Online meeting “Towards a Sustainable City Centre Recovery”

This webinar aims to discuss how this transition will take shape and to what extent a more sustainable urban tourism model will entail not only diversifying city centres’ economies and retail sectors, but also the housing market, the cultural offer and city life as a whole.

ACTIVITAT REALITZADA
8 abril 2021 - 10:00h
LOCALITZACIÓ: By-invitation online meeting with experts
ORGANITZAT PER: CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs) in collaboration with Eurocities, and with the support of Barcelona City Council

COL·LABORADORS (3):

Objectiu

European cities attract millions of visitors each year, with numbers particularly rising since the year 2000. The COVID-19 pandemic suddenly emptied them of tourists as travel restrictions and abrupt lockdowns were imposed across Europe. The fall in visitor arrivals was unprecedented: London (-9.8 million), Rome (-5.6 million), Paris (-5.4 million), Istanbul (-5.3 million), Barcelona (-4.9 million), Amsterdam (-4.3 million), Prague (-3.8 million) and Dublin (-3.8 million). This downturn has particularly affected city centres, whose services and retail sectors are highly dependent on the tourist industry, due to their high density of restaurants, hotels, souvenir shops and tourist attractions. 

In response, city governments have adopted a range of measures to revitalise these urban areas. An ongoing study by CIDOB’s Global Cities Programme in seven European cities (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Ghent, Florence, Nantes, Ljubljana and Prague) has observed that the first reaction of local authorities was the adoption of short-term policies to reactivate the economic and tourism sectors. In particular, several measures were adopted to rescue micro, small and medium-sized businesses in city centres. However, the research has also identified a growing interest among cities in intervening in other policy areas, such as governance and participation, digital innovation, culture and housing, as a way to drive a sustainable recovery of urban tourism. In this regard, the study, which remains in progress, is observing that the COVID-19 crisis is accelerating the transition towards a more sustainable urban tourism model. 

Against this backdrop, this webinar aims to discuss how this transition will take shape and to what extent a more sustainable urban tourism model will entail not only diversifying city centres’ economies and retail sectors, but also the housing market (long- and short-term rentals), the cultural offer (tourist attractions and a quality cultural offer that also appeal to locals) and city life as a whole (day-to-day services and facilities, e.g. libraries, kindergartens, parks). The event is organised by CIDOB’s Global Cities Programme, in collaboration with Barcelona City Council and Eurocities. It will bring together elected city officials, practitioners and scholars for a discussion that will take place over two days. The first day will be devoted to analysing the impact of COVID-19 on urban tourism and reflecting on possible ways forward, while the second will explore ongoing policy responses and future municipal strategies to move towards a sustainable recovery.

Arxius

Participants

SPEAKERS

Jordi Baltà

Jordi Baltà

Cultural Consultant and Researcher, Transit Projectes, Barcelona, Spain

Núria Benach

Núria Benach

Professor, Faculty of Geography, University of Barcelona, Spain

Pilar Conesa

Pilar Conesa

Founder and Director, Anteverti, Barcelona, Spain

Charlotte Desmet

Charlotte Desmet

Research Manager, Ghent Tourist Office, Ghent, Belgium

Ángel Díaz

Ángel Díaz

President, Advanced Leisure Services, Barcelona, Spain

Agustí Fernández de Losada

Agustí Fernández de Losada

Director, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

Eva Garcia-Chueca

Eva Garcia-Chueca

Senior Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

Mercedes Giovinazzo

Mercedes Giovinazzo

Director, Interarts, Barcelona, Spain

Leonie Hehn

Leonie Hehn

Project Manager, Cambra de Comerç de Barcelona, Spain

Ljubica Knežević Cvelbar

Ljubica Knežević Cvelbar

Professor, School of Economics and Business, University of Ljubljana; President, of SRIPT (Strategic Partnership for Innovation and Research in Tourism), Eslovenia

Mireia López

Mireia López

Researcher and Associate Professor, Pompeu Fabra University (co-author of the study conducted by CIDOB)

Maria del Pilar Leal

Maria del Pilar Leal

Professor and Researcher, CETT – University of Barcelona, Spain

Alan Quaglieri Domínguez

Alan Quaglieri Domínguez

Associate Professor, Ostelea – Tourism Management School and UOC – Open University of Catalonia, Spain

Greg Richards

Greg Richards

Researcher, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

Mariona Segú

Mariona Segú

Researcher, Institut National d’Études Demographiques (Ined), Paris, France

Francesc Teodoro

Francesc Teodoro

Research Assistant, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

Martijn van Vliet

Martijn van Vliet

Chief Economist, Amsterdam City Council, The Netherlands

Online meeting “Towards a Sustainable City Centre Recovery” ACTIVITAT REALITZADA

10:00h Welcome and introduction

Agustí Fernández de Losada, Director, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

10:05h Presentation of the study on city centre recovery

Eva Garcia-Chueca, Senior Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

Francesc Teodoro, Research Assistant, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

Debate facilitated by: Eva Garcia-Chueca, Senior Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

10:15h Diagnosis and assessment: The impact of COVID-19 on city centres and city governments’ responses

How has COVID-19 crisis impacted urban tourism in city centres?  

Which measures have been undertaken in European cities to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in city centres?

Which goal did these measures pursue?

12:00h Concluding remarks

Mireia López, Researcher and Associate Professor, Pompeu Fabra University (co-author of the study conducted by CIDOB)