Altamirano, M. E.

Placing Favelas on the Tourist City Map: Between Commodification and Representation

Director: Dr. Antionio P. Russo (URV). 

This doctoral thesis aims to analyse the role of tourism practices and performances as a socio-economic activity and its capacity, real and potential, to re-signify and transform the physical, social and cultural landscape of urban tourist destinations.

The case study is based on informal urban settlements of Rio de Janeiro, locally known as favelas, which carry almost 30 years of controversial tourist development. The focus will be turned into the actor-networks created around certain slum tourism practices and performances to analyse whether there is or not a reconceptualisation of slums as legitimate urban agents although at the margins of the neo-liberal agenda. The outcome of this thesis draws on the part that the embodied interactions between tourism actors play on the process of tourist placemaking in its physical and symbolic level, as well as the negotiation of urban identities.

Beier, L.

Analysis of the evolution of tourist destinations. Tourism activity as a catalyst for urban development.

Directors: Dr. Antón Clavé, Salvador (URV) & Dr. Hernán Vigier.

The main objective of this thesis is to analyze the evolution of tourist destinations in the Province of Buenos Aires -Argentina, considering tourism as a catalyst for urban growth. Firstly, the scope and characteristics of the urbanization processes of tourism in Latin America and the Buenos Aires coast are reviewed in order to consider the existence of typologies of tourist cities according to their urban evolution through the study of demographic and economic variables, in two periods of time. Therefore, the role that tourist mobility has had in each typology as well as the attraction of new residents is valued.
On the other hand, in order to incorporate the analysis of the evolution of the conditions of the tourist destination as an urban system, specific models of urban development are defined through indicators that measure tourism, territory, tolerance, technology and talent in the cities of the Province of Buenos Aires. Lastly, we seek to analyze the regional distribution of the creative class in the Province of Buenos Aires and specifically to know how tourist municipalities behave in relation to their ability to attract creatives.

Brandajs, F.

Human mobility and urbanisation processes: patterns, relations, territorial dimensions.

Directors: Dr. Antonio P. Russo (URV) & Noam Shoval (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

The research carried out under the doctoral program of «Tourism and leisure» will deal with the exploration of the territorial dimensions of mobilities and the transformations they produce in terms of use and configuration of space; The thesis project aims specifically to explore the new social mechanisms that tourist mobilities unleash through the transformations that they produce in the use and configuration of space, paying special attention to the patterns of local space practices and their consequences in the systems of relationships that take place in urban spaces.
It will therefore examine the interweaving of tourist mobilities (human and non-human) with the space and community of Barcelona, paying specific attention to the social relations engendered around the practice of tourism. In this sense the project will illustrate how urban spaces are “contested and reproduced by processes of tourism development and urban renaissance, and by ‘the public’ who live and consume it through street-level interactions” (Mordue, 2005).

Domènech, A.

Massive mobilities in mature tourist destinations: seasonality, planning and management of destinations.

Directors: Dr. Salvador Anton Clavé (URV) & Dr. Aaron Gutiérrez (URV).

This doctoral thesis identifies and analyses multiple typologies of mobility that take place in tourist destinations. It detects tourists’ profiles according to their spatial-temporal behaviour, as well as it analyses the role of local and global agents in the evolution and transformation of destinations. To fulfil with these research objectives, data generated by new location-aware technologies (GPS, destination cards, travelcards, social network) and data gathered through traditional methods (questionnaire-based surveys) are used. Results of this thesis offer valuable insights to local authorities, as they offer useful information to better manage and market touristic products, promote sustainable modes of transportation among those tourists more prone to use them, improve the planning of the public transport services as well as the conformation of walkable built environments for both tourists and residents.

Min ZHANG

Deciphering the Neoliberal Governance at a Border Tourism Destination.

Directors: Dr. Antonio Russo (URV) & Dr. Xavier Font (University of Surrey, UK).

This doctoral thesis seeks to investigate the governance mechanism at a border tourism destination through the exploration of the social structure as operating on three levels within a given society: the macro, meso, and micro levels. The first part focuses on formulation and operation of multi-scalar power structure by examining interrelated and interdependent relations among distinct public institutions, private partners and ethnic communities, which provides valuable insights on overarching social structure of the specific border society with various complexities. The second part applied “Creating Shared Value” concept into a locally initiated collaborative network as structuring forces by fostering particular behavioral and interactional norms that enhance community participation in tourism decision making at a meso level. The third part zooms in the ethnic community at the micro level in the context of their everyday interactions during the process of participation of tourism activities; adversely, the impacts of tourism development toward the ethnic boundaries and their cultural identity are revealed.

Olano, J. X.

Urban transforamtion models of catalan tourist destinations: metropolitan integration of cataln coastal cities based on creative class development. The case of the Penedès Marítim.

Directors: Dr. Salvador Anton Clavé (URV) & Dr. Francesc González Reverté ( Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC).

This thesis working hypothesis is the existence of a determined territorial attractiveness beyond physical proximity to its nearby metropolitan city core resulting in residential election of touristic destinations. Such attractiveness can influence creative and other workers to elect these locations to dwell, therefore transforming physical and symbolic appearances of both cities and its inhabitants resulting in new uses to the urban space that build up, symbolically, its very own landscape. Based on the analytic results of the thesis we hope to obtain a main conclusion: to expose the urban character of tourist municipalities and how it has changed  the  very tourism itself; having attracted new residents, generated economic synergies and caused social and symbolic transformations of the studied locations. The research area is the Penedès Marítim, a multicèntric linear city between metropolitan areas of Barcelona and Tarragona.

Pujol, M.

Residential segregation of the foreign population in a tourist city.

Director: Dr. Aaron Gutiérrez Palomero (URV).

The main aspiration of this doctoral thesis is to analyze the settlement patterns and residential segregation of the foreign nationality population of the three main tourist centers in central Costa Daurada, (Salou, Cambrils and La Pineda).

Specifically, it’s pretends to study these three nucleus, characterized by a significant presence of tourist accommodation, (with a high second home rate), also produces a location pattern and a foreign population concentration that demonstrates processes of spatial segregation. Also, it’s intended to analyze and calibrate the incidence of the housing stock characteristics on this segregation. It means, if study the presence of small, less quality and cheaper houses, could conditions process a lower income people concentration.

The results of this thesis offers new evidences that allow a deep understanding of an understudied process in the Spanish Urban Geography. It’s the concentration of the most vulnerable groups in residential spaces configured in certain mature tourist destinations, especially in those that have tended to concentrate a lower quality and price housing.