Strategies of Remembrance: Branding the New Barcelona
Mari Paz Balibrea
Lecturer in Spanish Cultural Studies
Birkbeck College, University of London
Birkbeck College, University of London
School of Languages, Linguistics and Culture
43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD
United Kingdom phone: + 44 207 631 6144 e-mail: [email protected]
The profound transformations taking place in Barcelona’s urban landscape in the last 35 years have given place to what is now internationally known as the Barcelona model. In the process, extensive areas with its built environments have polemically disappeared to make room for the new, glossy Barcelona. Framing these changes is the transition from an industrial to a postindustrial city. As Barcelona has reinvented itself, tourism has become one of its most prosperous and defining industries. This paper looks at the treatment of the built industrial heritage and the struggles between social actors to define what is the place of this past in the definition of a city whose identity is now defined by its (increasingly multicultural) dwellers as much as it is designed for the pleasure of tourists. The paper looks at one key case where issues of memory, class, sustainability and democracy intersect in complex ways with the branding of Barcelona for competition in the international market.
The “Barcelona model”
defines what we could call a strategy of urban regeneration defining the profound changes, socio-economic as well as urbanistic in nature, the city has experienced from the mid 1970s.
These have granted the city, and the local politicians that brought it to being, a wide international and domestic acclaim amongst urban planners, architects, geographers, sociologists and politicians. Highly praised by these for the impact it has had on the citizens and the economy of the city is the formal quality in the design and architecture of urban environments.
In short, as the dominant opinion goes, an urban space articulated in the logic of an exhausted industrial structure has proven able to reinvent itself with more beauty, more economic success and more social justice.
But Barcelona’s most recent urban transformation is not short of critics either. In the last ten years, a growing group of local grass-roots activists,
and local museums
have publicly denounced the turning of the city into a catwalk where the whole city poses for the enjoyment of
There is an extensive bibliography defining and reflecting upon the Barcelona model. See my “Barcelona: del modelo a la marca” y “Urbanism, culture and the post-industrial city: Challenging the ‘Barcelona Model,’” were I consider more in depth the critical implications of the concept, and provide relevant bibliography.
Changes the fundamental nature of which can be subsumed under global processes of urban transformation in first world cities well studied by Harvey (1989 and 1996). See Balibrea 2004 for a more extensive discussion of the literature considering the theoretical underpinnings of these urban phenomena.
Barcelona has been called “the city of architects” due to the power these were perceived of having in the nature and shape of transformations undergone by the city. The construction of new environments and buildings in the city accelerates exponentially with the award to Barcelona of the 1992 Olympic Games in 1986. See Balibrea 2004 for a more detailed discussion of the role of architecture in the new Barcelona.
Such as the Fòrum Ribera del Besòs or the FAVB [Federation of Neighborhood Associations of Barcelona].
Such as Jordi Borja, Joan Roca, Josep Lluis Montaner, Manuel Delgado, Julià Guillamón, Xavier Antich or Eduard Bru.
Such as MACBA [Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona], Fundació Tàpies and CCCB [Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona].
tourists. They point to the commoditisation of what was most progressive in the original model; argue that changes to a service economy and society placing tourism at its center have made the city a theme park.
Barcelona, they claim, has been embellished for the new citizen/consumer/tourist at the expense of making it aseptic, of expelling its contradictions and unpalatable views.
They criticize the culture of consensus, the elimination of dissident voices
9 and, with it, the wiping out in space of a history and a present of conflict. They accuse institutions of having built a model city for those who can afford it.
Some of the formerly unsavoury places in neighbourhoods such as Poblenou, Raval, or Besós, succumbed before the assault of bulldozers demolishing the unwanted and building anew at unaffordable prices for the majority of their residents (fig. 1 and 2). Fabulous levels of speculation produced by processes of requalification of industrial land since the mid 1970s, along with the international appreciation that Barcelona enjoys as a model city, have turned gentrification into one of the most poignant socio-political problems marring the idyllic dominant image of the city.
Figure 1: open fields, old and new construction in Poblenou
Sorkin characterizes the transformation of American cities into theme parks as sacrificing the city as the site of community and human connection (1992:xiii) and as privileging “the physical preservation of the remnants of the historical city to the human ecologies that produced and inhabit them“ (1992:xiv). A similar critique of the uses of history and heritage can be found in
And in so doing turning social space into invented space (Huxtable 1997:12-37). See also Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (1998) and
Sassen and Roost (1999) for critical analyses of the impact of tourism in cities.
The origins of the urban transformations making up what was later known as Barcelona model are to be found in the very progressive alliance of social movements, grass-roots activism and leftist politics taking place at the beginning of Spanish transition to democracy in the late 1970s. Critics (see Antich) of later developments in the Barcelona model, particularly after the
Olympic nomination, will consistently point to the increasing alienation of the political class, now closely allied to the private, business sector, from a grass-roots and social activism that felt increasingly powerless and silenced in decision-making processes. See Marshall for a historical introduction tracing the evolution of relations (and lack thereof) between major actors in the process of city transformation. For a sympathetic account of the evolution of these relations, see Calavita and Ferrer.
See Balibrea 2005 for a revision of critical voices of the Barcelona model. Due to space constraints, I offer just a couple of examples of the political nature of such critiques. The first one, by the collective Espai en Blanc [blank space], represents the most politically radical positions: “What is essential in the Barcelona brand-name is that it constitutes a new way of political domination. We call this way of exercising power and, consequently, the way of obedience that corresponds to it, postmodern fascism” (Espai en Blanc et. al. 2004: 20-21) [MPB: My translation]. The second comes from a more philosophically and culturally based analysis that emphasizes the destruction of memory: “… there are transformations which erase memory in order to install oblivion and convert places into caricatures of themselves. Transformations of spaces and cities through which people give up any role they had as protagonists to yield this role to pure space. Transformations which in the end turn citizens into tourists in their own cities. Without realising it, we already contemplate Barcelona from a hotel balcony.” (Antich 2005:84-85).
Figure 2: Demolition of an old factory, Pobleno u
Be that as it may, one thing is certain. The new Barcelona rises over the destruction of vast spaces of social production and reproduction from its industrial era, i.e., factories and working class housing, while it’s postindustrial personality and character are defined to an important extent by a wealth of proudly restored old buildings, most of them belonging to the modernista architectural movement.
It would appear, then, that the uses of the city’s material past play a key explanatory role in the interpretation of Barcelona’s urban transformation. The built environment is a historical creature, even if its being inherited from a complex past is not materialized constantly in everyday uses. The popular neighbourhood as much as the architectural jewel or the monument to a national glory are all subject to memory in the palympsest that the city is. That being said, the conditions for survival of all and every one of these built environments depends on their being considered productive in the present.
Some old buildings are lucky to become the apple of a city’s eye. Such is the case of the modernista heritage in Barcelona, led by Gaudí (fig. 3). Why? The care with which democratic governments as well as private capital ventures have favoured its restoration runs parallel to its having become the core of Barcelona’s comparative advantage as a city internationally renowned by its architecture. The modern nature of Catalan modernista architecture is nowadays very intelligently woven at the discoursive level as well as in the built environment with contemporary interventions defining the
Barcelona model (fig. 4).
Conjointly, they partake in the quality brand associated with Barcelona by
Catalan modernisme “refers to a two- old process occurring in [Catalonia] during the two crucial decades spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Within a continuing surge of social transformation there emerged together impulses for the explicit modernization of a culture considered archaic, pedestrian and provincial […] and for the creation of a specifically
national art. ” Trenc Ballester and Yates (1988:17). Within the field of architecture: “The term Modernisme[...] refers to a specifically Catalan phenomenon, considered as that stage of the universal Modern Movement which combined the eclectic choice of historical references with the introduction of modern materials, and infused decoration, even construction, with the flowing lines borrowed from the primary source of Nature. It was much more than a local variant of Art Nouveau because it became a style identified with a total movement to affirm Catalan nationhood and cultural autonomy, differentiated from
Spanishness and attuned to its advanced European counterparts. ” Mackay (1985:vii).
The Caixa Forum museum is a perfect example of this discoursive and architectural weaving of continuities between the great architecture of yesteryear and the best architecture of today that Barcelona strives to be a materialization of. Built in 1912 by great architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch to hold the textil factory of the Casaramona family, it is one of the finest examples of industrial modernista architecture. It was bought by the powerful financial Catalan group La Caixa in the 1960s and restored to its original glory in the 1990s to adapt it to hold the cultural activities sponsored by the La Caixa foundation. The works done to the building, which happens to stand accross the road from Mies van der Rohe Barcelona pavilion, include a new access to it
offering the kind of unique, coherent, commodifiable image that is necessary to compete in international markets and to produce the tourist experience. Moreover, this selective highlighting of the city’s material past privileges the culture, and the history that gives voice to an industrial and modernizing bourgeoisie who had the good taste of financing the most avant-garde architectural forms of their time. In the meantime, other aspects of Barcelona’s history have languished due to the scarcity of their preserved spaces of memory. Paramount amongst these is the industrial past from the perspective of the working classes, whose built heritage has not received comparable institutional or private support, except when it happened to be of modernista style.
Figure 3: Pavilions of the Finca Güell in the Pedralbes District, by Gaudí designed by star architect Arata Isozaki. Isozaki was very conscious of the strategic location of his intervention, placed between a monument to local architecture and one of the most emblematic and influential buildings in modern architecture. And so, he designed his entrance explicitely as a mediation between the two. He says: “The vertical branches of trees mark the access to the center. As it is the case with natural trees, they branch out to make a complex structure in contrast to the regularity of Puig i
Cadafalch’ building façade. […] While I was observing the discreet style of Van der Rohe’s construction, I thought my way of working had to be even more discreet. […] I could turn upside down the shape of Mies van der Rohe’s pavilion and bury it so that, in order to get into CaixaForum, the visitor would have to penetrate a kind of underground garden. In this way, my work represents a mediation between the iron structure of the old factory and the utterly flat and simple finish of the Barcelona pavilion.” (Fundación “La Caixa,” 158 and 161) [MPB: My translation].
Figure 4: CaixaForum
This brings us to a discussion of unlucky, also known as obsolete, buildings. All processes of substitution or resignification of built environments–understood in their political, social, economic and symbolic complexity- originate in these being defined and catalogued by powerful parties as obsolete.
Obsolescence denies any present value to the object of the past, and in so doing, it negates the capacity, or the right, of this object to produce or contain memory. It is around this category of obsolescence that some of the most complex struggles over urban space and the right of citizens to the city get generated. Obsolescence negates all continuity between the history of a place and its present, reducing it to an exhausted, meaningless past. Which explains why some struggles over the subsistence of these spaces are articulated around a claim to a collective memory, whose right to exist, it is argued, is being jeopardized. But invoking the past is never enough. Any claim against obsolescence necessitates, in order to articulate itself, a critical position about the present. To denounce the erasure of a built space, or to defend that what is left be preserved is to question the parameters that have allowed for such space to be deemed erasable: who made the decision, according to which and whose interests. Moreover, in order to be credible, claims against obsolescence need to have a concrete proposal ready for how to achieve an alternative future to the one that is being criticized. In the
Barcelona of today, this kind of critical alternative discourse often focuses on the industrial heritage and purports to resist a process of urban transformation deemed as obedient only to the interests of a branded city.
