The "STONEWOOD" project focuses on preserving, promoting and highlighting the architectural and cultural heritage in the "Greece-Albania" cross-border area, resulting the benefit of local development and tourism. The participating partners, from Greek side, are the Municipality of Metsovo, acting as Overall Lead Partner and Municipality of Zagori. In addition, the Albanian partners are the Regional Directory of National Culture Gjirokaster, acting as the Albanian Lead Partner and the Region of Gjirokaster. We could say that the partnership was established, based on similarities in geographic and socioeconomic characteristics, which reflect common problems of unemployment, depopulation and inadequate infrastructure. However, a major common problem that project partners confront is the inadequate use of the comparative advantage of the architectural heritage as an integral part of tourism development, resulting in visibility to the public.
The partners converged on the view that the traditional heritage of the intervention areas hasn't highlighted and promoted so far, resulting to the gradual degradation of area's profile and cultural added value. Basic next target of the partnership is to focus on exploiting additional opportunities for the promotion of modern cultural heritage by using the material to be collected from the project. Activities of the proposed project aiming at creating a network that promotes traditional architecture, natural environment and cultural values that characterize them, using innovative methods and technologies, while giving an opportunity for partners to open channels of communication and exchange, enhancing the knowledge and cultural background of the areas of intervention. The proposed partnership will prove to be prosperous, as partners ensure the participation and support of local and regional authorities from both border sides.
Since the cross-border cooperation can optimize the services that promote traditional architecture, the "STONEWOOD" ensures this, through many proposed actions with expected results as follows: 1) Promotion of cultural identity and traditional architecture of the local communities in the areas of intervention 2) Maintaining and preserving the special architectural heritage, which together with the identification and promotion of the regions, will become a powerful tool for economic and tourism development. 3) Collaborations between architects, engineers of the intervention areas. 4) Exchange of technical methods of traditional art that almost have been lost 5) Promotion and preservation of particular cultural heritage and traditional occupations 6) Strengthening cross-border cooperation and increasing visitors traffic within the intervention areas 7) Development of tourism through the creation of visitor point attractions.