European Spatial Research and Policy | 2022, Vol. 29, no. 2

Opublikowano: 16 marca 2023

European Spatial Research and Policy is an international review concerned with the problems of social and economic space organisation at a local, regional and supranational level. The journal comprising both theoretical and empirical aspects of spatial analyses is aimed at academics, policy-makers and practitioners interested in a broad range of spatial development in contemporary Europe. The scope of the journal is defined by the concepts of space, environment, society and economy rather than by names of specific disciplines. Its main areas of interest include i.a. regional policy, spatial planning, European integration processes, locational studies, labour market developments, foreign investments, environmental problems and other crucial issues influencing the shape of contemporary and future European space. 

Contributions prepared by geographers and regional scientists, as well as economists, planners, architects, sociologists and historians who undertake spatial research within their respective disciplines reflect the interdisciplinary character of the review. European Spatial Research and Policy is published annually as one volume consisting of two issues and includes refereed articles, notes, commentaries, reports and book reviews. The journal, being itself a result of close academic links of scholars and universities representing different countries, is an important forum for international exchange of information and opinions in the field of spatial studies.

By the decision of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, European Spatial Research and Policy is included in the list of ranked scientific journals and is currently awarded 70 points (December 2021).

INSIDE VOL. 29, NO. 2:
Urban sustainable tourism – reality or utopia?

Sylwia Kaczmarek, Jacek Kaczmarek

The essence of the city’s existence is its function of exchange, the subjects of which are products and goods, knowledge, information, capital, impressions, experience, and the participants of this process are residents and newcomers. Tourists in the city’s exchange space are part of the newcomer community, interact with residents, share city amenities, but have different needs and expectations than residents, leading to conflict. Based on research conducted in several cities, the article presents critical considerations regarding the concept of sustainable development and sustainable urban tourism, and then proposes a new formula for its planning and implementation focused on education as a trigger for positive action.

Sustainability of studies on sustainable tourism – a bibliometric approach

Tomasz Napierała, Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała, Mohammed Al-Rawhani, Rovshen Bayramdurdyyev, Hubert Bugaj, Abdurrahman Cetin, Joromain Gonzalvo

The core values of sustainability should be emphasised: economic development, social inclusion, equity as well as diversity, and environmental protection. Those values should be reflected in various characteristics of studies on sustainable tourism. And this is the question we ask in our paper: are the studies of sustainable tourism sustainable? To address that question, we applied a bibliometric analysis of papers published within the last ten years in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, the most influential scientific journal strictly focused on sustainable tourism issues. The analysis has revealed some doubts related to financial support for the research presented in the papers published, open access to the investigated articles, the differentiation of scientific disciplines whose achievements are presented, the expected methodological triangulation applied in the investigated papers, spatial volatility of case study areas in empirical works presented in the journal and, finally, the Anglo-American domination in the discourse on sustainable tourism.

Tourism as an opportunity to effectively counteract marginalisation. The case of the Italian national strategy for inner areas

Giancarlo Cotella, Elisabetta Vitale Brovarone

Remote rural areas are often rich in natural and landscape assets, which are in turn used as the main focus of tourism development strategies aiming at reverting their decline. However, mono-functional strategies hardly manage to achieve this goal, as in order to restore those structural conditions that are essential to liveability and local development it is necessary to engage in a more comprehensive approach. Acknowledging this challenge, the paper reflects on the possibility to include tourism within multi-level development strategies aimed at tackling marginalisation, drawing on the case of the Italian National Strategy for Inner Areas. More in detail, the authors analyse how the latter enables the integration of tourism-related actions into more comprehensive, place-based development strategies that act upon the peculiarities of the territories they focus on through a mix of top-down and bottom-up logics.