Such is the case with the SalvemCanRicart [Let Us Save Can Ricart] platform, created by neighbours, local historians and architects to defend the conservation of the Can Ricart industrial compound in the neighbourhood traditionally known as Poblenou and now renamed as the more fashionable [email protected], threatened at least by partial demolition and substitution by an office tower. The case of Can Ricart is paradigmatic of the complex and contradictory ways in which issues of memory, class, sustainability and democracy can intersect to define what is the dominant, and what the resistant treatment of the built industrial heritage of Barcelona.
Figure 5: Can Ricart
Figure 6: Can Ricart
Members and supporters of SalvemCanRicart have strategically used in their arguments the very discourse of the local institutions, presumably with the intention of increasing their chances of succeeding:
1. In the first place, by invoking architectural quality and uniqueness: as no other of its quality and nature remains in Barcelona, Can Ricart, the only factory compound from the XIX century preserved in full, is a unique, artistically and architecturally priceless example of industrial heritage, a symbol of modernity in Barcelona.
At an international level, knowledge and appreciation
of industrial built environments and objects is part and parcel of the packaging and branding of postindustrial cities.
With a wealth of industrial heritage,
Barcelona can easily incorporate this trend as part of the marketing of its brand as a cultural tourist destination. Moreover, with a mayor’s office proud of its ability to gain international acclaim through an urban transformation based on the quality
of its spaces, the compatibility of
SalvemCanRicart’s first argument becomes clear. Even more, one would expect the Mayor’s office to jump at the opportunity to capitalize on the claim of the SalvemCanRicart platform for the benefit of continuing to advance and perfect the Barcelona model/brand. More preserved buildings; better quality architecture will produce in turn better quality of life and a unique urban experience, all of which can be put at the service of producing and selling the spectacle of Barcelona to the potential tourist and/or investor, as well as to the dwellers. The problem is, the office of the mayor has expressed that it is not convinced that the architectural quality of the compound merits its preservation in full.
2. Second, by defending the economic viability: It is the perfect choice of space to hold the kind of clean and sustainable industries (IT, culture) recently promoted by local institutions for the area, as part of the move to a tertiary, post-industrial, sustainable economy.
However, other economic interests conflict with those of the platform: in an area of “new centrality”
19 as that of [email protected], it is much more profitable for investors to build a tall office building. This will yield more profit per square meter and can potentially attract global investments and businesses. In the long run, this model can also produce clean, sustainable wealth for the area. The local government is inclined to accept this argument.
3. Third, by invoking the symbolic importance of memory in the construction of a collective identity, and the role of architectural heritage in this process: Can Ricart is necessary for the preservation of a collective memory –that of the working classes- that is different from the hegemonic one supported by
modernista buildings, but equally significant to the local history.
At an ideological, and to a certain extent cynical level, all the up-to-date neglected and potentially subversive memory accumulated in the industrial heritage is easily neutralized as part of a history celebrating modernity, the dominant interpretation of Barcelona’s history anyway. After all, the bourgeoisie, heroically represented in the narration told by the modernista heritage, makes sense only if thought in relation to its antagonist, the working class with whom it shared the spaces of production.
Currently emblematic buildings in the modernista style such as those holding the museistic Fundació
Tàpies (fig. 9) or the CaixaForum (fig. 4), originally conceived as spaces of production –printing house and textile factory, respectively–, could be legitimately appropriated for a history of Barcelona’s working class.
See Can Ricart for more details.
Knowledge and appreciation that have been institutionalized as heritage studies in archeology, history and urban studies departments.
See Holcomb, Bianchini, Walsch, Hutton, Kearns and Philo. See Irving for a journalistic account of how Great Britain has consciouly copied the Barcelona model. This is clear in the regeneration of the industrial past in cities such as Glasgow,
Manchester or Liverpool.
Barcelona has been the industrial capital of Catalonia and the whole of Spain since the 18th century.
A urban transformation based on the quality but also based on, and characterized by its aestheticization as cultural industry for consumption in political, architectural, touristic, and social contexts.
New centrality, nueva centralidad or nova centralitat is a concept that defines the areas of what used to be the marginal and neglected edges of the city, many of them by the sea, that are now becoming new city centers for living, working and playing.
These include old industrial, working class neighbourhoods such as Poblenou (now [email protected]).
4. Fourth, by aligning themselves with the most progressive implications of the Barcelona model: the full preservation of Can Ricart is what local residents, and not politicians or big corporations, want.
The origins of the Barcelona model go back to a period where local governments made decisions on urban planning in close and public consultation with social agents, with the aim of creating a better democratic city for its less favoured dwellers and in the public interest.
The Barcelona model is praised internationally, not only for the architectural and aesthetic quality of its spaces, but also in light of its progressive solutions in the creation of more social and public spaces. This is illustrated in the preservation, dating back to the 1980s but continuing up to this date, of industrial buildings, mostly factories, turned into public venues such as civic centers (fig. 7) or university halls (fig. 8). These are precedents where preservation of historic buildings has in fact enhanced the city’s public services today while respecting the physical traces of a meaningful collective past.
Figure 7: Can Saladrigas
More on this on Marshall, Calavita, Ferrer and also on Balibrea (2004).
Figure 8: Ca l’Aranyó
Figure 9: Fundació Tàpies
The local government has so far denied Can Ricart its full preservation.
The outcome of this conflict is still to be resolved, with a social platform which so far has managed to have its voice heard and to stop all atempts at demolishing the compound. Still, this necessarily short paper has tried to show how the complexity with which the case of Can Ricart intersects with Barcelona’s dominant trends of urban transformation, to reinforce them as well as to undermine and question them, proves the multiple and contradictory ways in which the history embedded in a built environment can influence the signification and development of a given social space.
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L. Marzo and M. Romaní, eds. Tour-isms: The Defeat of Dissent. Barcelona: Fundació Tàpies, 76-85.
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3. Sobre Arte, Políticas y Esfera Pública en el Estado Español. Barcelona: Arteleku-MACBA-Universidad
Internacional de Andalucía, 263-267. Available on line http://www.desacuerdos.org/.
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Marshall, ed. Transforming Barcelona. London: Routledge, 205-224.
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Difference. Oxford: Blackwell, 210-247.
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London: Yale University Press, 1999: 54-70.
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Retheorising the 21 st
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Kearns and C. Philo. Selling Places: The City as Cultrual Capital, Past and Present. London: Pergamon.
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[Accessed 24 January 2007]
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This state of affairs represents the situation as of the time of writing this paper, January of 2007.
Donald L. Bates
LAB architecture studio
325 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia phone: +61.3.9612.1026 e-mail: [email protected]
Tourism as a spatial and urban condition assumes arrival, visitation and departure. What happens when the tourist doesn’t leave? What urbanity emerges when the visitor settles down and becomes a resident? Originally an enclave of foreigners, and now a village of expatriate inhabitants, do resort communities have a 3 rd
status – neither transient nor permanent, neither local nor global? From China, to India, to Spain, to the Cape Verde Islands, resort communities offer relief from the cold climates of “old Europe” or “troubled America”, offering convenient lifestyles at lower prices. Seen as vacation resorts, with mild weather, abundant facilities and amenable exchange rates, many of these projects are now marketed as alternative homes for those who seek retirement to an easier life, or who relish the more open, more ‘tropical’ lifestyle, a home truly away from home.
LAB architecture studio is currently engaged in the design of a new resort community on Sao Vicente, Cape
1 Enclave Tourism
In search of ever newer locations, untouched and unspoilt (or at least, not yet inundated), tourist resorts have spread across the world – from the first world to the second world to the third world. In a particular iteration, and as currently evidenced at sites across the third world, resorts act as exclusive and segregated enclave compounds for tourists who desire a tropical or exotic vacation, but without the inconvenience of actually having to encounter the local population. These controlled experiences seek to provide safety, certainty and no unpleasant confrontations with the day-to-day life in countries often beset by depressing poverty and unemployment, minimal infrastructure, basic hygiene and dysfunctional governments.
The combination of plentiful sun, beaches (or interesting landscapes and architectures), new foods and music, all provided at a low cost or with an exceptional array of pampered services or both, has lead to the widespread development of these enclave resorts, where a visitor is both there and not ‘there’ at the same time. In many of these locations, there are varying degrees to which these cultural and social separations are enforced or are seen as acceptable. They present the promise and paradox of interaction and exclusion. The extent to which the visit can be controlled for maximum enjoyment and minimal disruption is a part of the guarantee of resort tourism.
Figure 1: Hotel Le Palais des Roses, Agadir, Morocco
Within the phenomena of global tourism, it is clear that such operations do indeed inject significant foreign revenues into the local economies, provide for an enhanced job market and offer developments that at least on the surface, are part of an industry that is not ‘dirty’ or overtly polluting or degrading to the environment. However, the ever-expanding field of tourism and its compounding effects suggests that this calculation be rendered somewhat differently, as the connective consequences and secondary impacts of mass tourism go far beyond the immediate development of resorts, hotels and visitor facilities.
2 Resort Community
Classic tourism implies an intrusion that holds clear the difference between the visitor and the local.
Enclave tourism is a more exaggerated example, in which complete difference is maintained and well delineated. This delineation begins to blur not just when the visitors go ‘native’, - getting into the spirit of things – but even more so when the visitor never leaves. The search for a more ‘authentic’ experience, of an immersive encounter (often in reaction to the packaged deal) is still defined by the relationship and duration of visitation and then departure, of the tourist and the local, no matter how indepth or affective. The progression from tourist, to repeat-visitor, to expatriate, and on to resident, defines a rather new condition.
Within the last three decades, a very substantial market has developed for those who not only want to experience foreign adventures, but who see resort living as a new or alternative lifestyle. It is clear that to a very large degree, the existence of these new resort communities is marked by good weather and a temperate or tropical climate above all else. Marketed extensively (if not exclusively) for northern
Europeans, resorts in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Canary Islands, Turkey, South Africa, Dubai, and now the Cape Verde Islands have been or are becoming part of a large development scenario based around second-home ownership.
Figure 2: resort beach in Morocco
The transformation of large sections of the Spanish and Portuguese coastlines, first into resort developments and now into resort communities, is being repeated again and again across the
Mediterranean basin, into Africa, the Caribbean, the Persian Gulf, India, South-east Asia and China.
These changes are bringing significant development impacts, far beyond the mere addition of the resorts themselves and the supporting tourist facilities. Expanded airports, new transportation links, hospitality services and support are all part of the package necessary to sustain these holiday resorts.
Their transformation into communities of long-term residency also changes their nature and status, replacing one type of uncertain integration with another. The migration of necessity from the third world to the first, is being countered (at a reduced extent) with a migration of choice from the first to the third.
Established on a model of leisure, relaxation and retreat, but based on a presumption of temporary or short-term habitation, the evolution of these resorts from tourist destination to settled community leads to a new set of impacts and consequences. The financial impetus for this new model of expatriate living is the extent to which local governments have made ownership available to overseas investors.
