Three educational tools were developed within the framework of the programme:
1. Hortus Populi / Gardens of the People: Artistic Mappings of Urban Natural Landscapes
2. The River Speaks: Pediaios in Time and Space
3. Digital mobile app
The River Speaks: Water, Land and People on the Pediaios
The three tools created in the context of this project are founded on the understanding that one of the ways educational practice can become innovative is when it is linked with cutting-edge contemporary research. In-line with the multidisciplinarity of the wider research programme, these educational tools bring together both new data which has emerged from the research programme, as well as methodologies derived from multiple disciplines: History, Geography, the Visual Arts and Digital Technologies.
The educational booklets are aimed at children and young people and can be used in the context of primary, secondary and tertiary formal education as well as informal education. Even though their initial view point emerged in the context of the visual arts and cultural history they may be implemented as part of other multi-disciplinary approaches which may involve for example History, Geography, Language or Creative Writing.
The booklet focuses on urban gardens and the long lasting presence of palm trees in Nicosia within the Venetian walls through the use of Kitchener’s first trigonometric map of Cyprus. It aims to create awareness in regards to the ecological changes of the urban natural environment and the role of gardens in terms of our nutrition, our quality of life and the sustainability of our cities. This tool was shaped via pilot programmes applied in the 3rd Public Primary School of Pallouriotissa and the BA in Fine Art programme at the University of Nicosia.
This educational booklet takes the form of a geography exercise book. It is shaped in 3 chapters that explore the Pediaios river geographically and historically whilst negotiating the importance of water and the history of managing the water of rivers from the 16th to the 20th century in Cyprus. It seeks to cultivate ecological awareness regarding the environmental shifts in Cyprus; highlight the ways in which such shifts become evident through the cartographic and other historical sources digitised and studied in the context of the wider research programme. The booklet aims to assist our understanding of the effects that humankind has had on the environment of the island through the centuries and to demonstrate how we can process issues of history, mapping and ecology through the creation of an artist book.
The mobile application can be used along the linear park which starts in the centre of Nicosia and runs parallel to the Pediaios riverbed. It is orientated for use by the wider public (ages 12 years old+ or even younger ones with the collaboration of adults), families and for specialized groups such as historians, educators and environmental researchers. The application proposes a playful walking experience on the Pediaios during which users become familiar with the cultural history, the flora, the fauna and geology of the river. A wider awareness regarding the river through time is captured- through historical maps, postcards and historic photographs; but also spatially through contemporary photographs, maps and sounds produced along the route of the river. The application aspires to remind the inhabitants of Nicosia of the presence of Pediaios river as a vital element of the city and introduce it to its visitors.
It can be used independently for entertainment purposes or as part of an educational programme (e.g. concerning the city of Nicosia, the hydrological network or during interstate educational exchanges). It can also be used in tandem with Booklet 2, which proposes educational activities that also include the use of the application.