EAUH Conference 2018


Session SS46. Re-inventing the Mediterranean Tourist City in the 20th and 21st centuries

Coordinators: Castro Brunetto Carlos Javier (, Katerina Chatzikonstantinou (, David Martín López (

Tourism has become a critical shaping force of socio-economic and contemporary urban landscapes and the central strategic focus of the regeneration policies, where the touristic image of a city is the main means of new strategies for the tourist urban development. This session wishes to discuss the extremes of city strategies and organization for the reception of tourism urban space that turn the city into a city-scenery. Compared to examples overseas that are mostly created cities ex-nihilo for tourist purposes, such as Cancun (Mexico), Las Vegas and Atlantic City (USA), Piriapolis (Uruguay), Dubai (UAE), Awaza (Turkmenistan) or Thames Town (China), and some European exceptions such as Baiae (Italy), Benidorm (Spain) or most recently the cities Trnovo and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the Mediterranean cities are affected in a much different way, having to integrate in the touristic urban development their rich cultural heritage- an integral part of the identity of the place and simultaneously a powerful incentive for tourist attraction in cities.

Tourism gentrification, the implementation of luxury leisure developments creating city-showcases, the ‘disneyfication’ of neighbourhoods with the enforcement of activities linked with the tourism economy, the transformation of residential urban landscapes intro artscapes addressed to global aesthetic consumption, the standardization of interventions in the building facades (façadism), the superficial ‘museumification’ of the city, are just a few examples that the proposals could present in order to analyze the ‘touristification’ of Mediterranean cities.

This session seeks papers from historians working with various disciplinary perspectives, including tourism, geography, architecture and planning, urban studies, conservation, archaeology and social studies. Though its main focus is the Mediterranean, comparative and transnational proposals which link developments in European cities to changes across the globe are very welcome and encouraged. In particular, we would encourage work that:
• Explores distinct socio-political and economical circumstances that formed specific national tourism development and relative heritage management policies with urban significance.
• Offers an overview of the international relationship between overseas politics, urban development and the expansion of the tourism.
• Reviews archetype places where the origins of tourism urban planning and urban densities, functional distribution and new approaches of housing can be analysed.
• Raises questions on the success or failure of the tourism strategic focus of the city regeneration policies.
Papers that offer comparative perspectives, especially across nations, are particularly desired. The proposed papers can discuss case-study analysis, archival documentation, conservation proposals or philosophical conceptions.
Keywords: tourism; city touristification; tourism gentrification; mediterranean; architecture; heritage; conservation; urbanism