Whereas previously, ownership by non-locals or non-nationals was impossible or very convoluted, the relaxation, or indeed, the promotion of the right of ownership to foreign visitors has dramatically changed the equation. Parallel to legal ownership has been the economic lure of substantially reduced housing costs, giving buyers a large and premium residence well below the market rate back home. If tourism in its many variants has generally been seen as a valuable development tool for emerging economies (particularly those without heavy industry options), the promotion of investment opportunities based around resort communities now assumes an important position.
Figure 3: Hotel Sofitel Thalassa
The benefits of communities over resorts, of ownership versus packaged tours, are suggestive, if not yet measurable. What is worth noting and speculating on, is the shift in context and relationship implied by these changes. On the whole, these new communities remain differentiated from local communities not just by their placement (often at picturesque beach or prime waterfront locations), nor by their real estate valuation. They are most often still conceived as segregated (or at least separated) enclaves. They are focused on features and “lifestyle” attributes that are marked by leisure and recreational pursuits, with golf courses, pools, spas, water-sports, clubs and restaurants as central features and attractions. As such, they have an intentional and programmatic ethos that sees them not as an extension of the local housing or urbanism, but rather as a distinct and exclusive (and therefore excluding) settlement.
The programmatic profile is significant because it illustrates the degree to which these new communities are a hybrid form of urbanism, devoid of many of the more comprehensive features and facilities that might define a complete community (no schools, no hospitals, few social services), while over-abundant with leisure and entertainment features. The demographic of ownership also reveals a limited, condensed base of residents, which sets the tenor for the social constitution of the development. As attenuated and selected groupings, these communities tend to reinforce similarity and dissuade difference or diversity.
And yet for all of their delineation and exclusivity, there remains an interesting circumstance by which residents of these resort communities do become part of the local culture, part of the local social network. By repeat visitation, by extended durations, by engaging in local communal activities
(shopping, socialising, interaction with trades-people and local services) residents become exactly that
– residents and not visitors. Rarely are they full-time, but they nonetheless take on the role of
‘provisional locals’, knowledgeable enough to know the ins and outs of daily life. Their stake is substantial if only because of their ongoing investment in property, furnishings and the maintenance of support facilities. For many, these clearly are investment opportunities. But much like homes back home, this financial concern is not disengaged from the life and friendships that develop within any communal gathering. The hybrid, enclave and expatriate nature of these resort communities is not yet fixed and static. There still exists the opportunity for a progressive transformation to a model that sees a more integrated, more essential character emerging.
3 Cesaria Resort
The Cesaria Resort on the island of Sao Vicente, in the Cape Verde Islands, will be forced by natural circumstances to be environmentally sustainable. Volcanic in origin, Sao Vicente is largely without natural vegetation (the consequence of over-grazing), without a permanent water supply (with inconsistent annual rainfall), without intrinsic fuel sources for energy or power generation and dependent on imported food and resources. Located on an isolated and totally undeveloped site on the southern side of the island, the Cesaria Resort is too remote and too substantial to depend on the inadequate sewerage, electricity, and water services that currently supply the local population.
The island is gifted however, by one of the highest rated wind indexes available. There is a steady and substantial wind from the north-east, offering the opportunity for a expansion to the small, existing wind-farm. Current proposals are to construct and operate an expanded series of new wind turbines, not only supplying the resort, but also providing surplus power back to the island’s distribution grid.
The power generated will also operate a network of desalination plants, as no wells or fresh water reservoirs are planned.
Within the arid and volcanic conditions of the site, landscaping will be based on a utilisation of treated waste water for irrigation, with salt-tolerant and hardy plants being sparsely planted in limited vegetation zones. There is no intent to turn this dry landscape into a plush and green garden. There are a range of ESD initiatives being developed and tested by Atelier Ten and ARUP for implementation within the project.
Of more direct concern will be the analysis and the policy pertaining to the larger issue of how such a development (with over 5,000 planned residences, plus hotels) can be sustainable in its development phases, not just in operation. Sao Vicente specifically, and Cape Verde in general, lacks a sophisticated or well-trained construction industry, and this will likely necessitate an influx of foreign workers or at least intra-island workers. Part of the design of the resort demands a strategic plan for the accommodation of temporary workers, who may eventually become more permanent workers and residents, who become (or are replaced by) service personnel for the completed resort. This debate runs parallel and in conjunction with questions of integration, assimilation and community that are also attached to the very concept of the resort. The management of both sets of introduced outsiders – who may go on to become residents and locals – will underwrite the sustainable credentials and success of the Cesaria Resort project.
Some of these issues are being addressed by means of consultation with the local municipality. The current development plan includes within it the design and construction of worker housing that can be readily converted into family housing at the end of the main construction phase. Rather than being placed directly on the site of the Cesaria Resort and being isolated, the workers housing is some 8 kilometers away, near the main town of Mindelo. Working in concert with the local government, a site for this housing has been chosen that will allow for its eventual integration into the existing fabric of
Mindelo, and will from the out-set, provide the workers with access to local shops, laundries, and entertainment. The management of the social interfaces of the new development with the existing community is seen as a fundamental responsibility of the project.
Figure 4: view of Cesaria Resort site, Sao Vicente, from the south.
Figure 5: view to Cesaria Resort site (Pahla Carga) from main track
Figure 6: beach at Praia de Calhetta Grande – Cesaria Resort
Metaurban Tourist Places and City Development
Professor / Researcher
UFRGS (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul);
CNPq (National Brazilian Research Council)
Marques de Pombal 1385 / 201
Postal Code 90540-001 PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil phone: + 55 51 3342-1572 e-mail: [email protected]
One typical manifestation of tourist urbanism is the creation of prettified images of places in order to competitively use their urbanity - that unique quality forwarded by cities to their citizens in terms of communication and sociability - as a tool to attract tourists. Known as placemaking, the practice is accompanied by a placemarketing that aims at the creation of branded places. This action reshapes cities, carving out places to work as urban entertainment fragments of development. The paper discusses the use of tourist metaurbanism global strategies - such as the retrourbanism of abandoned historic areas; or the production of glamourized cloned places - and their implication upon local cultural and economic agendas. Outcomes from a research project in
Porto Alegre, south Brazil, point out to cases in which both tourists and the city population are successfully appropriating newly invented places of cultural consumption - a multifunctional airport and a revamped old icon.
“Place is a well accepted theoretical construct of the area of spatial studies. The various disciplines involved in the area are used to approach the concept according to each individual rationale”
(CASTELLO 2005a p.350). On urban-architectural grounds, place is a construct that implies the existence of a created environmental form - a form imbued with a symbolic significance to its users.
1.1 Rethinking the concept
In the actual shift of paradigms from modernism to postmodernism the concept receives numerous contributions, appending a broadened trans-disciplinary perspective to its understanding. In the move from internationalism to globalism, the forms of cities also experience drastic changes, evincing the decisive influence market forces exert upon them. Changes occurring within the very conceptualization of place also provide unforeseen fundaments for rethinking the concept. Thus, the inclusion of an
economic value to measuring the quality of a place is not an inadmissible consideration any longer, especially within today’s societal changing mores. This comes as an addition to the consecrated
existential values, widely recognized among authors of the area (e.g.: ADAMS et al. 2001; CASEY
1998; NESBITT 1996; NORBERG-SCHULZ 1996; RELPH 1976, 1996; TUAN 1998), as place’s traditional valuator. Therefore, a place, normally understood as a social construction, can also be thought of as an economic construction (FAINSTEIN 2001; FLORIDA 2004); mainly when tourist urbanism is involved (JUDD & FAINSTEIN 1999).
1.2 Placemaking / Placemarketing
The praxis of constructing places is known as placemaking and comes usually associated to a vigorous
placemarketing. Both, placemaking and placemarketing act together in an effort to ascribe to the new places a branded image, so as to act as a strategic tool for achieving marketing management objectives.
The practice of “making places” aims at creating (or re-creating) lively “social” areas within the cities
- as well as bringing them into businesses. More than merely designing a functional area dedicated to
boost sociable encounters, to make a place now also entails strategies to marketing that place. And the quickest and safest way to market a place is through the construction of an image. An appealing image, so that places can become more rapidly included within people’s imaginary repertoire. Probably herein lays the most drastic variation to reach the concept of place: thanks to that goal of transforming fantasy into materialized constructions, places became highly tied to the construction of images. There are numerous examples of such practices currently taking place in cities all over the globe. Examples range from larger scale projects, such as Port Vell (Barcelone) or Puerto Madero (Buenos Aires); to smaller ones, such as the Globe Theatre (London) or Xin Tian Di (Shanghai).
Urbanity is understood as that unique quality forwarded by cities to their citizens in terms of communication and sociability. Urbanity is normally connected to the concept of public space.
However, today, even such classic urban concepts experience a rethinking. The interface between
public and private spaces is increasingly blurred, and, as the literature observes, “public space” now encompasses a polysemantic meaning (e.g., ASCHER 2004; CARR et al. 1995; HANNIGAN 1998;
KAYDEN et al. 2000; WHYTE 1990). A growing public-private spaces interpenetration leads some authors to recommend that urban designers should focus “(…) on the broader concept of ‘public life’
(i.e. the sociocultural public realm of people and activities), rather than the narrower one of physical
‘public spaces’”, since public life now is “flourishing in private places, not just in corporate theme parks, but also in small businesses such as coffee shops, bookstores and other such third places”
(BANERJEE 2001 in CARMONA et al. 2003 p.114).
2.1 Urbanity places and Cloning places
In our research work, the new invented places of today are called “cloning places”, given their efforts to replicate the spatial patterns through which the phenomenon of urbanity is perceived. The design of
“cloning places” draws heavily from the environmental stimuli believed to be responsible for attributing urbanity to the urbanity places. Hence, the use of the expression “cloning”, here employed with an unusual positive tone.
In the process of making places, design imitates an idealized prototypical scheme which had, previously, proved to bring out the inherent quality of urbanity. Thus, the new place is understood as a
cloned offspring of the primary urbanity place. As such, it is supposed to produce a perception of
urbanity - or, perhaps, the perception of a proxy of urbanity –, unmistakably, that same urbanity sensed in an urbanity place. Moreover, the expression is used to intentionally evoke the strong human content of Architecture and Urbanism, suggesting that, whereas bio-genetical cloning may create life, urbanarchitectural cloning may create places - where life can be lived and shared.
It is worth remembering that the shifting between sites formerly perceived as paramount symbols of urbanity, and their cloned offsprings, may bring about changes on people’s perception of urbanity. In fact, “(…) certain aspects of urbanity that until recently were the exclusive privilege of the old core cities (…) [are] made possible by the site-unspecific reproduction of ‘urban’ outdoor space inside airconditioned indoor megaspaces” (RUBY 2002, p.24). The new places are often criticized as escapist, but, in the understanding of consecrated scholars, as cunningly teaches TUAN (1998), escapism should be seen as nothing more than a spontaneous manifestation of a humane act. Among his examples to enlighten his point, Tuan alerts that it was necessary to cross one whole century so that the Tour Eiffel passed to be perceived by the Frenchmen as it is nowadays, legitimated as a real place of urbanity
Making places for attracting and entertaining visitors is not a novel praxis in urban planning. What is interesting to remark, though, is that the state-of-the-art in place theory now offers a suitable path for a promising bridging between tourist urbanism practices and environmental planning.
