Area Regeneration and Tourism Development: Evidence from Three European Cities

25 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2008

See all articles by Jan van der Borg

Jan van der Borg

Ca Foscari University of Venice

Antonio P. Russo

Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: July, 21 2008


This paper discusses a key issue in the framework of modern urban development policies: the role of cultural tourism in processes of urban transformation. The analysis focuses specifically on how the emphasis on the symbolic in the restructuring of certain areas of the city may function like a spinwheel for the regeneration of urban economies, and on the stability of this process. The paper presents the cases of three European cities -Barcelona, Manchester and Rotterdam-, all of which are believed to be templates in cultural planning, and have been successful, to different extents, as tourism destinations. In the three cities, the peculiar relationship between area renewal through cultural development projects and tourism has unravelled in different ways that are revelatory of structural, as well as contingent, differences in tourism policy organisation and contexts, and that present different challenges for the future.

Keywords: Urban revitalization, urban development, cultural tourism, immaterial cultural assets

JEL Classification: O52, R00, R58, Z10

Suggested Citation

van der Borg, Jan and Russo, Antonio Paolo, Area Regeneration and Tourism Development: Evidence from Three European Cities (July, 21 2008). University Ca' Foscari of Venice, Dept. of Economics Research Paper Series No. 21/WP/2008, Available at SSRN: or

Jan Van der Borg (Contact Author)

Ca Foscari University of Venice ( email )

Dorsoduro 3246
Venice, Veneto 30123

Antonio Paolo Russo

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
+31 10 4081578 (Phone)
+31 10 4089153 (Fax)

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