TOURbanISM-toURBANISM is the title of the 6th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism that took place in Barcelona from January 25th to 27th, 2012, at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Barcelona Tech (UPC).

The Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) in collaboration with the Municipality of Barcelona, the Provincial Government of Barcelona, Casa Asia and the other participating universities of the IFoU network have organized the conference within the framework of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU).


Tourism is one of the leading global economic activities. According to the 2009 Edition of the “International Tourism Overview”, published by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), its direct contribution to the global economy is estimated in 5%, ranging from 2% in the most developed countries to 10% in those that strongly rely on this sector. In 2008 global revenues generated by tourism, including transport of passengers, were about 3.000 million dollars, and its contribution to employment is estimated around 7% of the working population.

The amount of tourists has grown continuously since the middle of last century, from 25 million in 1950 to 922 in 2008. For 2020 the UNWTO foresees that the number of tourists will reach 1.600 million. Despite the changing trends that occurred from the second half of 2008 to the date, due to the global economic crisis (financial crisis, rising oil and raw materials prices, and sharp fluctuations in exchange rates) the sector growth has not ceased. In 2010 the UNWTO estimates a 4% increase in the number of tourists.

Over the last fifty years the global economy experienced several serious crisis and tourism has always proved to be a very strong economic sector. The current crisis has not significantly affected tourism. Consequently it has become the economic hope of many countries affected by the decline of economies based on raw materials or small profit industrial activities.

The map of the main tourism destinations has remained quite stable for many years. Europe is the largest and most mature destination in the world. 53% of tourists and 50% of revenues concentrate in this continent. The U.S. market (15.9% of tourists and 19.9% of revenues in 2008), that remains stable thanks to the domestic market, has been overtaken by Asia (20% of arrivals and 21,8% of revenues), that appears as an emerging area. Africa and Middle East are the two destinations with highest growth rates, although their absolute weight is relatively small.

Over the years tourism becomes a major engine that has transformed cities and territories, and an economic and social development bid for several countries. The aim of the 6th International Forum on Urbanism -IFoU- Conference is to reflect on tourism and especially on the changing processes as well as the instruments, plans, projects and strategies that arise in relation to it.


Tourism: Evolution and recent trends
A. From tourism as a social conquest to new types of tourism
B. World tourism trends (categories, destinations...)

Evaluation of "mature" tourist destinations
C. Impacts of tourism development
D. The recycling of the tourist areas

Potential of post-industrial territories
E. The recycling of historical tourism
F. The new holiday tourism. Tourism and economic development

Towards a new paradigm
G. Cultural tourism in "weak institutional contexts"
H. Responsible Tourism
I. Architecture, urbanism and tourism

For more information:

Recorded videos can be watched at the Videoteca

Recent Submissions

  • Myths and truths about Brazilian hospitality 

    Ferraz, Valéria de Souza (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    The Brazilians image is often associated with sympathy and joy. However these characteristics do not necessarily make them hospitable. To be hospitable it´s not just have a smile or be helpful, you must have hospitability, ...
  • Tourism reclaiming: urban case study: City of Macau in the Pearl River Delta Region, China 

    Lima, Miguel (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    The main subject of this paper is to study the use of land reclamation development in the contexts of tourism spaces construction in its relation to consolidate urban and growing regions. Referring to the processes involved, ...
  • Landscape, planning and tourism 

    Torres Capell, Manuel de; Torres i Calsapeu, Joan de (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    In town planning, to refer to the topics of tourism is, above all, to put the accent on landscape. A scenic landscape, related to the arcadian tradition, which is reflected on several realities But the landscape of tourism ...
  • Ciudad Blanca, a modern proposal in 1960s tourism 

    García Alonso, Marta; Martínez González, Javier (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    In 1960 Juan Huarte invited Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza to visit the sites in Alcúdia, Mallorca where he intended to promote a new city for tourism. The result of that ambitious urban design project, produced by ...
  • The tourist and the city: on orientation in unknown urban space 

    Kantarek, Anna Agata (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    This paper concentrates on the spatial dimension of a city and human perceptive abilities in its reality. A tourist is an exceptional person in a space which is unknown to him. He usually has a very general and virtual ...
  • Contemporary eden: the transmigration of paradise tales, into edenic architectures today 

    Casha Vida, Stephanie (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    This document proceeds from the research for my doctoral thesis titled This thesis is about the subject of Eden or paradise in architecture, to understand its concepts and be able to generate a general model to generate ...
  • From holiday way of life to everyday rutine 

    Martínez-Peñalver, Covadonga (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    At the moment, in many cities, and even in whole regions, the tourist areas have been stumped so that the limits between habitual inhabitants’ houses and the holiday ones are not already legible in the space. For renewing ...
  • La Manga del Mar Menor: a posible utopia 

    López Martínez, José María; Aroca Vicente, Edith (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    In the 60's began the urbanization of La Manga del Mar Menor for tourism, an area so unspoiled and idyllic. Urban development was entrusted to the architects Antonio Bonet Castellana and Josep Puig Torné. The plan assumed ...
  • Public spaces of Montenegrin cities' coasts: a case study 

    Perovic, Svetlana (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    The paper analyzes and investigates the potentials and limitations of public spaces in cities’ coasts of Montenegro in a mountainous and coastal context. Emphasis is placed upon the littoral. New criteria for the study ...
  • From blue to grey tourısm: cultural brand or culture of trademarks 

    Reina Gutierrez, Eva (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    This communication aims at analyzing the fact that tourist destinations are changing in recent times; as Ashworth called it ‘a change from blue to grey tourism’. It moves away from the traditional commonplace model of ...
  • The "Hotelera Nacional de Chile" (HONSA): modern tourism in the desert territory in northern Chile 

    Galeno-Ibaceta, Claudio (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    The modern leisure habits result of the right to spare time, increased mobility due to improved transport, education through travel, and enhancement of healthy environments, consolidated in the Chilean desert, a series of ...
  • Towards the end of tourism: global architecture, fantasy and void in the age of withdrawal 

    Altés Arlandis, Alberto (2012-01)
    Conference report
    Open Access
    The paper presents a reflection on the role of architecture in the age of global tourism and the post-political. It also examines the future of tourism in the face of a looming decline in the availability of cheap fossil ...

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