The making of new places is linked to urban policies, either public or private, where places are destined to accomplish specific planning goals. To expand and incorporate this strategy into tourism planning is a likely consequence. Additionally, since cloning places are apparently carved out of the city’s own fabric, one can expect that this “progeny” will work as a natural sustainer of local
environmental qualities, apt to be used as a tool to counteract the eventual invasion of the globalized sameness, often criticized in new tourist places.
The creation of tourist places destined to function as urban places for the entire population of a city is a cherished objective in tourist urbanism. Among the urban-architectural procedures involved, two stand out: the creation of iconic-edifices (JENCKS 2005; SUDJIC 2005); and the development of cities as theme-parks (SASSEN & ROOST 1999; FAINSTEIN & GLADSTONE 1999). They both rely on the creation of elements of the popular imaginary, represented by images that emerge either from the newly built locations or from those coming from the revamping of vernacular historic locations. The invented forms try to evade from the sameness of everyday reality, leading to environments eventually perceived as “non-real”. In the process they may reach, sometimes, even meta-real characteristics.
Therefore, this sort of placemaking comes closer to a “meta”-urbanism rather than to the more ordinary one. In our research works, the professional actions related to the construction of such environments are called meta-urbanism (CASTELLO 2005b). This is so because “In general, the urban-architectural design of theme places becomes responsible for bestowing images of fantasy into the domain of real places. As an outcome, reality may become altered (...). And (...) practices more akin to a meta-reality might be expected (...)” (CASTELLO 2000, p.2) – practices that lie beyond the day-by-day reality.
Analogously, the prefix meta before the word urbanism implies ‘that which is beyond urbanism’ - that is to say, beyond the usual domains of what urbanism is usually familiar to deal with.
4 Urban_Trans_Formation in Porto Alegre
Two research works in Porto Alegre, focusing on the interaction between people and their environment, gathered through environmental perception techniques, allowed identifying significant environmental elements. Crucial to the concerns of this paper are the findings relative to two elements: the old Gasometer plant; and the new Airport complex.
4.1 The reuse of the Gasometer as a place
Research on the central area took place in 1986 and 1995. In 1986, the Gasometer plant was just an old building in ruins, surrounded by an emptied area by the river. Despite that, its image was quite resilient in people’s memory, probably by its strategically visual location at the very interface of the natural and built environments, on the farthest point of the central peninsula (FIG.1). In 1995, the construction had been rehabilitated by minimalist strategies, destined basically to keep the edifice up. Brought back to working again, the ancient icon soon began to reach unexpected peaks in people-environment interactions.
The edifice and its natural surroundings are impregnated by an image of permanence deeply immersed in the population’s cultural memory. Thanks to its new functioning, the novel place rapidly gave place to new behavioural settings (BARKER 1978; BONNES & SECCHIAROLI 1995) for the leisure times of both, visitors and the community; to a venue to see and to be seen, to play, to sing, and ultimately, to enjoy the urbanity it has to offer. It also became a cultural brand for marketing the city (FIG.1). This was all achieved by “cloning” and highlighting the memory images the site had always possessed.
Today it is the place to take visitors, either for showing them the charismatic presence of the river, obliterated by urbanization in the image of the city; or for sharing the enlightening bliss of its historic meaning.
Figure 1: Repurposing iconic landmarks and bringing them into our time. The old Gasometer.
4.2 The multifunctional Airport Complex as a place
Located on a very convenient city’s overspill, the new Airport is easily accessible and combines a diversity of functions, offering an example of the new global tendency of gathering under a single roof, a multifunctional “hybrid” compound. It is a typical representative of the multipurpose buildings found in today’s postmodern urbanism (ELLIN 1999), believed to clone the characteristics of a place as a means to induce the happening of grand “events”, for citizens and tourists alike (KOOLHAAS 2004;
Research on the airport took place in 2002, and among other objectives, investigated whether people and tourists perceived the airport as an urban place. Both the quantitative and qualitative results revealed that all the functions offered by the complex had been fully ‘appropriated’ by the population in their daily practices. As shown in the Charts, an expressive number of interviewees stated that “Yes, they would bring some friend to take a walk in the airport”; and “Yes, they would indicate activities such as ‘leisure’ and ‘other reason’”, when asked about the reasons originally motivating their visit to the airport. The illustrations, in addition, show people at ease, reading, gathering in the food parlour, shopping, going to the Cineplex, or simply relaxing in the armchairs (FIG. 2).
Not only travellers are attracted to the Airport. Activities typical of those that ordinarily take place in a
place are now occurring there: the complex is already responsible for attracting people from the nearby metropolis and its adjacent outskirts, indicating that the population at large perceives the complex as a legitimate urbanity place.
B e sid e s u sin g th e A ir p o r t fo r tr a v elin g , w o u ld y o u g o th e re fo r:
W o u ld y o u b r in g a f r ie n d t o w a lk a r o u n d ?
y e s
8 0 %
a ) A qu ick m ea l, dr inking coffee
b ) S hop p ing, going to the m ovies
c) R es t in the a rm cha irs
d) O nly tra velling e) O ther
Figure 2: Global presence in the infrastructure of everyday life. The new Airport as an urban place.
2 0 %
Given the growth of meta-urban places such as the ones selected above; their use in tourism; and the actual place concept rethinking; can an urban transformation be anticipated?
Yes, in all likelihood. There is a significant mutation to be expected, a mutation that permeates all dimensions of the urban realm - social, economic and cultural. Yet, as well accepted theoretically, a
mutation is a proviso for evolution. The concept of place, positioned as it is at the very interface of physical, social, and behavioural disciplines, may contribute beneficially to facilitate this evolution.
Also, it affords to bridge global and local tourist planning strategies, pointing the guidelines for the consequent urban_trans_formation. Plainly put, this is the message of this paper. Though tempting as it is to further pursue the point, its elaboration would necessarily demand additional specific research.
The cases discussed here are symptomatic, especially of the possibilities opened up by the use of the place approach for explaining the interconnection needed among diverse disciplines in tourist planning. The Gasometer case depicts an acceptable way of using a cultural asset as a tourist commodity; a viable way to increment the circuit of social places; and a feasible method to stimulate
environmental sustainability, either economic (the valuation of derelict land); behavioural (the renewed perception of an urban icon); physical (the reuse of an abandoned landmark); or political (an oxygenation to people’s own self-esteem, and under visitors’ eyes). The Airport case can, additionally, render the city’s aptitude to transmute a typical representative of the global scale of mutational places into the city’s local repertoire of places. By its periphery location, it is illustrative of what some authors call “transurbanism” (MULDER 2002), since it clones the features of a city hub, and, as the city gets internally deurbanized, the new cloned places progressively urbanize the landscape (RUBY
2002). This, ultimately, confirms that the city is able not only to assimilate the global mutation process but, more importantly, can, at the same time, direct the environmental evolution towards a manageable
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Enhancing Authenticity of Art and Craft Production
Communities for Tourism Development
Lecturer and Head of Graduate Program
Faculty of Architecture, Chiang Mai University
239 Huay Kaew Road, T. Suthep
Muang District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand phone: + 6653 942825 ext.114 e-mail: [email protected]
As a tourist destination, Chiang Mai, Thailand is famous for its cultural attractions including traditional art and craft products. However, the tourism boom in Chiang Mai has caused unrestrained expansions of non-traditional structures that reduce the sense of place in special art and craft districts. Therefore, it is necessary to plan for enhancement of the communities’ uniqueness and sense of place. Moreover, the solutions should satisfy the tourist’s expectations for authenticity. This paper describes a study of three art and craft communities using a perceptual approach which identifies patterns of perception and preferences for the environments of foreign tourists to recommend development solutions. The conclusion leads to recommendations which encourage the preferred original conditions, enhance the unpleasant areas and incorporate production activities to the development scheme in order to enrich travel experiences and enhance authenticity of the communities.
Chiang Mai Art and Craft Production Communities
Chiang Mai is the most famous cultural tourism destination in Thailand. The attractions include historic sites, cultural ceremonies, and handcraft shopping. In 2005, 4 million tourists visited Chiang
Mai and spent over 750 million US Dollars. Handcraft products accounted for 30 percent of the tourists’ shopping expenses.
Therefore, handcraft related activities and places are attractive and a significant source of income.
Baan Tawai, Borsang and Wualai are the most famous art and craft production communities for woodcarving, paper umbrella and silverware respectively. Their histories include the vernacular characteristics of production communities. While these communities are flourishing in tourism, they are experiencing unplanned growth and the loss of original characteristics of specialized production communities. This renders the communities unidentifiable, less attractive and trapped in low cost competition among mass product outlets in mundane places.
Figure 1: Baan Tawai Community
A Survey of Cultural Tourism by Social Research Institute, Chiang Mai University (2006)
Figure 2: Borsang Community
Figure 2: Borsang Community
Figure 3: Wualai Community
Problems of Tourism Development
Since tourism can degrade the environments and weaken cultural identity, tourism development projects are initiated to solve the problems. Communities have developed various projects that attempt to increase capacities and upgrade facilities. However, traveling is more about first hand experiences,
23 which depend on perceptions of physical environments. Still, few projects attempt to improve tourists’ experiences while nourishing the local identity and physical characteristics. Therefore, development schemes that enhance local characteristics are necessary for the communities to maintain distinct cultural and physical identities and to maintain their sense of place. Here, a sense of place refers to a quality that is both a result of and a basis for unity, care and affection of people and their environments.
For tourists, unique local characteristics of the communities would intensify travel experiences and add value into the products.
Local characteristics and authenticity enhance the perception of tourists have toward the environment.
What they perceive in the environment gives them impressions leading to experiences that are satisfactory. Therefore, to enhance the authenticity of the communities in the eyes of the tourist, the objectives of this study are: to understand patterns of perceptions of the physical characteristics of the environment and to manage perceptions of characteristics and authenticity in the communities by improving their physical characteristics.
People associate meaning with the environment through their perceptions which leads to affective judgment and perceived functions.
These perceptions, meanings and consequent judgments can be expressed through preference of multiple environments.
Preference studies utilizing a preference rating survey with color photographs to obtain people’s ratings on a Likert scale has been widely used to study visual perception of human toward the environment.
Reliability and validity issues of the
McIntosh, R. W., Goeldner, C. R. and Ritchie, B. (1995).
Relph, E. (1976) discusses the characteristics and meaning of place and placelessness.
The approach is originally called Non-verbal communication approach discussed by Rapoport, A. (1990); (1992); (1999).
Kaplan, S. and Kaplan, R. (1983) suggest that preference judgment is a holistic measure of overall reaction toward the physical characteristics of the environments; accounts for both innate and learned reactions; requires neither great consideration nor amount of time to make decisions and is almost second nature so that people do it subconsciously.
Many studies by this approach have been reviewed and discussed in Kaplan, R. and Kaplan, S. (1995) and Nasar, J. L. (1997).
methods have been established and adequately discussed in previous research.
Analyzing dimensions of the preference yields perceived patterns from the environments that reach beyond people’s conscious level.
These collective patterns of perceptions or dimensions are composed of groups of scenes depicting certain environmental conditions that people see sharing common characteristics.
