Smartdest

JERUSALEM CASE STUDY 

Tourism as a bridge in a contested city

1990s: Paving the path to serenity: Anticipating peace and a consistent rise in tourism

  • The first Intifada (Terror attacks) ends (1993)
  • Oslo accords
  • Pope John Paul II visit to Israel and Jerusalem leading to a peak in tourists arrivals
  • ~900K international tourists (1.2 in total) in 2000
  • ultra orthodox demand prohibiting traffic on Bar Ilan street during Saturdays

2000s-2010s: Between Hopes and Crises: Navigating fluctuations, yet fostering tourism growth

  • The second Intifada 2000-2003
  • Construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier
  • Freedoms of the air agreement between Israel and EU
  • The knives intifada 2015-2016
  • Over 3 million international tourists in Jerusalem (2018), with ~4 million hotel nights

2020-2022: The COVID-19 crisis

  • IIsrael closed its borders to international tourists during the first waves. Jerusalem was hard-hit due to its reliance on international tourism.
  • during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jerusalem witnessed a significant 77% decrease in overnight stays.

Tourists’ visitation rates in the holly basin area

Spatial inequality in Jerusalem

Airbnb availability Pre-COVID (A) and during COVID (B)

WICKED PROBLEM

Jerusalem encounter place-based exclusion risks arising from the spatial segregation of ethnic and religious communities, along with tourist attractions.

Tourist sites are mainly located in the central-eastern Arab section, while hotels are situated in the wealthier Western Jewish region. This leads to imbalanced wealth distribution. The resulting concentration of tourists in the central area exacerbates issues such as strained infrastructure and disruptions to everyday life.

RESEARCH FOCUS & METHODOLOGIES

Tourism impacts on urban living and daily lives

  • In depth interview with stakeholders involved in tourism in Jerusalem.
  • Phone survey with 150p of concerned communities living near the old city (incl. Arabs, ultra-orthodox)


Tourists’ mobility and Airbnb performance

  • Agent based modeling to simulate tourists mobility between neighborhoods.
  • Econometric modeling of Airbnb performance before and after COVID-19

TOURISM IMPACTS ON URBAN LIVING AND DAILY LIVES IN JERUSALEM

  • On the one hand, participants indicated that tourism amplifies gaps and exclusion among groups, with a prevailing industry sentiment that ethnic exclusion in tourism is localized, particularly around the old city.
  • On the other hand, some interviwee argued that the common economic interests in tourism acts as a catalyst of collaboration and an opportunity to bridge other conflicts at the long run.
  • Jerusalem’s tourism relies heavily on international visitors and was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an absence of tourists that not only diminished the city’s ambiance but also had adverse mental effects, particularly among Arab residents.

 

PREDICTING TOURISTS’ MOBILITY USING AGENT BASED MODELING

  • In the ABM results high tourist volume in the street is represented with red lines. We can see that in each statistical area there is at least one street that is more dominant. These streets tend to have a high mix of land uses.

AIRBNB PERFORMANCE BEFORE AND DURING COVID-19

  • Property changes from 2019 (pre-pandemic) to 2021 (late COVID period with vaccinations) are depicted as curves referenced to 2019 (100%), showing an overall decline in available properties regardless of socio-geographical characteristics, reaching around 50% of 2019 levels.

Annual change in properties relative to 2019 (left) By ethnicity; (middle) By socioeconomic cluster; (right) By distance from the tourism center. Curve values denote the absolute property count per year.

The Jerusalem CityLab

WHAT?

A master plan of inviting places for all

  • Enhance safe, appealing local areas for all residents and tourists
  • Foster inter-neighborhood interaction for Jewish-Arab normalization
  • Drive socio-cultural and economic gains through sustainable mobility projects
  • Diversify tourism product in Jerusalem through authentic engagements
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PARTICIPANTS

The Barcelona CityLab as a community of practice to:

Selection criteria

  • Data producers and users
  • Expertise and professional knowledge on tourism and housing
  • Representants of communities of concern

Col·legi d’Economistes de Catalunya, API – Col·legi i associació d’agents immobiliaris, Ajuntament de Barcelona – Direcció General de Turisme, Ajuntament de Barcelona – Innovació Social, Ajuntament de Barcelona – Urbanisme, Gremi d’Hotels de Barcelona, Barcelona Regional, INCASOL – Institut Català del Sòl, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Observatori Metropolità de l’Habitatge, Universitat de Barcelona, FAVB-Federació d’Associacions de Veïns de Barcelona, ABDT – Associació de Barris pel decreixement turístic, CCOO – Comissions Obreres, IERMB – Institut d’Estudis Regionals i Metropolitans de Barcelona, COAC – Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya

HOW?

Scenario construction of the effects of short-term rental impacts on residential instability, and potential policy mitigators

  • Semi-structure group discussions
  • Thematic-Network Analysis
  • Policy rating exercises
  • Futures Cone
  • Machine Learning: Bayesian additive regression trees (BART)

Co-Design Process

EXPLORATION STAGE (12-14/7/2022)

  • Collective diagnosi of the impact of turism in the city.
  • Collective assessment of indicators of tourism-led gentrification at neightbourghood scale.
  • Mapping & diagnosis
  • List of key variables of change and impact & data gaps
  • Feedback neighbourhood change database
  • Inform statistical modelling

EVALUATION STAGE (5-7/10/2022)

  • Co-design of scenario building of tourism-led gentrification based on policy interventions and external factors.
  • Housing & tourism policy modelling fitness
  • Identification of impactful policy interventions
  • Key policy principles & approaches
  • Machine learning modelling (BART)

EVALUATION STAGE (8/2/2023)

  • Collective evaluation of scenarios based Machine Learning Modelling.
  • Participants feedback
  • Scenario evaluations and data appropriation
  • Feedbacks to modelling results
  • Key recommendations for policy-making

CITYLAB’S OUTPUTS

Mapping the risk of residential instability at fine area scale

Identification of policies with potential to mitigate residential instability

Modelling the sensitivity
of policies instruments

An OPEN ACCESS early-warning toolkit for tourism-driven residential exclusion in Barcelona

SMARTDEST Neighbourhood change database RStudio coding to replication and adaptation Tourist-driven displecement map Policy impact maps Policy brief on housing inclusión

OUTCOMES: INNOVATION AND LEGACY

LEGACY

Openly accessible tools, data and analytics to diagnose the risk of residential displacement driven by tourism growth in Barcelona and possibly design appropriate measures of tested value.

Benefits to end-users

  • Early-warning tools on tourism-driven residential instability
  • Open data access for research & other purposes
  • Benchmarking system for other cities with similar trends

FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES

“The need to control how tourism growth will affect social cohesion in the future will continue, and appropriate responses need to be craftly designed.  Recovery policies, regulations, and tourism planning and promotion strategies should be cognizant of the social risks unearthed and analysed in SMARTDEST. The construction of a Smart, Inclusive and Resilient Barcelona could scale up this project’s outcomes to nurture a new R&D agenda on residential instability and tourism.”


Antonio Paolo Russo,
IP SMARTDEST Project.

CITYLAB PARTICIPANT’S EVALUATION

Knowledge-sharing

Intellectually stimulating

Useful

Enjoyable

Participation

Representative and balanced

Proactive

Commitment of decision-makers

Organisation

Efficient, practical, informed

Productive collaboration