Tourism restructuring of the city

Authors: Carmen MĂ­nguez*, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Macia Blazquez-Salom*, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Asuncion Blanco-Romero*, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Ivan Murray, Universitat de les Illes Balears
Topics: Tourism Geography, Urban Geography, Social Geography
Keywords: City, tourism, crisis, political economy of tourism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Astor Ballroom II, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The appropriation and commodification of the urban space is being used as one of the main mechanisms to overcome the economic crisis. These processes imply transformations that affect many areas of urban life. As a result, housing, local shops or public space are incorporated into the tourist business as commodities of use or exchange. Often, this situation takes advantage of the absence of public policies to regulate and manage the city's tourist function. Furthermore, emergencies and opportunities linked to the crisis have been used as an excuse to flexibilize planning, promoting capital profits through urban operations that in other circumstances would generate more social controversy.
Our aim is to propose definitions of key concepts to explain the recent processes of restructuring and change in the city's tourist functionality: rents’ increases through changes in use and regulation, emblematic interventions, urban competitiveness or some other consequences of the space commodification, such as the shortage of housing or the saturation of public areas.
The methodology will be the revision of the state of the art and the synthetic overview of the theoretical framework of these processes, with its exemplification in the concrete cases of Madrid and Barcelona. We structured our contribution according to the following objectives: 1) to study the transition towards neoliberal regulatory frameworks, 2) to detail the characteristics of neoliberal tourism planning, 3) to characterize the social conflicts and resistances to tourism, and 4) to analyze public policies of the tourist city and 5) outlining alternative scenarios to conclude.

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