The surveys were conducted with 300 foreign tourists.
First, a preference rating survey used 60 sample pictures, including scenes from different types and subtypes within three communities. The respondents rated each picture on the scale of 1 (not preferred) to 5 (very much preferred). Second, for a scene description survey, the respondents wrote down brief descriptions about the scenes. This information was used to help interpret the characteristics of the preference dimensions.
was used to group the scenes into dimensions based on preference patterns, while the verbal descriptions were analyzed by Content Analysis.
The dimensions were examined, described
35 and verified with the most frequent comments. The dimensions were also concluded and discussed by the potential approaches to enhance the perceived authenticity and improve the physical characteristics of the communities.
Patterns of Perception
The analysis yielded 7 dimensions. Each dimension shows a group of scenes depicting common characteristics of the environments according to perceptions of foreign tourists. Six out of seven show high potential to enhance the authenticity and the atmosphere of the communities and are described as follows:
Figure 1: Dimension 1—Vast Concrete Areas (Average Preference Score = 2.53)
Dimension 1 is named Vast Concrete Areas due to the common characteristic of large barren concrete streets and parking lots in urban-commercial environments. This dimension was described by the
The use of photograph as surrogate for environment have been tested, proved, reviewed and discussed by Daniel, T. C. and
Meitner, M. M. (2001); Dunn, M. C. (1976); Kaplan, R. and Kaplan, S. (1995); Lekagul, A. (2002); Shafer, E. L., and Richards,
T. A. (1974); and Shuttleworth, S. (1980).
Suggested by Kaplan, S., and Kaplan, R. (1983).
A review of several studies by Kaplan, R. and Kaplan, S. (1995).
Sampled by quotas of percentages of home countries of tourist population in Chiang Mai.
These pictures were: taken at normal eye level showing regular tourists’ viewpoints; stratified and selected to represent the communities, subtypes and conditions; printed in the size of 2” ½ by 4” on letter-size papers with 6 color pictures per page in random order and bound into two sets of booklets with different orders (Kaplan and Kaplan, 1995; Lekagul, 2003). The conditions were: scenes possessing conditions or elements that could introduce biases were removed; and the scenes from three communities would be proportionally distributed but those from the same subtypes or community would not be sequentially together. Then 60 scenes were randomly divided into four sets of 15 scenes and added to the booklets for the scene description survey (Lekagul, 2003; Woods, 1995).
Maximum Likelihood Factor Analysis with Promax rotation was used with procedures recommended in Hair, et al. (1998).
Descriptions from the scenes in each group were combined, tallied, categorized and counted, following procedures suggested in Sommer and Sommer (1995).
The scenes in each group were: arranged by their factor loadings, means, and standard deviations; examined their common characteristics; named and described.
In each dimension, the example pictures are the 3 most representative of that dimension (determined by the highest factor loading values) while the average preference score shows how much the respondents like the dimension.
tourists as boring and empty, with wide streets or commercial areas which are unpleasant and unlikable. This dimension is the least preferred dimension by the tourists.
Figure 2: Dimension 2—Production Areas and Activities (Average Preference Score = 3.15)
Dimension 2 is named Production Areas and Activities due to its common characteristic of people doing handcraft activities in vernacular environments. The verbal descriptions from the respondents for this dimension were articulated as interesting and attractive. The tourists moderately prefer this dimension.
Figure 3: Dimension 3—Natural Village Alleys (Average Preference Score = 3.19)
Dimension 3 is called Natural Village Alleys due to its common characteristic of narrow and curved alleys with trees and other vegetation in vernacular environments. The respondents described this dimension as calm, relaxing, local and natural, which are attractive and positive. The tourists also prefer this dimension.
Figure 4: Dimension 4—Souvenir Shopping Path (Average Preference Score = 3.24)
Dimension 4 is called Souvenir Shopping Path due to its common characteristic of covered pavement in front of stores displaying a variety of small products. This dimension was described as market areas selling handcraft and souvenir, which are beautiful and interesting. The tourists highly prefer this dimension.
Figure 5: Dimension 5—Original Canal Areas (Average Preference Score = 3.33)
Dimension 5 is named Original Canal Areas due to its common characteristic of common areas on a small irrigation canal between lines of small vernacular style shops with some vegetation, which is an original area in Baan Tawai community. The respondents described this dimension as peaceful and shady gardens and commercial areas, which are beautiful and interesting. The tourists prefer this dimension the most.
Figure 6: Dimension 6—Old Style Vernacular Houses (Average Preference Score = 3.15)
Dimension 6 is called Old Style Vernacular Houses due to its common characteristics of old and vernacular style wooden houses with gable roof elements and some decorative plants. The tourists described this dimension as old, pretty homes with plants, selling souvenirs and with restaurants or cafés, which are also nice and pleasant. The tourists moderately prefer this dimension.
From the resultant patterns of perceptions, 6 out of 7 dimensions comprise of similar scenes from more than one community. This means the three communities are inadequately distinct from the others in the eyes of the tourists. However, there is an exception for the Original Canal Areas dimension, in which all the scenes are from the original canal areas in Baan Tawai (see figure 5). This means the particular parts of Baan Tawai do have distinct characteristics perceived by the tourists. This area has the original characteristics of Baan Tawai; therefore it can be considered an authentic Baan Tawai community, which is not only unique but also the most preferred of all dimensions. Hence, enhancing the authenticity of the Baan Tawai community through enhancing its characteristics will also help increase preference for the tourists.
Other Preferable Characteristics
Although some of the characteristics perceived by the tourists are not specific to each community, they are relevant to the general handcraft communities, which consist of: Production Areas and Activities
(figure 2), Souvenir Shopping Path (figure 4), Natural Village Alleys (figure 4) and Old Style
Vernacular Houses (figure 6). These dimensions are not formed by characteristics of any one community but combinations of similar characteristics from different communities. In fact, they all have characteristics, which appear in all communities. They are not only perceivable but they are also preferred by the tourists.
Enhancing the Authenticity and Improving the Atmosphere
The communities can enhance their authentic environments and atmosphere by:
Maintaining and encouraging the original areas. The Original Canal Areas in the Baan Tawai community should be preserved and its characteristics should be encouraged throughout the selling and common areas of the community.
Utilizing the characteristics that are related to the handcraft sale and production communities. The characteristics of Souvenir Shopping Path, Natural Village Alleys and Production Areas and Activities
can be used to create the general handcraft sales and production communities. In addition, each community can promote these characteristics in a way that fit its own particular character,altering components such as type of products, type of vegetation, methods and tool of productions, and house elements and materials. Thus, they could become perceived as authentic communities.
Reducing the negative characteristics of the Vast Concrete Areas by: turning some of those areas into recreational uses such as small parks, and by adding nicely paved pedestrian walks, providing seating and rest areas, adding trees, and providing street furniture and decorative elements. Reducing the unpleasant characteristics of the Vast Concrete Areas will improve the character and atmosphere of the community as a whole.
This study has shown the potential for tourism development based on empirical data of tourists’ perceptions and preferences toward the environments of the art and craft production communities. The categories of perceptions in the findings fit into the theoretical frameworks and cumulative results from previous research.
It is necessary to discuss perceptions of the communities’ members.
First, they are proud of their original atmosphere of production activities in vernacular architecture and landscape. Second, they have nostalgic feelings toward the original characteristics and also prefer those that still exist and perceived by the tourists. However, there are many developments, which are individual projects by business owners who are not local residents. Therefore, the appreciations toward the old traditions were not executed. Nevertheless, similarities in the perceived authenticities and preferences by both the tourists and the locals yield possibility that the recommendations for enhancement are agreed upon and successfully applied by the communities.
However, this research did not cover Thai tourists, whose perceptions and preferences could yield different results.
The recommendations for enhancing the authenticity and improving the atmosphere are provided for the communities or professional planners and designers to develop action plans or design schemes. They can also use this study approach with other types of environments or different communities.
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A part of this research by Lekagul and Raksawin (2005) includes an interview with communities’ representatives who described about their perceptions, needs and expectations of the communities. They also viewed and commented on the resultant patterns of perceptions and preferences from the tourists.
Foreign and local respondents have been proved having different perceptions and preferences in previous studies by Strumse,
E. (1996); and Yang, B. E. and Brown, T. J. (1992).
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Strategic Revitalization of Cordoba’s Historical Center Using
Tangible and Intangible Local Cultural Resources
Arch. María Silvina Povarchik
Silvina Povarchik Architects
Duarte Quiros 461 7ºA. Córdoba Capital, CP5000, Argentina phone: + 543514220596 e-mail: [email protected]
Heritage cities have become premiere international tourist destinations. At the same time, historical centers have been excluded by socioeconomic polarization and related consumption patterns.
The Web City Museum is a new mixed institution which links networks for cultural promotion at the local and global level from the historical center of a city, fostering sustainable cultural tourism as a source of local development. This new building-network, designed as a cultural services infrastructure, links the existing architectural heritage and main buildings to the proposed management and services area by means of two new access networks: a local underground and aerial pedestrian way and an interactive global communication system.
It generates new movement flows for the promotion of culture, tourism and business superimposed on the onceimpoverished multifunctional area transforming the museum space into a local and global urban network.
Due to the international touristic inflow, it materializes global communication systems, reinforces local identity and the City takes part in the worldwide touristic network to stimulate the regional development of the territory.
This sustainable urban project is based on linking the existing architectural heritage and main buildings, to a management and services area by means of two new access networks: a local underground and aerial pedestrian way and an interactive global communication system.
This new archetype generates exchange among stakeholders who experience and promote local culture in order to transform it into a global one using physical and virtual interactive information networks.
Physically, the museum building comprises a network of meaningfully connected spaces in the local area. Virtually, the same architecture is created digitally and connected to the Internet. Mutually interconnected, they update each other simultaneously in real time based on their interaction with the local and global community.
A Web-City Museum is conceived in its local community, managing its own resources for sustainable cultural tourism, transforming community links into spatial links. Bridges, footbridges, terraces, agoras, tunnels and the Internet serve as a connecting thread.
This transfers connecting value to matter and space, the community and spatial dimensions to citizens, in reference to their identity, an informative summary to tourists, with a mixture of services, the benefits of group work to stakeholders, and building agreements to the State.
This connection is the supporting structure for community life which can reconcile participation with heterogeneity40 through local political, social and economic agendas.
Revitalization through the Exchange of tangible and Intangible Local Resurces
Exchange is a continuous natural process of regeneration, and it is currently a cultural pattern where intangible values govern tangible assets, including the novelty and speed of change. Information exchange through a network of links, or hypertext
, is the most widely used communications system: the Internet. Interrelated content nodes create and spread a sense of community, increasing man’s cognitive ability and challenging space-time boundaries in the non-virtual world. Global society uses this means of communication
to build relationships, experience space, and consume goods and services.
Building upon this system, the Web City Museum will generate new cultural, tourist, and commercial flows; simultaneously, it will transfer local products and services to the digital network, freeing them of their ties to a physical location, creating a new transterritorial cyberspace center
; where information travels, transmits and transforms. A magnet for global cultural tourism, it will transpolarize and multiply exchange over the global network of interconnected cities, stimulating local and regional development.
