SMARTDEST Lisbon Co-learning Workshop: now available the technical report

The SMARTDEST project tackles social exclusion unfolding in cities that are hub to different global mobilities, with a particular focus on tourism and the intermeshed mobilities of lifestyle migrants and global nomads, migrant workers or higher education students It is thus interested in scrutinizing the drivers, mechanisms, and consequences of social exclusion at an individual or collective level and to define strategies of mitigation of such processes in the realm of formal policy and planning, or in that of citizen empowerment and participation. The project team is conducting city labs in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Jerusalem, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Turin and Venice. In all 7 cities, participatory fora have been created, solutions have been co designed and concept tested in articulation with affected communities and other stakeholders.

As part of its dissemination strategy, SMARTDEST organised the conference “CityLabs as instruments for urban change: co-learning and scaling-up”, held on March 2, 2023, from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., in Lisbon, at the Lisbon Urban Information Centre (CIUL) and open to the public and on March 3 at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning of the University of Lisbon (IGOT-UL), from 9.30a.m. to 12p.m. The event agenda can be seen in figures 1 and 2. The specific objective of this event was to present the results of the project’s 7 city labs and to establish a dialogue with researchers, civil society, and stakeholders who have engaged in similar experiences and faced the challenge of scaling up micro level results into local, national, and European scales and their policy dimensions. The participants were SMARTDEST researchers from the 7 cities where the project is being conducted. Leading experts and practitioners in the field with consolidated experience with participatory methods, were also invited. Other participants from the academia and local government also attended this conference.

The technical report can be downloaded at the following Link.

SMARTDEST research team is glad to announce the following event and invite for contributions


Final event of the SMARTDEST project 

Barcelona, 15-16 September 2023 

The SMARTDEST project (H2020 program, ref. 870753,, coordinated by the Rovira i Virgili University and including other 12 research partners from 8 European countries, engages with the production of social exclusion in tourist cities. Its main ambition is to contribute to the definition of a policy agenda for cities that takes tourism mobilities seriously, at all levels of government, and that brings out the potential of social innovation from citizen engagement for more resilient communities. It has thus produced new evidence on how urban inequalities and exclusion are produced, lived, and coped with in cities that are the hub of tourism and other related mobilities, under the pull of city spaces and assets that reorient progressively towards the affordabilities of a transnational mobile class. It has similarly looked into the uneven negotiations that unfold from the digital to the physical and social space, identifying criticalities in the construction of inclusive smart cities. The results of the project to the current date, including reports, journal publication and other dissemination materials, can be accessed from the SMARTDEST website (

The final event of the SMARTDEST project will be held in Barcelona on two days, Friday 15 and Saturday 16 September 2023. Barcelona is one of 7 case studies of the project where researchers have engaged with local communities and stakeholders as research participants and in CityLabs where the production of social exclusion in a variety of contexts has been co-diagnosed and solutions co-designed.

The first day will host a scientific seminar with paper presentations, organised in three sessions and bookended by a keynote lecture and a final conversation with consortium partners and invited experts on “Linking local sustainability transitions and global challenges”

The second day is organised as a public event meant to transfer the project insights to communities of concern, involving a policy round table, an exhibition of project outcomes and other informal opportunities of engagement with social and policy entities from the European to the local level. Participants to the scientific seminar are welcome to participate.


The event organisers thus invite contributions by international authors, that could provide conceptual, methodological and empirical advances on either of the three session topics:

  1.   Work and housing markets, in contest. Coping with the city’s touristification. This session welcomes contributions engaging with the transformation of the urban economy, of the housing market and of labour around the growth of tourism activity; the effects on dimensions of social cohesion and justice; and the resistances and reorganisations from below that these changes elicit.
  2.   Transnational mobilities and place change: enacting cosmopolitisation. This session welcomes contributions engaging with the local-global assemblages which configure new materialities, discursive fronts and power alignments in cities that are hubs of tourism and the related global mobilities.
  3.  The ‘real’ smart tourist city: citizen participation, data justice and pro-commons agendas. This session welcomes contributions engaging with the emerging power geometries of ‘smart’ as urban regime and development project for the mobile elites, and with the subversive spaces opened by digitalisation and digital commoning

We expect high-quality contributions presenting research insights (published or in the course of publication) on such topics, by scholars in urban geography and economics, planning, sociology, anthropology or other branches of the social sciences.

