Lorenzo Giudici

Political economy of turism in Florence

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Art Heritage Cities; Big Data; Gentrification; Urban Policies; Political Economy of Tourism.

In the last thirty years, Florence went through crucial transformations due to the intensification of tourist flows. By the end of the Eighties, daily inflows were 4.7 millions per day, while in 2017 they overpassed 10 millions. Accordingly, the city's economic structure, social composition, urban design and cultural expressions dramatically changed. On the one hand, tourism is an extraordinary instrument for economic growth; on the other hand, it challenges the daily life of the citizens and the sustainability of the urban habitat, leading to: increase of prices of goods and services, expulsion of common citizens from the city centre, congestion of urban spaces and worsening of the services devoted to permanent residents, risks for the safeguard of the artistic heritage and local traditions. On top of that, there is evidence that the distribution of the wealth from tourism is distributed unequally. This article provides a brief overview of the touristic phenomenon in Florence, relying on official statistics and the more updated researches based on Big Data. Moreover, it is highlighted the major challenges deriving from impressive touristic flows in the city and discussed the public policies designed to address these challenges in-depth.

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