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The Smart City as a Common Place for Tourists and Residents: a Structural Analysis on the Determinants of Urban Attractiveness

Romão, J., K. Kourtit, B. Neuts, P. Nijkamp (2018), "The Smart City as a Common Place for Tourists and Residents: a Structural Analysis on the Determinants of Urban Attractiveness", Cities, 78, 67-75.
Abstract:

This article presents a structural modeling analysis of the performance determinants of urban attractiveness, in terms of resident population and international tourism demand, in 40 global cities. The analysis focuses on the impacts of a diverse set of innovative drivers of urban value creation and sustainable solutions for city development (urban functions), which are collectively subsumed under the heading of ‘sustainable smart city’. Recognizing that the dynamics and growth processes related to these urban functions may have different impacts on different types of stakeholders, potentially leading to the emergence of serious conflicts between guests/visitors and residents, we aim to derive model-based implications for urban and tourism management in the cities concerned in order to move towards the sustainable future city as ‘a place 4 all’. The results of our latent growth curve model confirm the existence of different impacts of urban functions on visitors' and residents' attractiveness. Cultural dynamics appears to be a major determinant for attracting new residents and supporting a strong international tourism industry. From an economic perspective, purely economic strength (in terms of absolute growth) appears to enhance city attractiveness for residents, while the dynamics observed in research and development activities influences the quality of employment instead of being a direct driver of population growth. While the social aspects of sustainability (framed under the concept of livability) and the urban environment typically exert higher impacts on urban attractiveness, accessibility appears mostly relevant for visitors. Our analysis suggests an uneasy balance between livability, environment, and population and visitor volume and growth.