How futures thinking can be utilised to support a democratic transformation of the tourism sector to enhance the liveability and sustainability of our cities
Futures thinking and sustainable tourism
Thesis project description
Overtourism and the intricate relationship between locals and travelers is an issue effecting the future liveability of our cities all over the world.
Instead of limiting the analysis of urban tourism to its stigmatisation as the ‘big enemy’ of the liveable city, "there is a need to produce analytical frameworks able to support the planning, managing, and even engineering of city tourism”. We must begin to actively rethink the future to build capacity to act with foresight, and to co-create resilient and liveable spaces.
In 2050 it is predicted that 66% of the global population will be living within cities. Cities are complex, dynamic systems and decision making needs to be supported by relevant knowledge. Achieving a sense of placemaking to address the challenges of the future, requires a strong appreciation of local context and communities, the ability to predict future trends and the combination of skills from a multidisciplinary approach. These factors serve to make sense of current and future societal landscapes to understand the context of the service economy.
My thesis will aim to explore ‘how futures thinking can be utilised to support a democratic transformation of the tourism sector to enhance the liveability and sustainability of our cities’. Throughout my research I aim to develop a toolkit or framework to support the planning process of city tourism and supporting services. I’m particularly interested in looking at the relationships between travellers and locals within a city, and how we can design services to aid the sustainable coexistence of both.
Managerial value of the research
A potential collaborator would benefit from the research insights and data collected. Similarly I aim to develop a framework or methodology throughout my thesis around how foresight and co-creation can be applied within our communities to assist the development of the tourism sector and supporting services. This framework would be developed with and for the company to implement as their own practice, or as an evaluation of existing methods. The company would also have the ability to help me shape and define the scope, project and context that this is applied to, so the output produces relevant value for the company.
Research topic motivation
I have a strong passion for collaborative design processes and believe that we as designers should always involve those we are designing with throughout all stages of a process. This is particularly relevant when we are talking about the future of our cities as the challenges we face directly impact our communities. I believe in focusing on the local context to truly develop significant impact through a co creative approach and would love to explore this topic more throughout my thesis.Service design processes are often reactive, in the sense that many services are designed to react to societal or user needs. However futures thinking provides an alternative spin. Why should we react if we can predict and adapt? With the rise of significant societal challenges facing our cities around the world (overtourism, rapid urbanization, climate change) can we use foresight to develop services that target these challenges through an adaptive approach to enhance the liveability and sustainability of our collective future.I have currently been interning with a small organisation that works with urban development and cultural planning at a local level and have developed an interest in how placemaking within urban cities can be developed to support the future of the tourism sector.This is an area that I am passionate about and would love to pursue as a career.
Why collaborate with us
If you choose to work with me I will bring a strong and dedicated work ethic to my every day. The topics that I have proposed to collaborate on throughout my thesis are topics of which I am extremely passionate about, and am dedicated to developing within the field.With a background in communications and current knowledge base within the world of service design, I can offer flexibility and determination to produce an outcome that brings value to both parties. I am confident this is an area I would like to work with after I graduate and would like to finish off my thesis collaborating with a reputable company in context of the real world.
12 to 20 weeks.
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Project Researcher #1
Engineering and Science
Universal Design and Accessibility
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