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Creative Paths of urban tourism

Percorsi creativi di turismo urbano

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Published on Thursday, July 07, 2011


The conference, organised by the University of studies of Catania (Italy), aims at highlighting the link between creativity and tourist practices inside the cities.


Urban tourism, which has increased its specific connotation, has been recently concerning not only the cities of art, but also those which give the tourist a chance of exploring and living new patterns of urbanization and urban life.
Many cities have experiencing an extraordinary development in terms of tourists’ interest. As a result, tourist development is linked not only to cultural, territorial and economic processes, but also to those dynamics typical of modernity. What is more, it is increasingly integrated with social, functional and urban transformations which reveal themselves to be specific of modern city.
Nowadays tourists do not limit themselves to the mere tour of sites, but rather they pursue an emotional experience through a complex and diversified route, where the stopping places are not only streets, squares, crossroads, palaces, churches, historic buildings, but also meeting places, shops, restaurants and cultural centres. Thus, the “Others”, together with the inhabitants, liven up the city at the point that they contribute to create the right atmosphere, based on a shared conviviality.
The conference, organised by the University of studies of Catania (Italy), the department of Economics and Quantitative Methods and the faculty of Economics of Catania, aims at imposing itself as the starting point for a shared analysis about the link between creativity and tourist practices inside the cities. What is more, it will imply an approach based on different disciplines and methodological standpoints, ranging from geography to economics, as well as from sociology to town planning, not to mention marketing and the best practices of the professionals working in the sector. This means overcoming the separation among disciplines in order to identify new ways of local development through tourist practices.
Moreover, such an approach implies an analysis of the tourist sector based not only on scientific rigueur and empirical studies, but also on new “ideas” practicable through innovative tools of visual culture (dvd, videos, pictures, design, digital images). The main aim of such new tools is to propose unprecedented experiences where the authenticity of places is mixed together with the artificial “mise-en-scène”: that is to say, creative and innovative paths explicitly conceived for the new “pilgrims” of modernity, yearning for worshipping different objects and places.
Furthermore, the different sessions of the conference will give the opportunity to evaluate the capacity of tourist enhancement showed not only by the traditional attracting factors, such as the artistic and cultural heritage or the wine-and-food tradition, but also by other catalysers for which creativity is the distinguishing element: that is to say, the leisure industry, the film industry as well as the masterpieces of “starchitects”, that spread such an evocative urban iconography that they exert an enduring influence on tourists’ destination choices.
As a consequence, the main aim of the conference is to catch as well as deeply analysing the perspectives and potentialities of urban tourism, which has been increasingly imposing itself as a tool of promotion for the city economic development, apart from showing itself as a driving force for the whole urban fabric in terms of socio-cultural improvement.

Call for Papers
Paper proposals should be focused on the following thematic issues or, better, “tourist outlooks”:


1st panel: Cultural heritage and tourism: a predictable relationship?

Topics of discussion: Which attractive power can the Cultural Heritage have?
In the last decade, the boom of cultural tourism seems to have exhausted its ascendant phase. Even if it is still valid in the cities of art, it should rather be regarded in a wider way, if compared to the past. In effect, it is widely held that different causes and attractive factors regulate the market. As a result, the city must reinvent its image as well as the functions of its cultural products, in order to satisfy the new typologies of demand.
Furthermore, the new technologies exert a growing influence on the processes at the core of the cultural attractive factors. The virtual sphere will substitute the deeply-rooted images of the cultural heritage. Which role can the technological innovation play in the future for the enhancement of the immaterial heritage?
Thus, we should evaluate whether the current relationship between the enhancement of cultural heritage and the increase in tourist presences should be analysed from new standpoints.

2nd panel: “Starchitects” and the attractive power of contemporary architecture

Topics of discussion: “Starchitects” and the power of the big-names architecture
The typological heterogeneity of planning interventions and architectural styles differentiates the modern metropolitan cities where, among fashion, design and entertainment, “starchitects” leave a brand on museums, theatres, stadiums, cultural centres, which become real works of art.
Modern architects, as renowned big names of modern town planning, travel across international airports, many of which they have designed, so that they go from west to east, from the Pacific ocean to the Atlantic one, by modifying through their imaginative projects megalopolis and small-scale cities, as well as new towns and the ancient ones. How should they be regarded? As worldwide famous and shrewd professionals, brilliant designers of bold projects, or as modern planning experts of “falsification” and “mise-en-scène”?

