construction of common, innovative and web-based tool for the assessment of threats and pressures on mineral and hot water deposits.
HealingPlaces main objective is to improve current management practices of mineral & hot water and other valuable natural resources at SPAs.
HealingPlaces activities are grouped around 3 main themes: one is dedicated to environmental mapping and assessment, the second main theme covers the so-called pilot actions testing the newly developed solutions while the third one deals with the development of a common strategy for sustainable SPAs.
Joint methodologies are prepared to answer the following questions: What is the significance of SPAs in the regions concerned? What kind of environmental and socio-economic situation defines their role? And at the same time, what type of pressures threatens the valuable natural resources providing the SPA assets? This well-structured assessment process is strengthened by GIS sources helping the visibility of what we have and what we need to protect our values. In order to walk along the same path, partners are regularly trained to improve skills and competences. And last but not least, a widely applicable, easy-to-use computer tool is developed for the impact & environmental capacity assessment of further development of SPAs.
Using the results of the above activities, pilot actions are implemented; this helps the practical implementation of sustainable thermal water use in SPAs, ensuring the effective and rational use of identified resources, the protection of ecosystems while realizing social and economic functions.
For this purpose, different pilot actions are to be realized by partner regions and the various experiences gained will affect the upcoming step of the project process -, the creation of the joint strategy for sustainable SPA management. This document, the Integrated Strategy for sustainable management of SPAs’ most valuable natural resources, will serve as the core basis for partner regions to formulate their own regional sustainability plans to pave the way towards Central-European SPAs being in balance with nature, economy and our common future.
On Thursday, 12th of November 2020, project partner City of Križevci together with Associated partner LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin, have organized a live-streamed on-site walk in pilot site – Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia.
During the meeting the role of Regional Working Group within the project task Integrated Strategy for sustainable management of SPAs natural resources was explained and there was a discussion on reports that were made within the project by Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar as they have shown some good and some bad sides in environmental issues in SPAs and its municipalities, good examples are Sveti Martin na Muri and Stubičke Toplice municipalities with highest level of sewage network and biological purifiers of the waste water.
The event was organized within the framework of Spa 4 Development project. Participants of the conference were local governments from SPA communities, representatives of SPA companies and representatives of the scientific world from the Polish-Czech borderland.
The 4th partners meeting of HealingPlaces project was organized on 23-24.09.2020 on-line. The first day of the two days event was dedicated to the discussion of progress and future tasks, administrative issues and presentation of the progress of the regional Pilot Actions. During the second day the Monitoring and Advisory Board of the project met.
During the meeting on 15.09.2020 employees of the Faculty of Regional Development and International Studies of Mendel University in Brno, the Department of Water Protection of the Główny Instytut Górnictwa in Katowice, Poland, KOCMAN envimonitoring s.r.o., and representatives of the state enterprise Horské lázně Karlova Studánka discussed about the possibilities of sustainable development of spas, innovative technologies and socio-economic aspects at a joint workshop organized by Czech partner Mendel University.
Experts from Croatian Geological Survey conducted the research and the final document will be the Multidimensional (environmental and geophysical) study on the circular way of using existing resources of thermal & mineral water providing sustainable use and preserve natural aquifer characteristics (such as pressure) & prevent depletion of groundwater. Chosen method for the research is the Magnetotellurics (MT).
Project partmer Razvojni center Novo mesto attended a workshop under the ESPON 2020 programme, which aims to promote the European territorial dimension in development and cooperation by providing evidence, knowledge transfer and policy learning for public authorities and other actors at all levels.
On September the 1st, the representatives of the health resort enterprises in Lower Silesia met with the regional authorities.The purpose of the meeting was to initiate cooperation between entities operating in the health resort sector leading - in the long run – to the establishment of a health resort cluster.
After the first kick-off meeting in April with representatives of the tourism association Mühviertler-Alm Stefan Wunderle and Karl Steinbeiß the Business Upper Austria project team clarified the way for further cooperation in the pilot region Mühlviertel in Upper Austria on 8th of August.
On 8 of July 2020, project partner City of Križevci together with external expert – national Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar has organised an online workshop and presentation for representatives of SPA and SPA municipalities in NW Croatia. Three reports concerning those SPAs and their municipalities were made within project and presented during meeting. This was also an opportunity to discuss collaboration between local governments and SPAs and to hear how they deal with the challenges created by health crisis and what should be done in future.
On the first day of July 2020, a meeting of representatives of spas from the Jeseníky region of the round table took place as part of the project solution.
The meeting took place with representatives of the Bludov State Medical Spa, Velké Losiny Thermal Spa, Karlova Studánka Mountain Spa, Priessnitz Medical Spa in Jeseník, Bludov State Medical Spa, Schroth Medical Spa Lipová-lázně.
The project partners were represented by Mendel University and the Jeseníky Mountains - Tourism Association.
On Wednesday, 10th of June 2020 the City of Križevci organised a one day Study-visit to Terme Sveti Martin. Participants were students and professors from two higher education institutions: Križevci College of Agriculture and The Faculty of Geotechnical Engineering (University of Zagreb). The focus was on sustainable development of SPAs and first networking of that kind for this projects partners’ activities. First goal was to connect the Terme Sveti Martin (especially its Maintenance sector) with students that study course Hydrothermal resources on Geotechnical engineering Faculty.
total ERDF 1.779.930,43 euro