MAPPING SPATIAL QUALITY OF SLOW ROUTES WITH A GIS-BASED METHOD A COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF ALTERNATIVE ROUTES
In the field of cultural tourism, slow routes, especially pedestrian and cycle routes, are considered important resources for sustainable, social and economic development of the territories. The cultural routes, defined by the Council of Europe, have extended the notion of conservation and valorization of cultural heritage to a wider territorial perspective, that allow to join tangible and intangible heritage dimensions, natural and built heritage, in a whole. In this framework, cultural routes, mainly used to rediscover the territory through slow-travel experience, need to be documented and ranked as a system of cultural heritage spread over the territory, by innovative and effective tools. The SQISR method (Spatial Quality Index of Slow Routes), at territorial level, allows to analyze the spatial features of slow routes through GIS-based mapping techniques, but also to compare alternative routes on the base of a set of heterogeneous indicators. The SQIRS method has been applied to evaluate two alternative itineraries of the Monks Route, that cross the agricultural landscape in southern Milan, with aim to document their spatial features and rank them in relation to their spatial quality. The SQISR method, that is based on a quantitative approach, allows to visualize the outcomes by different ways: graded GPS tracks, graphs, diagrams.