Unveiling forms of participation in the governance of UNESCO world heritage sites

Francesca Taormina, Sara Bonini Baraldi

This paper focuses on the issues of governance and participation of World Heritage sites. It inquiries how decision-making structures to locally managed World Heritage sites may encompass public participation. Through an in-depth qualitative approach, the paper analyses the World Heritage Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale serial site (Italy). By examining the participatory dynamics that occurred during the creation and development of the selected World Heritage serial site, this paper reveals three coexisting forms of participation in WHsite decisions: inter-institutional agreement, social aggregation, and multi-actor collaboration. The main findings suggest that although formal decision-making arenas may be participative weakly, the unpacking of participatory practices in urban spaces uncovers a vibrant scene, as it emerges from the Cassaro Alto and Danisinni districts in the city of Palermo.

Planning sustainable tourism in UNESCO wine regions: the case of the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato area

Vanessa Assumma, Marta Bottero, Claudia Cassatella, Giancarlo Cotella

Tourism may be an important leverage for local development. At the same time, it may trigger unwanted effects, ranging from the congestion of services and infrastructures to the progressive deterioration of the assets that they plan to valorise. The article sheds light on this tension, discussing the multiple implications that increasing tourism fluxes generate in the vineyard landscape of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2014. The case study highlights the need to coordinate and enhance coherence among the existing planning and management instruments, towards the consolidation of a multi-level integrated territorial governance framework aimed at the sustainable spatial planning of tourism in the area.

Barriers and challenges to sustainable physical planning for mountain destinations and second-home developments in the mountain region of south-eastern Norway: the reign of governments or developers?

Even Tjørve, Kathleen M. C. Tjørve, Kelvin Owusu

The number of hotels in the mountains of south-eastern Norway has decreased over the last three decades, with a concurrent increase in the number of modern, privately-owned second homes. The growth of second-home villages and associated commercial activity has produced sustainability issues. The shift in the planning and development process from the local government to private developers has resulted in a piece-by-piece process with the loss of sight of long-term consequences. This short review discusses the causes of uncontrolled or poor planning of mountain regions; in particular, the neoliberal trend in physical planning and the problem of small local communities.

Discourses regarding the sustainability and environmental considerations in physical planning of second homes in Norwegian mountain destinations: a comparison between governmental documents, research literature and the general media

Even Tjørve, Kathleen M. C. Tjørve

The neoliberal trend in spatial planning seemingly causes the loss of control of spatial plans for destination developments in the mountain regions of southern Norway. The predominant local discourse, as seen in local newspapers and other media, was originally positive to the development of second homes. Changes in development plans have, as in the Skeikampen-destination case, incited strong counter-discourses based on concerns for pasture rights, nature values, and access, in addition to sustainability in general. These discourses create a perception of reality in stark contrast to the central- government discourse, as found in the plan and building act, and governmental documents.

Co-evolution of tourism and industrial sectors: the case of the Bełchatów industrial district

Tomasz Napierała, Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała, Marta Nalej, Iwona Pielesiak

The goal of the study is to explore the co-evolution of the tourism and industrial sectors. This paper addresses the concept of inter-path dependency as the theoretical framework for this study. The case study of Bełchatów industrial district is applied to discuss the co-evolution of tourism and heavy industries. Tourism and heavy industries are usually seen as mutually exclusive. However, in the case of the Bełchatów industrial district, tourism (starting from social tourism, through business tourism and educational tourism) is confirmed as being complementary to the industrial path shaped by triggering events (launch of radical industrialisation, and economic transition). Recently, implementation of the Just Transition Mechanism was planned and includes development of leisure tourism in the case study area. Some doubts of that intersectoral linkages are discussed in the paper – mainly in the context of the expected sustainable development of the Bełchatów industrial district – and followed by policy recommendations.

The spatial, temporal and structural approach to interregional tourism inflows’ sustainability – on the example of four Erasmus+ SPOT project case study regions

Marcin Mazur, Konrad Czapiewski, Denis Cerić

Based on produced regional data on tourism arrivals across 297 NUTS2 regions of the EU and EFTA countries covering the temporal scope of 2010–2018, the spatial concentration of tourist inflow in Europe, average annual dynamics of tourist inflow between 2010–2018, and a relative position of the tourist branch of the economy in a given region has been determined. An attempt was made to present a typology of regions according to the weighted intensity and spatial concentration of tourist inflow. Special attention has been given to SPOT project case study regions: Piemonte in Italy, Innlandet in Norway, Łódzkie in Poland, and Centro in Portugal.

