AuthorIliev, Dejan
  1. Introduction

    Many researchers highlight the close relationship between tourism and urban regeneration (Coles, 2003; Couch and Farr, 2000; Karski, 1990; Law, 1991, 1992, 2000; Martin and Mason, 1988; Stevenson, 2013; Swarbrooke, 2000), as well as culture and urban regeneration (Evans, 2004; Miles and Paddison, 2005; Sasaki, 2010). Consequently, the current study intends to encourage the debate on the role of tourism and culture in urban regeneration processes. To open a wide theoretical debate, the following questions will be considered: Can tourism contribute to the process of urban regeneration? (Karski, 1990; Law, 1991, 1992). Can tourism development favor the path of city regeneration through new trajectories based on its cultural, creative and tourism resources? (Couch and Farr, 2000; Evans, 2003, 2004, 2005; Maitland, 2007a, 2007b; Richards, 2014; Richards and Wilson, 2007). What can this current study add to contemporary debates and how this case study might help us understand the role of tourism and cultural projects within an urban regeneration context? Although many international scholars acknowledge the importance of tourism and culture in urban regeneration, Skopje's research from this perspective is still limited. Previous relevant papers focus on topics related to the different ways in shaping Skopje's variegated urban landscapes (Bouzarovski, 2011), sustainable urban development in Skopje (Donevska, 2017), the creation of a nationalistic planning doctrine through the 'Skopje 2014' (Grcheva, 2019), different forms of heritage in Skopje (Dimova, 2019), and they do not pay attention to the role of tourism and culture in the process of urban regeneration. Therefore, the current study aims to complement this research gap in the literature, and offers a better understanding of the complexity of this process.

    This paper aims to provide some theoretical knowledge about the role of tourism and culture in urban regeneration, and to develop a conceptual framework that represents how contemporary tourism activities and culture projects affect urban regeneration. Thus, the paper designs an integrated conceptual framework, which combines the drivers of tourism-led urban regeneration (Law, 2000; Swarbrooke, 2000), the theoretical constructs connected to the regeneration of the city (Karski, 1990; Law, 1991, 1992, 2000; Martin and Mason, 1988), and the factors that encourage revitalization and promotion of the new place in old space in the city (Joksimovic et al., 2014; Ratz, Smith and Michalko, 2008). The framework is applied to the capital Skopje. This city was chosen because it is associated with various projects that, beginning from the renewal of the old city core, are shifting the city image in diverse ways, revitalizing the urban space.

    The paper is organized into six sections. The second section reviews the literature and the main concepts used in the research. The third section describes the methodology used to develop the case study. The fourth section presents the case of Skopje. The fifth section summarizes the study and discusses the implications of the study findings. The sixth section stresses the limitations of the study and proposes a series of critical issues for future research.

  2. Literature review

    A theoretical grounding is necessary to situate how we understand the concept of tourism-led urban regeneration (see Law, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2002; Martin and Mason, 1988; Swarbrooke, 2000). Martin and Mason (1988) noted that 'one of the attractions of using tourism as an element in urban regeneration lies in the economic justification that it can provide for the physical refurbishing and renewal of decayed urban centers' (p. 77). Later, Law (2000), in his theoretical model of tourism and urban regeneration, offers a better understanding of the physical, economic and social regeneration of the city. He explains that regeneration can be achieved through increased visitor numbers, creation of a new image, increased income, expansion of other economic activities, population growth, enhanced civic pride, job creation, and further investment in attractions and environmental improvements. However, the disadvantage of this model is that it does not include the physical renewal of the city core through culture-led regeneration.

    The motivations for urban regeneration are heterogeneous. Smith (2007) demonstrated that they may form part of a government's plan for economic or cultural regeneration; as a means of attracting investment and developing tourism; or initiating environmental improvements and infrastructure developments. Smith (2007) says that 'the common characteristic of both the tourism development and the regeneration process is that they seek to transform old spaces whilst recreating new ones' (p. 9), therefore, tourism development can be considered as an engine for urban regeneration (Galdini, 2007).

