Heritage tourism: Messene

Messene from Mount Ithome © David Gill

The ancient city of Messene in the Peloponnese, below Mount Ithome, is becoming an important tourist attraction for this part of Messenia. Since 2014 it has been on the UNESCO tentative list for World Heritage. Numbers to the central part of the site have been monitored since 2012, and in 2019 were over 65,000. A small proportion of visitors visit the site museum: in 2014 there were over 9,000.

Messene © David Gill

The extensive site includes some of the best preserved ancient fortifications in Greece.

Data source: Hellenic Statistical Service. Chart © David Gill

The Berlin Wall as heritage for the future

Berlin © David Gill

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the effective reunification of Berlin. Few traces of this symbol of a divided city remain.

But we also remember those who died trying to cross this barrier.

How do we remember the recent past and present it to the public? How do we deal with such sensitive issues? How can this heritage be used to inform future generations?

Berlin © David Gill

Berlin © David Gill

Academic journals: International Journal of Tourism Cities

Journal summary: The International Journal of Tourism Cities (IJTC) provides an international forum for the critical study of urban tourism and tourism cities. The journal aims to be inter-disciplinary in its appreciation of tourism cities and tourism in urban areas, and welcomes original, theoretically-informed articles from those involved in the planning, management or marketing of tourism in city destination or places adjoining urban areas.
Urban tourism and travel cover many disciplines and impinge on numerous aspects of daily life within cities. Moreover, they play a key role in domestic and international tourism in most countries, and cities often function as key travel gateways and tourism destinations.  The journal particularly encourages contributions on contemporary topics and issues in urban tourism including smart cities and tourism, environmental impact and sustainable tourism development in cities, citizen and stakeholder involvement in tourism, city destination governance, and the development of policies and standards for city tourism development. IJTC is the official journal of the International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA). 

IJTC has four distinct purposes:

  • To encourage greater research and scholarship related to tourism in urban settings.
  • To stimulate more interdisciplinary research on tourism in cities, particularly the integration of tourism and urban studies theories and principles.
  • To generate more research studies on tourism at the edge of cities, where urban and rural areas converge.
  • To create more literature on best practices in city tourism worldwide through in-depth analyses and the production of exemplary case studies.

Publisher: Emerald

Website: https://www.emeraldinsight.com/loi/ijtc

Access: Subscription; some open access articles

Journal type: Academic peer reviewed

Academic journals: Environment and Urbanization

Journal summary: This twice-yearly journal focuses on urban and environmental issues and their interconnections, with a particular emphasis on Africa, Asia and Latin America (where most of world’s urban population now lives). Founded in 1989 by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), from 2006, it has been published by Sage, in association with IIED. Each issue of the journal focuses on a particular theme and includes between 7 and 12 papers on that theme, papers responding to the themes of previous issues and, since 2007, papers on climate change and cities. Each issue also has an editorial and a Book Notes section with details of new publications. Examples of themes include: city governance and citizen action; ecological urbanization; resilient cities; community-driven mapping and enumerations; globalization and cities; chronic poverty; meeting the Millennium Development Goals in urban areas; participatory governance; violence and security; water and sanitation; sustainable cities; and rural-urban linkages. Some issues of the journal include profiles of innovative organizations and papers on participatory tools and methods.

Publisher: Sage

Website: http://eau.sagepub.com/

Access: Subscription

Journal type: Academic peer-reviewed

Academic journals: Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science

Journal summary: Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science is an international, multidisciplinary journal focused on the application of quantitative, computational, design and visual methods to the spatial and morphological structure of cities and regions.

Areas of methodological interest include geocomputation, spatial statistics, geographical information science, computational modelling, visualisation, agent based modelling, crowdsourcing, big data, optimisation, and urban analytics. Papers are invited that provide empirical evidence for understanding, planning or theorising how urban systems and processes emerge. It welcomes papers that show how formal models can be used to explore how cities and their elements behave, reproduce, evolve, or impact upon urban forms and functions, and on the livability, equality and sustainability of cities. Papers on topical themes such as complexity theory, smart cities, and urban science are encouraged.

Publisher: Sage

Website: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/epb

Access: Subscription; some open-access articles

Journal type: Academic peer-reviewed

Heritage Walks: Athens


Exploring a city’s heritage is one way to keep fit and to be green. One of my favourite cities is Athens and in 2004 (as part of the celebration of the Olympics) the Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and the Culture Heritage along with the Municipality of Athens Cultural Organization produced Heritage Walks in Athens: the walks were written by Artemis Skoumbourdi.

The book was introduced by Dora Bakoyannis, the then mayor of Athens.

Our monuments stand as continuous guardians of memory. It is not only the past of Greece but the roots of the Western World and the influence of the East that can be found within our museums.

Costa Carras, President of the Hellenic Society (Elliniki Etaira) wanted people to come to the headquarters of the society ‘where they can learn more about issues concerning the environment and the cultural heritage in Greece’.

© David Gill
© David Gill

The short book contains 8 walks:

  1. The Athenian Acropolis
  2. Mills and Municipalities of Ancient Athens
  3. Agora and Areopagus, the Heart of Ancient Athens
  4. The Centre of the City from Antiquity until the Ottoman Period
  5. Athens, Medieval and Modern
  6. The Heart of the Modern Greek State
  7. Museums, Collections and the National Park
  8. The High Point of Athenian Neoclassicism

Some of the walks are quite steep and demanding but the climbs are rewarded with wonderful views over the city.

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