3rd panel: New practices of consumption and urban spaces

Topics of discussion: The city of leisure: spaces of recreation in the “city that-is-not-there”.
Functional specialised factors often modify the already existing urban layouts, through targeted interventions of requalification, in order to destine them to the places and activities of the leisure industry, such as shopping, “movida”, sport, wellness, not to mention urban parks, urban beeches, aquariums, aquatic parks, bio-zoos, fairgrounds and waterfront areas: these are real fun machines, where the artificial elements often have wide appeal.
The Dysneylandisation of places is such a complex phenomenon that its controversial aspects should be considered and analysed not only from the strictly tourist point of view, but even from the social and territorial one.

4th panel: Routes of celluloid, tools of urban identities

Topics of discussion: The construction of urban identities through cinema.
The languages of images, which has been created by the iconographic power of postcards, pictures and cinema, has supported the diffusion of the urban visual culture.
As a result, the so-called “Kodak-effect” generates curiosity and interest about places so that it often creates experiential maps.
In effect, the urban image has always been influenced by the directors’ outlooks. Nowadays, the current proliferation of television series has showing unprecedented consequences in terms of tourist presences. Is it a new Eldorado? Or is it about just another illusion for the development of marginalised territories?

5th panel: The foodies, tourists with gusto in the multiethnic city

Topics of discussion: Wine-and-food tourism in the multiethnic city.
The current outbreak of wine-and-food tourism seems to suggest that the set of meanings attributed to food is increasingly wider if compared to the past.
Food, for nourishment or whim, has become a social chance of encounters and cultural projection, in addition to being an economic and highly representative factor of territorial identity.
As far as the identity implications are concerned, the city has been losing its attractive role in recent years, if compared to the agricultural or rural territories. However, the cities, especially the greater ones, can become testing grounds for new and complex identities linked to their wine-and-food legacy, owing to their cosmopolitan potentialities.
Apart from our Mediterranean diet, should the new wine-and-food resources be enhanced?

Full papers will be collected in the proceedings of the conference.


An abstract of max 250 words, followed by 3 key-words, should be e-mailed by July 15th, 2011, in a Word file, to the following address: cirelca@unict.it.
The abstract should be preceded by the paper title, in addition to the name(s), the academic affiliation and the e-mail address of the author(s).
In the email object the prospective presenters should indicate the session which want to participate to.
The acceptance will be notified by July 30th , 2011 to the e-mail address indicated in the abstract.
The prospective presenters should confirm by September 1st , 2011 their attendance at the conference as well as at the day trip scheduled for the last day of the conference.


100,00 Euros (senior)
80,00 Euros (PhD students, research fellows, companions)
The fees include the attendance at the conference, the social dinner, the coffee breaks, the guided tour, the one-day trip and a copy of the Proceedings.

Full papers

Full papers should be e-mailed by October 30th , 2011, in a Word file, to the following address: cirelca@unict.it.
They will not exceed 30.000 characters. Referees, graphics, tables, maps, pictures should be included.

Notes for authors

Character: Times New Roman, 12
Spacing: 1,5
Images: jpeg format
Notes: at the bottom of the text
Quotations marks: guillemets («…»)
Referees: Harvard system
Referees List: at the foot of the text, according to the following example:
Books: Vallega A., Le grammatiche della Geografia, Patron, Bologna, 2004.
Papers in journals or books chapters: Betti S., Porto C.M., «Il commercio ambulante nella città contemporanea marchigiana. Analisi e prospettive di sviluppo», in Geotema, 38, 2009, pp. 18-29.
Proceedings: Manzi E., «Stereotipi del paesaggio e del territorio: l’Italia del luogo comune geografico», in Di Blasi A. (a cura di), L’Italia che cambia. Il contributo della Geografia, Atti del XXV Congresso geografico italiano (Taormina, 1989), Catania, 1989, II, pp. 35-44.
Collective books: Cirelli C. (a cura di), Gli spazi del commercio nei processi di trasformazione urbana, Patron, Bologna, 2007.


Abstract: by July 15th , 2011
Confirmation of acceptance: by July 30th , 2011
Confirmation of participation: by September 1st , 2011
Conference: September 22nd -24th , 2011
Full paper: by October 30th , 2011



  • University of Catania
    Catania, Italian Republic


  • Friday, July 15, 2011

Attached files


  • tourism, creativity, urban practices


  • Teresa Graziano
    courriel : tgraziano [at] unict [dot] it

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Teresa Graziano
    courriel : tgraziano [at] unict [dot] it


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Creative Paths of urban tourism », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, July 07, 2011, https://calenda.org/204939

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