2.1 In Cordoba, Argentina,
it is conceived from its intangible local cultural heritage as the realization of the popular legend which unites all Cordoba natives in the fabric of collective memory.
Every year, new archaeological discoveries give new vigor to research into the legendary network of mythological tunnels built by the Jesuits, to escape towards the main city buildings in case of native rebellion, in the Colonial period. Legend becomes a reality as the expression of culture materializes in the city. Traditional oral expressions sharpen knowledge
and consolidate cultural awareness.
Cordoba is a geographical center of the Argentine Republic. Commercial ties with neighboring countries and provinces in Mercosur and Region Centro drive development.
Established as a colony in 1573, it has been a melting pot which in time became a multifunctional service center
at the local, national, regional, and international levels. In 1970, the creation of the
Pedestrian Area originated new flows through commercial arcades and passages
This city has had several names that described it. It was called the Dry Customs owing to its flourishing trade with the northern provinces which spurred its growth; the Learned City after the country’s oldest and most prestigious university and printing press; City of Bells; Cordoba of the
Jesuits, Underground Cordoba
for its valuable architecture, currently regarded as World Heritage; and City of Conferences for its capacity for knowledge creation and development. Today, it has been named Cultural Capital of the Americas 2006.
This new institution offers a space for community participation and exchange where urban needs can be met through equal socialization and education opportunities, articulating local behaviors with global processes.
See Max-Neef M. (1993, p. 26)
See Orihuela J.L. (1999, pp. 38-46)
See Cáceres (1998)
See Sassen Saskia (2000, pp. 109-111) Las nuevas formas de centralidad
See UNESCO (2003)
See Venturini E. (2006)
See video: La Otra Córdoba: Mitos y Leyendas de la Córdoba Subterránea (2002)
Given the exclusion, violence, and exhaustion of resources, the Web City Museum will generate reflection and cultural sensibilization, promoting organic and molecular action by every citizen in their community. It will condense cultural actions of local citizens in a global communication scale, in order to build cultural support for a global union with the aid of nature and technology of the civil society together with the state.
The purpose of this project is to complement political proposals for the state government from the perspective of stakeholders. This strategy can be replicated on any heritage center which manages its resources for the promotion of sustainable tourism as a source of local development. The way this strategy is realized in a city will depend on the local resources and capabilities to face challenges.
While basic people’s needs are the same in every nation, the form these are met vary according to the culture; therefore, human transformation is necessary in order to attain urban transformation.
Web-City Museum. Local-Global Interaction
Hypertext network system = Internet.
Legendary network of underground tunnels. 1792 graphic.
Figure 4: Web-City Museum: Urban typology and institutional program
Management Center: Public Government Utilities (City, Province, Regional, National) and Private
Educational network: Museums, theaters, libraries, media libraries, universities, colleges.
Cuisine network: City market, bars, restaurants, and a regional food court.
Commercial Recreative network: Shopping malls, movie theaters, arcades and craft booths.
Nuclear network: Amphitheaters, agoras, show rooms, convention centers.
Production network: Import/export market exhibitions and e-commerce.
Service network: Hotels, travel agencies, tourism operators, health assistance, tourist assistance etc.
NGOs network: Non-governmental social foundations and association s
Figure 5: Participation
Thematic and chronological flow for the museum
Figure 7: Flow and access
Figure 8 : Flow control monitoring
Figure 9: Site Plan. Architectural pedestrian, aerial and underground connections linked
Figure 10: Plant Level -7m
Figure 11: Plant Level -11m
Figure 23: Jesuit Architectural
BAUMAN, Z. 2003
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BORJA, J. y CASTELLS M. 1997 Local y Global: La gestión de las ciudades en la era de la información. Editorial Santillana.
CACERES G. J. 1998. Cibercultura, Ciberciudad y Cibersociedad. Hacia la construcción de mundos posibles en nuevas metáforas conceptuales. Razón y Palabra. [online] Nº10, Abril-Junio. http://www.cem.itesm.mx/dacs/publicaciones/logos/anteriores/n10/galindo2.htm
CAMPBELL J.1999 El poder del mito. Colec.Reflexiones. Ed.Emecé. Barcelona
La Otra Córdoba: Mitos y Leyendas de la Córdoba Subterránea. 2002. Video Filime. Auspic.: Gobierno de la Prov.de Cba.,
Secretaría de Turismo Presidencia de la Nación, Cadena3. Argentina. Asesor Técnico Arq. Carlos Page. Argentina. Prod.:
MAX-NEEF M.,1993 Desarrollo a escala humana. Ed. Nordan-Comunidad. Chile. 1993.
ORIHUELA J.L.1999 Introducción al Diseño Digital. Ed. Anaya-Madrid. 1999.
SASSEN S.,2000 La Ciudad Global, Una introducción al concepto y su historia. In: Koolhaas Rem, Harvard project on the
City, Boeri Stefano Multiplicity, Kwinter Sanford, Tazi Nadia, Obrist Ulrich Hans. Mutaciones. Actar. Barcelona. (pp. 109-
SERRES M.1995. Atlas. Colección Teorema, Ed.Cátedra, Madrid.
UNESCO. 2003. Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. París, Oct.17.2003.
VENTURINI E.: 2006 El uso turístico del patrimonio en los centros históricos urbanos. http://www.cicopar.com.ar/congreso/q-venturini2.htm
Heritage, Tourism and Sustainability: An Archaeological
Park as a Tool for Local Sustainable Development
Luciana Inés Repiso, Architect
Postgraduate fellow CONICET
(National Council of Scientific and Technological Research)
Master in Environmental Administration of the Urban Development
Institute of Human Environment “Liliana Rainis”
Faculty of Architecture, Urbanism, and Design – National University of
Córdoba, X5000JJP (Velez Sarfield Av. 264), Argentina phone: +54 351 4252954 e-mail: [email protected]
New ways of planning the tourist territory have emerged out of the concept of sustainability. This paper’s goal is to show, by means of a case study, the way in which the design of a sustainable tourist product can contribute to the preservation of the natural environment and the local culture, as well as to the development of the communities that dwell therein. This proposal, an Archaeological Park located in Quebrada de Humahuaca (a World Heritage
Site in Argentina), is a tool through which the local communities can manage, control and protect their heritage resources. Moreover, it is a way to connect the local culture, which represents an important period of human history, with the global culture. The results achieved demonstrate that the concept of sustainability is highly strategic and operative to reach key issues related to the social, economic and ecological/environmental aspects of the design of sustainable, innovative and effective solutions.
Tourism is increasingly being regarded as a positive force for the preservation of nature and culture; its contributions should bring about benefits for the host community and provide its members with significant resources and incentives to look after and maintain their Heritage.
The strategic alliance between culture and tourism refers to the use of the concept of Sustainability
as a linking concept between these two areas in terms of planning and management. On the basis of this general concept, this paper adheres to the notion of Sustainable Tourism, regarded as a conceptual and operative basis that allows for a sustainable use of heritage assets.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 2004) has set the guidelines for sustainable tourism development and sustainable management practices based on social, economic and ecological aspects.
According to Salinas and Osorio (2006) economical sustainability ensures an efficient tourist growth
(more jobs, income and an optimal cost/benefit ratio of resources, among others); socio-cultural sustainability strengthens the culture and values of the local community while preserving its identity and seeking social equality; and ecological/environmental sustainability guarantees the preservation of ecological processes, bio and geo-diversity together with a rational use of natural resources.
At the Globe’90 Conference Tourism Stream: Action Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development held in Vancouver (Canada) in 1990, sustainable tourism was defined as:
Heritage, conceived of as the identifying set of natural and cultural assets (both tangible and intangible) of a society, is a resource with great potential for local tourist development. In 1999, ICOMOS stated the breadth and richness of this concept in the International Cultural Tourism Charter (Managing Tourism at Places of Heritage Significance).
The concept of sustainability is based on three main goals: social, economic and ecological. CNUMAD, 1992. Rio ’92.
Agenda 21, Río de Janeiro, pp. 427.
These guidelines focus on making an optimal use of environmental resources, respecting the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities and ensuring viable, long-term economic operations. (UNWTO,2004)
a way of development intended to improve the quality of life of host communities, provide a top quality experience for the visitors and preserve the quality of the environment, which both depend upon
(1990 cited in Venturini 1999)
In recent years, the concept of sustainable tourism has been widely debated from different perspectives, theories and conceptual frameworks pertaining to different disciplines. It is defined as "eco-tourism",
"environment-friendly tourism" or "responsible tourism".
Buckley (2002 cited in McDonald 2006) defines sustainable tourism as “tourism at any scale with practical and proactive design, engineering, and management to reduce environmental impacts.” Butler also tackles the issue of a sustainable tourism industry (1993 cited in McDonald 2006) and states that it involves:
tourism which is developed and maintained in an area (community, environment), in such a manner and at such a scale, that it remains viable over an indefinite period and does not degrade or alter the environment (human and physical) in which it exists to such a degree that it prohibits the successful development and well being of other activities and processes.
On the basis of the aims inherent to the notion of sustainable tourism development, it is possible to think of “ways of using tourist resources” and “ways of using the tourist space” that will create alternative ways, where the transformations of the environment are of a more “rational” nature.
This paper centers on the Yacoraite Archaeological Park project
, located in Quebrada de
in Argentina (Fig. 1). It was created as a strategic initiative intended to place value on a historical space that is defined by the significance of its archaeological, historical and natural heritage value and regarded as a major cultural resource with scientific, social and economic dimensions.
The term archaeological park does not have a generally accepted definition, which indicates a lack of agreement regarding its meaning and content.
Yacoraite Archaeological Park as a case study
The case study focuses on the area around Yacoraite River (and Yacoraite Narrow) and its mouth into
Rio Grande. This area has an impressive natural environment and different archaeological sites that represent important periods of human history (Fig. 2). The increase of visitors to these sites of
Quebrada de Humahuaca reveals a growing interest in Cultural Tourism.
The park was thought as a master plan which includes in its surface area the local communities (Angosto de Yacoraite, San José and Chucalezna)
McDonald (2006) thoroughly reviews the different interpretations that derive from the concept of sustainability, especially those that relate to tourism, and the perceived problems associated with those different interpretations.
51 See Venturini, E., 1999.
52 This project was designed by Architects Luciana Repiso, Natalia Ravegnini and Emma Puch Sleive and coordinated by
Architect and Landscape Specialist Guillermo Lange (along with various other advisors from different areas).
53 Quebrada de Humahuaca was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003 and included in the category Cultural Landscape. See official documents at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1116
54 According to Ojeda (2002), this lack of definition applies to an archeological site (as in the case of the Archeological Park of
Fregellae in Italy), a road (as the famous Via Appia) and an area (as the Archaeological Zone of Las Médulas). Ojeda further explores the concept on the basis of the definitions provided by various authors and the guidelines included in the documents and briefs produced by two international organizations: The European Council and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
This tourist modality was defined by the UNWTO as any movement of people aimed at satisfying the human need for diversity, intended to raise the individual’s cultural level and allow for new insights, experiences and exchanges among individuals (Venturini, 2003).
The Yacoraite Archaeological Park project covers an area of 8.000 has. and includes a reserve as an environmental protection area.
