Tourism as a driver of social exclusion: old and new challenges for the urban agenda

European Week of Regions and Cities

The PoliTO H2020 SMARTDEST team features in the session: “TOURISM AS A DRIVER OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION: OLD AND NEW CHALLENGES FOR THE URBAN AGENDA” at the European Week of Regions and Cities (#EURegionsWeek), the biggest annual Brussels-based event dedicated to cohesion policy.

11 October 2022
From 4:30PM
Loris Antonio Servillo, Monica Postiglione, Erica Mangione


The poliTO H2020 SMARTDEST team – that works in the PoliTO research center FULL – will be present in the session “Tourism as a driver of social exclusion: old and new challenges for the urban agenda” at the European Week of Regions and Cities. In 2020, the H-2020 SMARTDEST project started to tackle the exclusionary power of tourism and related mobilities in European cities and regions, and to seek planning solutions that mitigate these effects and innovative policy frameworks that produce resilient resident communities.

This session will present the intermediate results of the SMARTDEST project at European regional level and in selected case study citiesengaging policy stakeholders in their discussion. The session will be structured into four interactive presentations and related debates:

  • The SMARTDEST concerns and research approach: is what we’re doing new, and how?
  • Results from the pan-EU analysis: the key challenges for social exclusion in different regional types
  • Forms of tourism-related social exclusion in case study cities: evidence and voices from the field
  • The pandemic and recovery scenario. Is this the right moment for a policy turn, and in which direction?

At the start of the session, will inform the audience about how they can interact about key discussion items. A few questions will be asked by each presenter, eliciting opinions of policymakers and other stakeholders in the audience. Finally, some polls related to the fourth session topic – the post-pandemic recovery scenario and the necessary policy adjustments – will be launched, and their results presented and commented upon.

The ambition of the SMARTDEST project is to contribute to the urban policy agendas that take tourism mobilities seriously. The research carried out in this project produces insights at pan-EU level on the key challenges faced by resident communities in the face of the transformative force of tourism and related global mobilities, such as

labour conditionshousing affordabilityquality of life and gender inclusion. For our 8 case study cities, evidence is provided of how different community groups are challenged and how they cope with these pressures. Even in the face of the current pandemic crisis, these insights may inspire innovative planning frameworks and smart solutions that favour social justice and inclusiveness in recovery strategies.

The European Week of Regions and Cities (#EURegionsWeek) has grown to become a unique communication and networking platform, bringing together regions and cities from all over Europe, including politicians, administrators, experts and academics. Over the last 19 years, it has done much to promote policy learning and the exchange of good practice.
The purpose of the EURegionsWeek is:

  • To discuss common challenges for Europe’s regions and cities and examine possible solutions by bringing together politicians, decision-makers, experts and practitioners of cohesion policy, as well as stakeholders from business, banking, civil society organisations, academia, the EU institutions and the media;
  • To provide a platform for capacity-building, learning and exchange of experience and good practice for those implementing EU cohesion policy and managing its financial instruments;
  • To facilitate cooperation and networking between regions and cities;
  • To feed into the debate on EU cohesion policy in a wider context, including recent research and views from third countries and international organisations.

The themes for the 2022 edition are:

  • Green transition;
  • Territorial Cohesion;
  • Digital transition;
  • Youth empowerment.