    Law (2000) noted that 'tourism and tourism resources are not confined to the city center. There are often significant visitor attractions in the outer areas and the task here is to link them with those in the city center, particularly with regard to transport' (pp. 128-129). There is broad debate about the role of tourism in generating new opportunities for new spaces in urban zones (Coles, 2003; Law, 2000; Joksimovic et al, 2014; Puczko, Ratz and Smith, 2007; Ratz et al., 2008). Belgrade and Budapest were demonstrated as new examples of urban regeneration driven by tourism (see Joksimovic et al., 2014; Ratz et al., 2008), where it was presented that the traditional, new and regenerated tourist values are intended to mark and symbolize broader change and regeneration of the peripheral urban municipalities of the city.

    There is also debate in the literature about the role of tourist visitors in the city's regeneration. According to Maitland (2007b) exploring these issues means gaining a better understanding of what kind of visitor moves beyond traditional tourist beats and what draws them to new zones of the city. Some authors consider that 'these visitors may be drawn away from more familiar tourist attractions (Maitland and Newman, 2004) to new 'cultural clusters' (Mommaas, 2004) or new areas of gentrification that offer the restaurants and other amenities demanded by young professionals. 'They will contribute to the process of gentrification and regeneration' (quoted in Maitland, 2007b, pp. 31-32). The localities and buildings must be reconfigured to attract visitors or, as Norris (2003) noted: if we build it, they will come!

    The geography of hotels and other accommodation facilities also plays an important role in the regeneration of the city. Several models have been proposed in the literature that explains the intra-urban location of hotels. The Ritter and Ashworth models attracted the most attention. Ritter (1986) provided a model of urban hotel distribution determined by the development of transportation technology. Initially, hotels occupied central locations, and later started to disperse from the inner city toward the periphery zones. Later, Ashworth (1989) proposed the theoretical THC (Tourist Historic City) model, with six types of urban hotel locations. The availability of tourist attractions and transportation services are highlighted as the most important factors affecting the location and distribution of the hotels. Generally, the spatial distribution of hotels and/or accommodation establishments is a dynamic process that affects urban regeneration and the urban landscape.

    Culture is also an important factor in urban regeneration (see Evans, 2004; Miles and Paddison, 2005; Sasaki, 2010). Evans (2004) has identified three models through which cultural activity is incorporated into the regeneration process: (1) culture-led regeneration, where cultural activity is seen as the catalyst and engine of regeneration; (2) cultural regeneration, where cultural activity is fully integrated into strategic planning along with other activities in the environmental, social and economic spheres; (3) culture and regeneration, where cultural activity is not fully integrated at the strategic development planning stage. Evans (2005) noted that activity associated with culture-led regeneration could be the design and construction or reusing of a building. Richards and Wilson (2007) point out that 'the regeneration process seems to require a mix of physical icons and spaces that can make the creative process more visible and tangible' (p. 23). Cultural regeneration plays an important role in transforming old spaces into new ones in the city (Ratz et al., 2008). In general, scholars have introduced different concepts and approaches to culture-led regeneration in cities, and the fact is that such activities can contribute to raising the profile of the city, its branding and re-branding.

    Based on the previous literature review, the analytical conceptual framework is depicted in Figure 2.

  3. Methodology

    3.1 Research area

    The paper explores the case of the City of Skopje. According to the nomenclature of territorial statistical units (NUTS 3), the Skopje Region is one of the eight statistical regions in North Macedonia. This region is the smallest and covers only 7.3% of the total land area of the country, but according to the data for 2017, it is the most populated region with 622,750 inhabitants (estimated population) or 30.2% of the total population, and the most densely populated region with 345.3 inhabitants per km2 (State Statistical Office of the Republic of Macedonia [SSORM], 2018).

    The Skopje Region is divided into 17 municipalities. The municipalities Centar, Karposh, Kisela Voda, Aerodrom, Gazi Baba, Butel, Chair, Gjorche Petrov, Saraj and Shuto Orizari consist the City of Skopje. Thus, the current study is limited to the 10 municipalities that cover the urban area of the City of Skopje (Figure 1).

    3.2 Research design

    This paper has three main goals: to contribute to the...

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