Figure 1: Location of the Yacoraite Archaeological Park in the Province of Jujuy (Northwestern
The program includes different areas (Fig. 3 and 4): an archaeological area, a botanical area, a rural area, an adventure area, a research area, and inhabited areas (the local community will provide accommodation services and offer typical local food along with a knowledge of the local celebrations, customs and traditions). There will be three architectural typologies: a Visitor’s Centre (Fig. 5), an
Interpretation Centre and a Research Centre. Appropriate linkages (road networks, footbridges), tourist information points (Fig. 6), viewpoints and terraces are also part of the proposal.
Fig. 2a Fig. 2b
Figure 2: Pictures of the main territorial elements. a) Archaeological site Los Amarillos b)
Centinela Hill c) Women from local communities (taken from First Magazine) d) Panoramic view of the area from Pucara de Yacoraite.
Figure 3: Plan of the Yacoraite Archaeological Park
Figure 4: Cross section of the Park from the Yacoraite River
Figure 5. a) Plan of the Visitor’s Centre and the Community Centre b) Perspective view of the entrance to the Visitor’s Centre c)
Cross section view of the Visitor’s Centre.
Fig. 6b Fig. 6c
Figure 6 a) and b) Views of the Information Office Los Amarillos c) Cross section of the Information Office Yacoraite.
When designing the Park, landscape and facilities, contextual/environmental criteria (related to the
natural and socio-economic/environment) together with functional, formal and technological criteria were reviewed. These criteria were later adopted when it came to taking project design decisions.
These criteria involve taking a stand on the future desirable environmental results and the spatialization of the sustainable elements of the project.
Contextual/environmental criteria. Consideration was given to the deep-seated cultural relations and peculiarities of the natural environment of Quebrada de Humahuaca. (Fig.7) In order to boost sustainable design, natural factors were identified and environmental goals were set, these include: controlling, transforming, rejecting, releasing and storing, depending on the environmental factor involved.
Functional criteria. After studying the functional organization, continuity and form of spatial prehispanic articulation, the park was created as a functional unit with a continuous sequential space
(Fig. 8). The generating idea for this Park stems from an intensive technical and sensory-perceptual diagnosis of the natural and cultural system of the intervention site. Central to this project is the notion of Territory-EcoMuseum.
Formal criteria. The design logics
were based on the reinterpretation, recovery and redrawing of the order and expressiveness of the different natural components and the basic characteristics of archaeological sites (Fig. 9). Besides, they involved a sensitive approach to the landscape aimed to grasp its essential conditions. The goal was to generate a new built form that would stand out in the landscape but blend in with the surroundings. (Fig. 9c)
Technological criteria. Appropriate technologies and local resources were used: building materials, manpower, building traditions (with their meaning and economic value), current technologies that optimise traditional ones adding comfort and environmental quality (Fig. 10 y Fig. 11) As part of the
Scientific Area, an experimental area concerned with agricultural/productive research was designed.
This area includes alternative energies (a solar panel system) and a sewage processing system, among others (Fig. 12).
Fig. 7b Fig. 7c Fig. 7d
Figure 7. Rural Area. a) Plan of a rural sector b) and c) Views of the rural area d) Handcraft activities in the rural area.
The objective of a Territory-EcoMuseum is to know, value, protect, preserve and promote the heritage asset, energizing the relationships between local society actors and the tourists and their relationships with the territory. This concept represents the sequence and articulation between time and space.
This topic was developed in a poster presentation at the International Seminar “Hipótesis de Paisaje 5”: “Landscape as a cultural construction. Exploring design methodologies. Archeological Park Project, Archaeological Site Los Amarillos,
Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy”. REPISO, Luciana Inés; RAVEGNINI, Natalia and PUCH SLEIVE, Emma. 20-23 September
2005. Córdoba, Argentina.
Figure 8: Territory-Ecomuseum: discovering the environment in a continuous sequential space. Approach to archaeological site
Los Amarillos located at the foot of Centinela Hill.
Fig. 9a Fig. 9b Fig. 9c
Figure 9 a) Plan of Los Amarillos Archaeological Site. b) Interpretation Centre c) Perspective view of this centre.
Figures 10: Two cross sections of accumulator walls for heat storage purposes (thermal inertia)
Figure 11.a) Image of a prehispanic roof. b) Details of a semi-dry roof of the
Visitor´s Centre and Interpretation Centre.
Fig. 12a Fig. 12b
Figures 12 a) Plan of the Research Centre b) Perspective view of the entrance to this centre.
Results and Conclusions
On the basis of the key principles and numerous basic and operative guidelines on sustainable tourism and planning of protected areas that have been internationally developed (such as the guide produced by WCPA/IUCN/UNWTO in 2002), it is possible to discuss the sustainability of an architecture project in terms of its social, economic and ecological/environmental sustainability.
As regards the socio-economic dimension, the following aspects are key in the development of the guidelines for a sustainable tourist product:
Community Participation. The link between planner and local community results from the goal of respecting the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, preserving their construction modes, living style, cultural heritage and traditional values. Community participation grows stronger through the different stages, from the planning and design stages to the construction stage.
The local indigenous communities, who own archeological sites and the surrounding lands, are in charge of managing the Park projected. In the case study the local community was involved in the development of the proposal.
Relationship between local community and global culture. Locally-based tourist products represent a great opportunity in the face of global demand. Tourists visit world heritage sites to understand and appreciate the value that made those sites be included on the world heritage list, thus deriving personal benefits.
According to Venturini (2003), the tourist experience is one of culture and communication between visitor and tourist, a spatial experience of “symbolic consumption”, which requires planners and designers to carry out a sensitive study of such interaction settings.
Sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of tourist satisfaction and ensure a meaningful experience to the tourists, raising their awareness about sustainability issues and promoting sustainable tourism practices amongst them." (UNWTO, 2004)
Research/promotion/interpretation of the territory (interdisciplinary work) Including an information research, development and production area within the intervention area is a strategy that aims at establishing a direct connection between researchers, the territory under study (the local community) and the tourists (following promotion and interpretation). Management and
administration. The native communities, who should hold the right to manage archaeological sites, will administer the Park. This will create new working opportunities. The creation of cooperative
The community was consulted on several meetings coordinated by the archaeologist Axel Nielsen within the framework of a project aimed at recognizing the value and fostering community management of the ruins of Los Amarillos (Proyecto de Puesta
en Valor y Gestión Comunitaria de las ruinas de Los Amarillos, 2001). In this project, the working areas were defined as impact mitigation, value development (development of infrastructure and interpretative material, human resources training) and community management. This modality follows the Participatory Management model fostered by the provincial government at a regional scale and originates from the request for the inclusion of Quebrada de Humahuaca on UNESCO heritage list. The local communities became directly and actively involved in this process.
When it comes to tourism development at world heritage sites, Rátz and Puczkó (2003) argue that the site's environment should retain the original spirit of the place.
organizations allowing for the manufacturing of local products and the possibility of obtaining funding through micro loans, makes it possible to think of new income-generating ways.
This a desirable aspect in all development projects. In this case, the project is framed within province of Jujuy´s Tourism Development Plan. That is to say, the project is framed within an integrated management plan for Quebrada de Humahuaca heritage resources. Another point that should be highlighted is the “alliance between actors”. Tourism sustainable development requires the informed participation of all the important actors together with a firm political leadership to build a comprehensive collaboration and reach a consensus.
As regards the ecological/environmental dimension, both the planning scale and the project are related to the “Design with nature" principles.
Taking into account the case study criteria stated and considering the operative guides used as a reference (e.g. WCPA, 2002), the principles of sustainable and bioclimatic design and the contribution of tourist typologies such as the ecolodges
, the following topics are considered to be of key importance:
Landscaping and Site Design. It is necessary to develop a master plan and a site plan to establish a balanced relationship with the landscape, factoring in vegetation, topography, water drainage and cultural aspects.
Built Facilities and Linkages. Consideration should be given to the environmental conditions, adjusting the scale and proportion of the human-made environment to the natural environment and to what has been previously built.
Preservation and Consumption of Resources. Any sustainable project should make a commitment to minimize the use and production of water, energy (encouraging the use of renewable sources of energy), waste, sewage and noise, among others.
Technologies and Materials. The project should make use of appropriate technologies: local resources, such as building materials, manpower, building traditions (with their meaning and economic value). This ensures an efficient use of every material while involving low maintenance costs. Besides, current technologies should be incorporated to optimise the use of traditional technologies adding comfort and environmental quality.
New trends in the construction of tourist territory may be identified on the basis of the concept of sustainable tourism. This case study presents an experience in terms of planning and design that makes it possible to think of a sustainable use of heritage resources and their relationship with tourist space design. Moreover, this proposal sets a precedent and may be applicable to other projects, with the necessary adaptations depending on the particular contextual circumstances. The concept of sustainability has to be instrumental for thinking of feasible ways of implementing it, in this case ways to connect heritage and tourism. This should be understood in relationship with the persistence in time and the current and future conception of the human-made environment.
Several international organizations, such as the UNWTO, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
(ICLEI) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) have developed various publications on the role local authorities play in the promotion of sustainable tourism.
According to the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) (2002) the construction of visitor facilities in protected areas should secure the integrity of both the built and natural environment, which should be aesthetically pleasing and incorporate environmentally-friendly technologies for the provision of water and energy and the processing of waste materials.
There are several authors who explore and apply this concept to different case studies. The article “Back to the Future: The
Ecolodge An Alternative Futuristic Eco-Friendly Tourist Facility” by Ashraf M. Salama is but one example.
BOULLÓN, R.,1991. Planificación del Espacio Turístico. México: Trillas.
DE AZEVEDO IRVING y otros (Rio de Janeiro), Revisitando significados em sustentabilidade no planejamento turístico. Caderno Virtual de Turismo N°18. dezembro, 2005. Available at: http://www.ivtrj.net/caderno/anteriores/18/cvt18_01/cvt18_01.pdf [Accessed on: 20/06/06]
FERNÁNDEZ, R., 2000. La Ciudad Verde. Teoría de la Gestión Ambiental Urbana. Centro de Investigaciones
Ambientales (CIAM). FAUD. UNMdP. Buenos Aires: Espacio.
International Academy for Nature Conservation, 1999. Report of the International Expert Workshop "Case Studies
on Sustainable Tourism and Biological Diversity". Isle of Vilm, Germany, November 11 – 14. Lothar
Gündling, Horst Korn & Rudolf Specht (Eds.) German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation 2000.
LEFF, E., 1994. Ecología y Capital: racionalidad ambiental, democracia participativa y desarrollo sustentable.
México: Siglo XXI.
MARTIN, M., 2001. Patrimonio, Turismo y Desarrollo Sostenible. Sobre el necesario vínculo entre el patrimonio
y la sociedad V. Reflexiones críticas sobre Patrimonio, Turismo y Desarrollo Sostenible. Available at: http://www.arqa.com/informacion.cfm/n.2060.cfm [Accessed on: 06/10/02]
MC. DONALD, J., 2006. Understanding Sustainable Tourism Development from a Complex Systems Perspective:
a case study of the Swan River, Western Australia. Thesis (PhD) Edith Cowan University. Available at: http://www.portal.ecu.edu.au/adt-public/adt-ECU2006.0025.html [Accessed on 09/12/06]
MOLINA, Sergio E., 2001. Turismo y Ecología. México: Trillas.