Understanding the impact of tourism on spatial growth for sustainable development of tourist destinations through the measure of land use efficiency

Tagore Sai Priya Nunna, Ankhi Banerjee

Increased visitor arrivals and improved work opportunities in the discussed destinations resulted in infrastructural development and settlement movements, culminating in the urbanisation of the locations. As a result of increased tourist flows and growing economic dependency on the tourism sector, the accommodation and other tourist infrastructure have contributed to a change in built-up areas considerably in tourist areas. Most green spaces in environmentally vulnerable locations are being filled with concrete due to a lack of appropriate spatial development guidelines, while urban areas are losing their authentic aspects. The paper attempts to understand spatial sustainability through the measures of land consumption rate and land-use efficiency in various types of tourist places. As a result, the study concludes that there is a strong link between growing urbanisation and changing visitor arrivals, as well as population change, and tourism has a substantial influence on spatial sustainability.

Planning for sustainable city tourism in the Netherlands

Peter Nientied, Rudina Toto

The purpose of this paper is to examine policies and planning for sustainable city tourism in Amsterdam and Rotterdam and relate them to the notions of ‘tourism reset’ that emerged during the COVID pandemic period. Amsterdam is a prime European tourist city and has been suffering from problems associated with overtourism. Rotterdam receives much less tourists and can be seen as an emerging tourist city. Both cities have recently adopted new tourism policies, essentially future tourism visions. The case of Amsterdam and to a lesser extent that of Rotterdam show that formulating and agreeing on a tourism policy vision is easier than the decision-making process and implementing a vision. The instruments and powers of local government to manage the quantity and qualities of tourism are limited. Overtourism problems have stimulated carrying capacity thinking, which is considered inadequate for a multi-faceted problem like urban tourism.

Challenges of the tourism sector in Lithuania in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: State aid instruments and the efficiency of the tourism business support

Gintare Pociute-Sereikiene, Viktorija Baranauskienė, Darius Liutikas, Edis Kriaučiūnas, Donatas Burneika

At the beginning of 2020 Lithuania, and many other European countries, introduced quarantine and began restricting movement across the country’s borders. The imposed restrictive measures have greatly impacted and led to the stagnation of tourism sector. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the number of international tourist arrivals sharply decreased. In 2021 the majority of restrictions have been eased due to the decreasing morbidity, but it did not reinstate the tourism into the previous level. According to statistics, the decline in tourist flows in Lithuania in 2021 still continued, albeit the decrease was smaller. The increase in the number of local tourists (especially in 2021) has somewhat compensated the loss of international tourism, but has not changed it. The tourism business is still going through a difficult period. This article emphasizes the issues of local and inbound tourism business in Lithuania in the context of Covid-19 pandemic. The greatest attention is placed on the instruments proposed by the Lithuanian Government to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemic on tourism service. The research combines secondary and primary data sources. Secondary data was used for the analysis of official Lithuanian statistics in order to introduce general trends of the development of tourism sector during the last decade. Primary data was received using the methods of focus group and survey (a questionnaire to collect data sets from tourism business enterprises in Lithuania). The statistical analysis revealed that the difficult situation was noticed in all fields of tourism sector, however, the main losers of the pandemic were those relying on the international tourist. The analysis of official documents disclosed, that even though the tourism business was able to benefit from the variety of offered governmental aid packages in 2020–2021, the quantity and quality of support was not enough and strongly criticized. Our survey results pointed out the instruments that were most effective among the tourism enterprises. Moreover, from the collected answers we noticed, that at least part of tourism enterprises took the opportunity to use the support not only for compensation of pandemic related costs but also to look forward and the received financial support invested in innovative solutions in the tourism business, so pandemic potentially had some positive effects as well. Also, the survey results reviled that there are considerable opportunities for tourism related development of the nature rich, non-metropolitan regions, though at the moment these activities quite often remain outside the market relations and do not produce new incomes and jobs.

