BIL’APP – the application that leads students, residents and visitors to the intangible heritage of Vila Real

The Portuguese students Carolina Branco, Catarina Pantoja, Laura Fraga, Mariana Abreu participate, since 2019, in the international project S.I.L.V.HER (Safeguarding Intangible and CulturaL Values and HERitage).

With the support of the online course “Digital Valorisation of Cultural Heritage” they have meanwhile elaborated a first version of their pilot idea that is called Bil’app.

Students and carefully selected partners will develop an application allowing its users to discover Vila Real from an innovative perspective: what do the places in the city centre mean to students and to residents? The application will improve and facilitate access to information about the history of the city, its culture and traditions, its recent innovations, its sustainable practices, and so on.

Inhabitants, tourists and students, especially juniors, will get to know Vila Real, especially from a perspective promoting immaterial cultural heritage. Thus, so much more than the typical list with museums, churches and all kinds of built cultural heritage will be shared.

The main goals of Bil’app will be to share cultural heritage, to provide information about events and activities, to learn peculiarities about different local spots and also to offer new tourist and historical itineraries, using AR as the main tool. Users will be able to earn points by participating and visiting certain events and places – museums, traditional bars and restaurants, among others – that have a partnership with Bil’app. Points can be converted into discounts and used in the same places, mainly selected to promote local gastronomy and culture.

In order to enhance the dissemination of this application, social media like Instagram and Facebook will be used and agreements with competent entities, such as hotel units, the local university UTAD and the City Council will be elaborated. Bil’app, in addition to supporting local commerce, promotes tourism and encourages tourists, inhabitants and students to discover what Vila Real can offer.

In this city, that is so meaningful to this group of SILVHER-students, Carolina, Catarina, Laura, and Mariana are searching for a solution to improve everyone’s experience, even in COVID times.