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M. Gravari-Barbas – S. Guichard-Anguis eds.: Regards Croisés sur le Patrimoine dans le Monde à l’Aube du XXIe Siècle. Presses de l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne, Paris, France, pp. 467-481.
RAINIS, Liliana, 1987. Sobre el Patrimonio Ambiental. Cuadernos de la FAU. Instituto del Ambiente Humano.
Facultad de Arquitectura, Urbanismo y Diseño. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Córdoba.
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Sustainable Human Settlements: 60 Case Studies] Barcelona: Gustavo Gili.
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ZEBALLOS DE SISTO, M. C., 2003. Turismo Sustentable. ¿Es posible en Argentina? Buenos Aires: Ediciones
Carribean Strips: Tourism’s Unfulfilled Promises
Juan Alfonso Zapata
Calle Luperón No. 106, Ciudad Colonial
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic phone: + 1 809 886 3637 e-mail: [email protected]
Caribbean Strips is part of the ongoing research project AL_Caribe by Supersudaca.
The Caribbean’s dependency on tourism amounts to nearly 60 % of its regional GDP. Mass tourism has developed under an economic model controlled by multinational companies while host countries provide entertainment in the world’s biggest theme park. Like other Caribbean countries, the Dominican Republic has experienced great growth in the tourism industry, but by contrast, its foreign debt doubled and inflation went up to 160 % in recent years. The isolated strips of hotels that inhabit the beachfronts have nothing to do with the nearby shantytowns where local workers live under precarious conditions of infrastructure and services. Is there a direct correspondence between this economic model of exploitation and the segregation under which it operates? Could there be alternate models of development along with a new type of territorial organization?
1 Continuation of a historic model of exploitation
It has always been difficult to agree on the exact geographical limits of the Caribbean. Some have accepted the definitions of Antillanos and Caribeños, which differentiate those coming from the islands or the main land. The Caribbean is a lineup of countries and overseas territories, going from Guyana to the Riviera Maya, from Trinidad to The Bahamas. In our view, its limits have become increasingly broader and vague.
A few years after European settlers first arrived in The Antilles, gold mines emptied and the local population totally perished. People fled to the main land lured by promises of greater richness in
Mexico and South America. Life in the islands required a new productive activity that could satisfy the new habits of European courts and the needs of their peoples. This productive activity relied on foreign markets that determined the price of local products and the manner in witch the exploitation of the territory would be carried out.
Large plantations of sugar cane and tropical fruits covered the islands while imports on other goods increased. Large numbers of African slaves and workers from China and Southeast Asia were brought in to satisfy the need for labor in the fields as European countries decided which territories to keep as colonies based on their needs for specific products.
Towards the end of the XIX century, agriculture became less and less feasible for countries that could not compete with their continental peers. Once again they were forced to change that came with the emergence of countries with bigger and more efficient and developed economies, increasingly moving towards service industries, finances and eventually tourism. Agriculture is still an important part of the economy of some Caribbean countries, thanks to preferential quotas and subsidies.
Supersudaca (2000) is a space for investigation on urban topics. Its members are Architects/urbanists from different countries of Latin America. Most of them studied together in the Berlage Institute, Rotterdam. The group has done several works in crossed collaborations: from academic researches to commissioned developments.
Supersudaca has been working as a group of discussion and critic and as an incubator for projects.
In 2005, Al_Caribe won the Best Entry Award at the Rotterdam International Architecture Biennale and a grant by the Prins Claus Fonds for the continuation of the research and the publication of a book with ACTAR (2007), Barcelona.
65 Sweet Caribbean. Pablo Guerrero/Supersudaca. AlCaribe. 2006
Just as most Latin American countries followed the Washington Consensus
to the letter on free trade, privatization and a bundle of neoliberal economic reforms, so have the countries in the Caribbean basin followed guidelines on where should they allocate their resources and to which markets can they sale their commodities.
1.1 Tourism in the Caribbean
According to the WTTC, tourism accounts for 11% of global GDP and employs nearly 8% of the working force. The Caribbean has a modest 2.3% share of the world’s tourism market, with approximately 20 million visitors. But for the Caribbean, when considered as a percentage of the regional GDP, tourism currently accounts for a 52%
. In real terms it’s estimated that its overall impact is over 60%, considering the indirect benefits of the industry in local economies. For some countries the impact of tourism in their economies is estimated at more than 90% of their GDP. Direct employment is estimated at 2,400,000 or a 15.1% of the total work force in the region.
Still, with such a relevant role, tourism has not yet generated wide spread benefits among local populations. This could partly be explained in the lack of linkages between tourism and other sectors of the economy and the subsequent leakages
that this generates. Many of the goods and services demanded by the industry are imported, leaving local enterprises and workers with limited participation or with lower and less remunerated jobs. World Bank and U.N. estimates point that only about 10% of the total amount spent by a tourist in an All-inclusive hotel stays in the destination countries while the rest is spent in payments made abroad for travel, lodging and logistics. Out of this,
55 % of revenues leak back to developed countries.
It is worth observing that many individuals, organizations and development agencies, both local and foreign, are making efforts to influence governments and private investors in their decisions concerning the future of the tourism industry and the development of a more inclusive model of operation; however, few of the many stakeholders in the industry have real participation in the process of decision making when it comes to very big investments and the huge revenues generated.
A few multinational corporations have almost absolute control of the industry, especially in the All
Inclusive enclaves and the Cruise Ship business. Fifty percent of the world’s Cruise Ships business takes place in the Caribbean
and yet it is controlled by two companies: Royal Caribbean and
Carnival, both with their headquarters in Florida and belonging to larger holdings. Together with independent tour operators, these companies have control of airlines, hotel chains, cruise ships, travel agencies, supply companies, restaurants and travel agents. (Figure 1.1) In the year 2000 the Spanish
Federation of Hotels declared that only in the Dominican Republic there where more than 40 hotels belonging to Spanish holdings, making it the first market for Spanish tourism companies.
Another gap that contributed to tour operators’ control of the business is the lack of an open-air policy.
During the emergence of mass tourism, governments gambled on given monopoly control to a few airline companies resulting in the proliferation of charter flights. Few regular, non-charter flights meant that individual tourists would find immense difficulties for booking flights outside the ones offered in All-inclusive packages.
66 After the Washington Consensus: Restarting Growth and Reform in Latin America, John Williamson et. al. 2003
69 ’’Leakage is a term used to describe the percentage of the price of the holiday paid by the tourists that leaves a destination (in terms of imports or expatriate profits) or never reaches the destination in the first place due to the involvement of 'Northern' based intermediaries.’’Caribbean tourism, local sourcing and enterprise development:
Review of the literature. Dorothea Meyer
Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Sheffield Hallam University
70Caribbean tourism, local sourcing and enterprise development: Review of the literature. Dorothea Meyer
Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Sheffield Hallam University
From WB and WTTC
UNDP. Human Development Report 2005.
The All-inclusive model has the biggest share in the offer of accommodations, accounting for nearly
60% of all the hotels in the region, growing at a pace of 3.000 rooms per year since 1995 in the four largest markets: Mexican Caribbean 60,000 rooms (48% All-inclusive), Dominican Rep. 59,000 (47%
A.I.), Cuba 42,000 (64% A.I.) and Jamaica 24,000 rooms (46% A.I.)
These monofunctional strips go as long as the beach allows. After the waterfront is saturated, new developments occur on the second row, generating parallel strips, usually restricting access to the beaches.
The 4 km long resort strip of Barbados developed in the 80’s fails in comparison to the 35 km long developments in Punta Cana and Bavaro developed in the 90s. (figure1.2). This is evidence of permutations in the way the hotel strips emerged and developed in relation to existing settlements and in direct correspondence to the economic model under which it operates guarantying the fastest possible return of investments.
Two main conditions seem to determine the location of an All-inclusive hotel: a pristine beach and an airport within an hour drive. (Figure1.3)
But if this is the case, what prompted Club Med to build its first hotel in Punta Cana in 1979, a place with no roads, no electricity, no running water and most importantly no airport? What about the Mexican Riviera? Cancun was virtually non-existent only 15 years ago.
The first mass tourism developments emerged at the end of the 1970s in Dominican Republic and Jamaica with the support of foreign aid organizations like the World Bank. Their financial support was matched with great participation of local governments in the beginning. Large hotel enclaves just minutes away from the city of
Puerto Plata and the new Gregorio Luperon airport, conceived for this reason, were built under this model. But as international investors arrived the business moved to more isolated and more pristine areas where infrastructure was virtually non-existent.
The role of the government was reduced to providing the legislative framework and the basic infrastructure for the operation of the hotels as well as to give huge fiscal incentives to allure investors.
The incentives where so good and the economic condition and foreign exchange crisis so severe that the investments were warranted even if they had to provide for their own electricity, water, and private airport. Out of the six international airports in Dominican Republic two are private. The Punta Cana airport is not only private; it also receives 47% of all foreign arrivals, serving the hotel enclaves of Punta Cana and Bavaro.
The All-inclusive model has generated a very lucrative industry with very powerful owners that have incredible influence in local political and economic decisions.
While local governments have made big investments in infrastructure, these investments rarely touch existing human settlements and in many cases the industry grows so fast that virtually no planning is done for the allocation of secondary services, such as housing or other support infrastructure besides the one needed for the specific functioning of the hotels.(figure 1.4/1.5)
Al_Caribe. Supersudaca. 2003
2 Futures: closer collaborations, more links and leisure immigrants
In places like Riviera Maya and Punta Cana where the government’s control is outshined by private interest and investment, it’s easy to see where some of these problems manifest. After the first and second rows from the beach, starts a new world that resembles very little the situation found at the hotels. A chaotic line up of informal settlements, maverick private investments in secondary economic sectors and services all trying to keep up with the pace dictated by foreign investors.
In Cuba every single investment in connection to tourism, now its main source of foreign exchange, is handled in partnership with government agencies and state owned companies. As a general rule the government contributes with 51% of initial investments and the revenues are distributed accordingly.
The Cuban ministry of tourism even claims that 60% of all commodities consumed at any hotel in the country is supplied or produced locally. Consequently, mid term physical planning and regulations have provided an almost absolute control on where and how investments would be made
Current trends already indicate interesting changes; especially in the lower intensity, wider spread second residence developments happening in the region. Tourists are staying longer or come more frequently. Eco-tourism and other models are also relevant but in a much smaller scale.
This atomization of operations, ownership and initiatives hold a great potential for transforming an industry highly dependent on foreign markets and events into a less adventurous endeavor, while at the same time providing the opportunity for the involvement of local agents in every facet of the upcoming developments.
If the benefits from tourism are to be enjoyed by a larger number of people in the region, countries must find the way to diversify their offers and reduce the leakages and overall loses that the current model causes. While more involvement from local governments is required, certain decentralization and flexible parameters are needed. Likewise, we need better planning and regulation for determining the allocation of limited resources and the more ample assets that foreign investors and visitors/leisure immigrants represent.
AlCaribe. Cuba report 2006
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