Tourism Gentrification in the Metropolis (Chicago, 21-25 avril 2015)

Call for Papers: American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, 21-25 April 2015, Chicago


Session title: Tourism Gentrification in the Metropolis


Organizers: Maria Gravari-Barbas (Pr, Eirest, Université Paris I-Sorbonne) and Sandra Guinand (visiting scholar, PCP, Central University of New York)


A wide literature analyzes the changes that affect contemporary metropolises trough the concept of gentrification, i.e. Urban regeneration policies (Smith, 2003; 2004, Lees, 2008), the New Build gentrification (Davidson & Lees, 2010; He, 2010; Rérat, Söderström, Piguet, 2010), the Return to the city movement (Bidou-Zachariassen, 2003; Van Criekingen, 2008), the Displacement patterns analysis (Newman & Wyly, 2006).


Although bibliography analyzes the extent of gentrification in tourist cities (Bures and Cain, 2008) little attention has been paid to tourism and tourist traffic as main factors of gentrification in metropolitan areas (Gotham, 2004), or to tourism as the central strategic focus of the regeneration policies (Abe s.d.).


Tourism gentrification is difficult to analyze, as it is affected by the changing patterns of tourism flow; it is however a critical shaping force of socio-economic and contemporary urban landscapes.

This session intends to explain the multiple and complex relationships between tourism and gentrification in the contemporary metropolis. Several questions arise. How does tourism gentrification manifest itself and how does it affect the urban landscapes? What are the impacts for urban design and planning? Who are the actors, the beneficiaries and the victims of tourism gentrification? How do local (tourism) actors cope with tourism gentrification phenomena? What is the impact on local economies, urban functions and services? What are the outcomes for intra-metropolitan territories? What does it mean in terms of metropolitan governance?

Proposals could present and analyze tourism gentrification based on the following aspects:

– The expression of changes due to the transitional/temporary installation of tourists in regular homes and apartments [the “AirBnB syndrome”]

– The growing trend of second-home ownership (or multiple home ownership) for leisure and leisure‐related investment purposes [the “poly-topical” living (Stock, 2012) phenomenon].

– The urban changes due to the development of activities linked with the tourism economy (tourist attractions, leisure activities, hotels, shops, etc.) within or adjacent to middle-class neighborhoods [the “disneyfication” phenomenon]

– The urban transformation that results from important projects of heritage restoration that transform neighborhoods into places for tourism consumption [the “museumfication syndrome”]

– The implementation of luxury leisure developments (spas, palaces, upscale shops and services, etc.) addressing transnational elites (Sklair, 2002) [the “esthetic capitalism” (Serroy and Lipovetsky, 2013) phenomenon].

-The transformation of residential/working urban landscapes into artscapes addressed to global aesthetic consumption [the artialisation syndrome].

These aspects are not exclusive.

Theoretical approaches of tourism gentrification and case studies are welcome.

Submission Procedure:

Please send abstracts (max 250 words) and contact details to Sandra Guinand ( and Maria Gravari-Barbas ( by 15th October 2014. We will notify contributors of acceptance by 20th October 2014.

All accepted contributors will need to register for the conference and provide their PIN to the organizers by October 27th in order to be included in the panel.


For general information on the conference:


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