The authors of the selected papers will be invited at our expenses to spend up to two nights at a Barcelona hotel and attend the related social events (excluding travel and other subsistence costs). The presented materials will be included in the form of short divulgatory pieces in a conference proceedings book to be edited before the end of September.

Interested contributors should send their abstracts (250 words) and a bio to the event coordinator Antonio Russo (antonio.russo@urv.catwithin April 30, 2023.

The selection of the twelve participating papers will be based on peer review by a committee of lead researchers in the SMARTDEST consortium, ensuring adherence to the topics, gender balance and wide geographical cover.

For any request of information, please contact the SMARTDEST coordination team at this e-mail address:

New SMARTDEST Publication: Smart tourism city governance: exploring the impact on stakeholder networks

By Josep Ivars-Baidal, Ana B. Casado-Díaz, Sandra Navarro-Ruiz, Marc Fuster-Uguet (2023).

Building on new trends in tourism and smart city governance, this study aims to examine the degree of interrelation between stakeholder networks involved in tourism governance and smart city development. A model describing the transition towards smart tourism city governance is proposed.

The proposed model is tested through a multiple case study of seven European cities. This choice of sample makes the study highly representative. Data collection is based on an exhaustive search and analysis of available data on smart city initiatives, destination management organisations and tourism plans. Social network analysis using Gephi software is used to build stakeholder networks.

Analysis of the stakeholder networks that shape tourism governance and smart initiatives in several cities reveals a disconnection between the two types of networks. The results show limited progress towards the expected synergies of true smart tourism city governance.

Theoretically, the study contributes to the debate on new forms of governance for the complex evolution of urban tourism. In practice, the relationship between tourism governance and smart city initiatives needs to be redefined to achieve synergies that increase the inclusiveness and efficiency of urban tourism policies.

This study examines the under-researched topic of the interrelation between tourism governance and smart city initiatives. By comparing the networks of actors resulting from these two processes, it assesses the extent to which this interrelation helps the emergence of new governance models (smart tourism city governance).

The article is accessible at the following link.

New SMARTDEST publication: Smart city and smart destination planning: Examining instruments and perceived impacts in Spain

By Josep A. Ivars-Baidal, Marco A. Celdrán-Bernabeu, Francisco Femenia-Serra, José F. Perles-Ribes, J. Fernando Vera-Rebollo (2023).

Another paper published in the framework of SMARTDEST in collaboration with another project under development at the University of Alicante. It analyses the tourism planning derived from the adoption of the smart approach in tourism, urban and technology policies in Spain.

The impact of technology on tourist cities and destinations has led to the emergence of renewed management approaches that seek to adapt the planning processes to new challenges and opportunities derived from the smart scenario. The smart city and smart tourist destination approaches are aimed at improving efficiency in management, the quality of life of the residents and the tourist experiences. However, little is known about how these ideas are being translated into real policies and whether they are having a real impact. The objective of this paper is to understand how the smart approach is being deployed in the planning processes of Spanish tourist cities and destinations, and its implications in terms of the governance, sustainability and data-driven public management.
The planning instruments that guide the smart strategies of different Spanish cities are identified and analysed. This is complemented with a questionnaire administered among managers of the smart city and smart destination initiatives. The findings reveal the diversity of smart initiatives, their benefits and limitations. The results contribute to generating a necessary debate on the implications of the smart discourse for urban and tourism planning and enrich the international debate around this approach.

The article is accessible at the following link.