Ville de Marseille

Juin 2013 >

Flash codes for tourists in Marseille and Tripoli

Flash codes for tourists in Marseille and Tripoli

Armed with a simple smartphone, tourists will be able to find out all about the history of major buildings in Marseille and Tripoli, the second largest city in Lebanon after Beirut. Linked through a cooperation agreement (renewed and expanded in 2011), the two cities have gone about fixing tags to key monuments in an ambitious project that forms part of the United Nations Isi@med initiative. Tripoli is expected to launch its scheme at the end of 2013.

Nader Ghazal, Mayor of Tripoli and President of the Urban community Al-Fayhaa., met at the beginning of April in Marseille during the last Forum of Local Authorities. (Photo N.B.C)

­Technical teams at Marseille’s Information Systems Management Department are currently working on developing the application that will enable tourists to view buildings’ history, practical information and details of upcoming events on their mobile phones by flashing tags scattered over the main historical monuments in Marseille. Content will be enhanced over ti­me with links and an option to go on a custom-made tour using geolocalisation. A visitor might be guided from the Pharo Palace to the National Theatre La Criée right next door, for instance.

Thousands of miles away from the Phocean city, on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, Tripoli and the Urban community Al-Fayhaa (which groups together the municipalities of Tripoli, Mina and Beddawi) is developing the same project. The collaboration was made possible in 2009 within the framework of the ART GOLD project and Isi@med (pronounced “easy med”). The two initiatives form part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Bridging the digital divide and involving local government

­­This decentralised cooperation is aimed at bridging the digital divide and involving local government and civil society in the development of the region.

Tripoli, a cradle of civilisations, was founded 3500 years ago. The diversity of its architectural heritage reflects the richness of its history. The Egyptian Caliphs, Crusaders and Mamluks all left their mark on the city. The Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles, the Grand Mosque, the hammans and the souks all tell of the city’s past. Tripoli and Marseille are collaborating on eight multi-sectoral projects including the Gouv’airnance project aimed at improving air quality. “We also have a development strategy with Marseille within the framework of the Medcities network of coastal cities”, highlights Nader Ghazal, Mayor of Tripoli and President of the Urban Community Al-Fayhaa.
Fixing tags on historical monuments in these two cities isn’t as simple as it sounds. The International and European Relations Office and Information Systems Management Department in Marseille are actively working together with their counterparts in Tripoli. Next September, Tripolitan engineers will come together for training in Marseille. Beyond the tags, this cooperation will also eventually focus on the simplification of administrative processes through the dematerialisation of management and follow-up of requests with benefits both internally and for citizens.
Just like Marseille, Tripoli, a city with more than 200,000 inhabitants, aspires to promote its image and attract new tourists. Despite its deep-rooted tradition, the city is embracing modernity.
"(*) ART GOLD project - Articulating Territorial and Thematic Networks for Human Development.­

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