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The Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site obtains the Biosphere certification on Sustainable Tourism

23.05.17

According to this recognition, Sant Pau develops a responsible, environmentally sustainable, socially inclusive, accessible tourism model

The Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site has obtained the Biosphere certification on Sustainable Tourism, once the audit conducted by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI) was passed. This award was created in 1995 by the ITR, under the auspices of UNESCO in response to the signing of the World Charter for Sustainable Tourism.

The Biosphere certification is based on standards foreseen by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals included in the UN's 2030 Agenda, and follows the guidelines and recommendations of the World Charter for Sustainable Tourism +20. This certificate establishes quality criteria on natural environment, and also includes sustainability requirements such as social responsibility, heritage conservation and preservation, and relationship with the environment, as well as visitor satisfaction, among other issues.

The Art Nouveau Site participated in the drafting of the World Charter for Sustainable Tourism +20. The wording of this document took place at the World Summit for Sustainable Tourism, organized by COP21, UNESCO, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in Vitoria, November 2015.

 

A strong commitment to sustainability

The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Private Foundation, owner of the Art Nouveau Site, appreciates this distinction in a very positive way, and highlights the documentary, economic and human efforts to carry out this architectural restoration, a process that has spearheaded the quality of heritage restoration works and the application of sustainable and energy saving measures in buildings.

The Biosphere certification reaffirms Sant Pau's commitment to the development of a responsible, environmentally sustainable, socially inclusive, accessible tourism model.

Since the beginning of the Art Nouveau Site activity, in February 2014, and once completed most of the restoration works of Domènech i Montaner's buildings, Sant Pau has been implementing several measures revealing this intention. Among them is the use of geothermal energy as the primary energy source for heating the heritage ensemble.

The Art Nouveau Site also has a special sensitivity to guaranteeing accessibility and inclusion of disabled people by applying specific measures, such as subtitling videos in the new exhibition space of Sant Salvador, or having two elevators in the same pavilion to allow for mobility and access to the gardens.

Another line of action in place since February 2014 is linked to the promotion of activities to tighten links with the surroundings and residents in Barcelona, ​​such as free admission days and the implementation of the Friends of Sant Pau Programme, which allows, among other advantages, free access by residents from the Sagrada Familia, Guinardó, Baix Guinardó and Camp de l'Arpa neighbourhoods.

For the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Private Foundation, this Biosphere certificate is a recognition and, in turn, implies the challenge of maintaining a line of action which aims at turning this Art Nouveau Site into a unique space, not just for its history, beauty and World Heritage status, but also for its commitment to sustainable tourism as a means of improving the citizens welfare.