WIT Press

Historic Cities And Sustainable Tourism: A Configurational Approach


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WIT Press


V. Cutini


Tourism, as aimed at visiting and experiencing unknown places, obviously involves several questions regarding the use and management of urban space: where to locate bus terminals and car parking, how to guide and orient visitors in the grid of urban paths towards monuments and amenities, how to enhance their spatial comprehension, how (and where) to assist them with services and facilities, how (and where) to improve accessibility for all sorts of people, to mention the most evident. Such issues will be faced herein using a configurational approach, thus assuming the urban grid as the primary element in the phenomena along its paths, and in particular the distribution of movement and the location of activities. The configurational approach, whose reliability has been widely attested by a large number of studies in the last two decades, appears particularly suitable for supporting the touristic realization of cities, as a consequence of the fact that tourists are assumed to be non-expert urban users, generally unaware of the inner geography and of the functional features of a settlement and thus strongly moderating their behaviour from the perception and understanding of the surrounding spatial features. Furthermore, it ought to be noted that most of the historic centres of cities, renowned destinations of tourists from all over the world, are actually characterized by highly irregular and often labyrinth-like urban grids, sometimes confusing and barely accessible, so as to demand some comprehension and support during visits. The purpose of this research is to pinpoint the way a configurational approach can actually be used to improve touristic accessibility and to enhance the ease and safety in the realization of tourists visiting historic cities.


tourism, orientation, accessibility, grid configuration.