DANUrB project’s aim was to strengthen the Danube regional identity. The Danube not only connects eight countries along the river, but also opens up a unique cultural space. To create a common brand for the region to stand by itself, the networking among the neighbouring countries was supported in cross-border projects.
The special role of the Danube is deduced e.g. on the International Danube Day, which has been celebrated since 2003 on the initiative of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River. The EU-funded DANUrB project involved 20 partners from seven countries following the self-imposed goal of conveying the message to the people who live and work alongside the Danube that they live in an area sharing a common culture, history, cuisine and heritage.
Key to the project’s success is to support the dialogue between various institutions and organizations within the Danube Region in order to establish a living network. Particularly decision-makers needed a soft nudge to develop an awareness of the value the Danube region offers when successful cooperation is initiated. This way, a network was established that promotes tourism, the economy, education and cultural life. The goal was to create a sustainable system based on the heritage of the Danube region, its cultural context and the interests of the local people.
Development of the DANUrB Strategy
It needed a number of measures to have set up such a system. The university-based research focused on the region's heritage, local impulses and urban systems. A common platform structured as the basis of a Danube culture promenade sought to bring local stakeholders, cultural assets and project ideas together. Best practice models focusing on the local people in site were collected and implemented to support the process of upgrading cultural assets. In addition, the developed mobile application "Pocket Guide" connecting different cultural heritage sites was to promote tourism. The comprehensive DANUrB strategy forms the project’s core element as a means to create a spatial-cultural action plan based on the project work and contributions architects, urban planners, researchers, tourism experts, cultural institutions and residents, and decision-makers deliver.
The Project’s Highlights
The DANUrB platform comprises more than 500 cultural assets related to the Danube and over 300 stakeholders. This online platform stands out for its own because for the first time information about various stakeholders and the region’s material and immaterial heritage that had not yet been inventoried, was collected. The DANUrB-Strategy is the most important document of the platform, compiling all the experiences of working procedures on the ground added with the experiences resulting from numerous workshops containing the visions and needs expressed by the people in the Danube Region. A strategic document was also prepared on this basis.
Display Connecting Features
A touring exhibition is also part of the DANUrB project. It brings the Danube area into the limelight depicting everyday situations of the region such as parenting, people and community, sound patterns of the Danube, culinary delights and literature, and future plans. The exhibition pursues an important approach by deliberately overcoming language barriers through multilingualism and non-linguistic interactions.
Tourist Development by Insider Tips
The twelve PocketGuide tours are tailored to link culture and tourism. These tours have been developed on the based of research within the DANUrB project and contribute to local tourism. Attractive places with their interesting history become visible on the English-language, internationally available platform. One of the new routes leads from Krems to Melk.
In the course of the project knowledge and best practices were exchanges in more than 70 events.
Project: DANube Urban Brand – a regional network building through tourism and education to strengthen the “Danube” cultural identity and solidarity (DANUrB)
Duration: 1 January 2017 – 30 June 2019
Project Lead: Prof Christian Hanus
Partners: Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Technische Universität Wien, OIKODROM – Vienna Institute of Urban Sustainability, National Institute for Research and Development in Tourism, National Tourism Cluster "Bulgarian Guide", Vukovar-Srijem County, GPS City Guide Kft (PocketGuide), Xellum Advisory Ltd, Pest County Municipality, Human Resources Development Agency, Municipality of Sturovo, Municipality of Esztergom, "Ion Mincu" University of Architecture and Urbanism, Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, Danube Delta National Institute for Research and Development und das Center for Heritage Interpretation and 19 associated partners from Bulgaria, Croatia, Austria, Rumania, Serbia, Slovakia, Hungary