Dialogue with the community in the planning process. How to use the participatory approach as a planning tool for the community’s benefit?

Aseem Deuskar, Ketevan Khozrevanidze, Zeynep Ozeren, Iga Paradowska

Supermarket deserts in the Polish trade landscape in comparison with the global development trends in this sector

Agnieszka Rochmińska

The article presents the development of food retail in Poland in comparison with global trends, characterised by the tendency to replace small traditional food stores with large-format stores, such as supermarkets and hypermarkets. This tendency has led to the emergence of retail and food deserts in numerous countries. This is a major problem from the perspective of both practitioners and researchers. In Poland, like in many other countries in the world, similar processes in retail development occur, therefore, researchers should pay attention to the emergence of retail deserts, the so-called ‘supermarket deserts,’ as well as some limitations in terms of access to supermarkets. Many territorial units in Poland, especially in eastern Poland, have no large-format stores. These areas constitute retail deserts and require further micro-scale research.

Estimating urban vulnerability to flood and heat hazards: A case study in the municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece

Vasileios Lazaridis, Dionysis Latinopoulos

Continuous urban expansion, the conversion of open land to built-up areas and increased energy consumption have diversified the microclimates of cities. These phenomena combined with climate change hazards increase the vulnerability of cities, in a spatially heterogeneous way. Therefore, cities should become more resilient to those threats, by identifying and prioritising highly vulnerable areas. The main purpose of this study is to develop a spatial-based approach to assess the vulnerability of climate-related hazards in the urban environment of Thessaloniki (Greece). In this context, spatial and temporal patterns of land surface temperature were estimated through the calculation of various spectral indices, to conduct an analytical Urban Heat Island vulnerability assessment. Furthermore, the FloodMap-Pro application was used to identify coastal areas that are vulnerable to sea level rise, while historical floods were digitised in order to identify potential urban (flash) flood zones. The most important outcome of this paper is the creation of an integrated spatial vulnerability index, which identifies the urban areas that are prone to all these hazards. The final vulnerability map illustrates how the city of Thessaloniki is exposed to several climate-related hazards and that many areas/neighbourhoods are prone to one or more risk factors.

Towards a sustainable management model of the “Festa dos Tabuleiros”

José Luís Braga, André Camponês, João Pinto Coelho, Miguel Pereira, Óscar Lima Silva

The key goal of this conceptual paper is the creation of a sustainable management model of the Festa dos Tabuleiros (FT) event that provides a quality experience to the visitors without threatening the social, cultural and environmental integrity of the territory. Action research methodology has been used to improve the way the Tomar municipality organises and promotes the FT. In order to establish this model, it is necessary to determine the agents and relationships that underlie the production system of this event, aiming to improve the quality of its offer and the experience it provides to visitors as well as the sustainability of its production and consumption processes. In this sense, the development of the model will be based on four tasks: (1) stock-taking, interpreting and exhibiting cultural resources; (2) identifying, involving, analysing and educating stakeholders; (3) benchmarking of good practices in event sustainability; and (4) managing and monitoring the model. Hence, this paper aims to contribute to the safeguarding of the FT and to the sustainable development of the municipality and the region. This intent is achieved through the creation of a sustainable tourist-cultural management model that promotes the study, protection, enhancement, and dissemination of this event, as well as the creation of efficient and innovative solutions in an integrated way.

In Memoriam Konrad Czapiewski (1979-2022)

Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała, Tomasz Napierała


Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała, Iwona Pielesiak, Giancarlo Cotella

LUMMINA G. HORLINGS (Ed.), “Sustainable place-shaping: what, why and how. Findings of the SUSPLACE program Deliverable D7.6 Synthesis report”, 2019, 85 pages

Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała


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