II Intelligent Coast International Symposium  

28th, 29th May, 2009 in Barcelona

Directed by :
Manuel Gausa (Intelligent Coast, UPC), Silvia Banchini (Intelligent Coast, UPC), Luis Falcón (Intelligent Coast, UPC)

cartel simposio

  The II Intelligent Coast International Symposium aims at fomenting the I+D+I and creating, in this second edition, a place of meeting, discussion and opinion about the development strategies of the coastal urban concentrations of the XXI century. The 2009 Symposium will address the borders, strategies and parameters that define the competitiveness of European cities competing with Barcelona based on its urban-production models, strategic infrastructure, and business-tourism. It will be discussed by comparing their levels of connectivity, competitiveness indexes in terms of tourist destinations and their tourist innovation capabilities within urban strategies that bet on new sectors related to ICT and the knowledge economy.

The Second International Symposium Tourism XXL, aims at defining criteria for a strategic development of a tourism policy able to integrate the tourism factors and the urban factors. The symposium aims at discussing the parameters that define the rate of innovation of a tourist model development within a metropolis based on a leisure and knowledge economy.
Therefore it will be invited thinkers, businessmen and politicians to debate and to take position on three main transversal subjects:


1-LIMITS: which is the real scale, the borders (geographical, population, economic, environmental) and which is the area of influence of a metropolitan coastal region whose economic model takes tourism as one of the strategic engines of dynamization?
Which is the role of networks, both physical and digital, within the process of development and planning a coastal tourist city?
2-TOOLS: Which tools of mediation and negotiation are operating to rethink the potential development and their points of conflict between the tourist factors and urban socio-economic factors?
3-DEVELOPMENT: How does the project strategically design a new scenario for the future, through the architecture of events or through an integral project of a hybrid system? How do we complement a leisure city with a city of innovation, where the creative production and the economic success in its main sectors joint a social cohesion and an environmental intelligent use of its resources?


4-LIMITS: Which are the indicators able to measure the level of competitiveness of a coastal tourist metropolis? How do we measure the loading capacity of tourism and its effects on changong habits, quality of life, integration of its people?
5-INSTRUMENTS: Who are the players and leaders within the dynamic process of defining a strategy for the city and its tourist use? How do we design competitive policies able to be resilient with the urban, social and economic environment where are they developed?
6-DEVELOPMENT: How do we design a brand / new tourist products for the future, supported by a coherent urban model and mediated among all the agents involved,  benefited for it?            

The theoretical basis of the debate will be formulated upon a research developed with Josep Francesc Valls, head of the Department of Marketing Management and of the Tourism Management Center of ESADE, during 2008. This research focuses on gathering data coming from many experts that generate the hypothesis of II International Symposium: Tourism XXL.
The Metropolitan Region of Barcelona will be the main case studies, compared with other competing metropolises regarding their characteristics or differential elements (Benchmarking). The project aims at identifying the differential axes that could redefine the strategic planning of a Metropolitan city-region where tourism represents one of the main economical engines. The main issues of the debate will show definition criteria for an integral relation between the urban tourism phenomenon and its new challenges: the commercialization via Internet, the pressure of hybrid fluxes generated by low cost companies, the international competition and the challenge imposed by climatic change related to resources’ use and the redefinition of the area of influence.

The II Intelligent Coast International Symposium harvests the reflection initiated in the I Symposium. Then, intellectuals, businessmen and politicians were invited to debate about new models of development for coastal regions, considered privileged geographical sites for tourist economy and new society. The debate focused especially on the Spanish Mediterranean Coast. Over the last two decades the metropolises of the South Europe and the Mediterranean ones have become the new destinations of internal and external European migratory fluxes, especially those coming from the North Europe. Meanwhile, a process of urban sprawl is being registered in them by a wide and rapid growth. In less then 30 years a big part of the cities and European metropolitan regions have doubled and in some cases tripled the occupation of the urban areas in relation to their previous history. Spain occupies the second place in the global ranking per number of tourists and per revenues of tourist sector. Currently it is experiencing the most accelerated urbanization process of its history. Today, its Mediterranean coast holds 44% of the population and 42% of the GDP. 17 million inhabitants concentrate only in the coastal provinces of the Mediterranean. According to the National Institute of Statistics this figure will ascend to 21 million by 2020. On that year, on that same territory, the arrival of 18 million tourists is expected. With an increase of development and levels of concentration similar to those in Shangai, Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo, the Spanish Mediterranean coast has become the first European tourist megalopolis. Who governs this new geopolitical entity today? Facing the urban pressure, the effects of globalization, the change of climatic conditions, the necessity of the optimization of resources, low cost aerial transportation and high speed terrestrial mobility, how do we redefine the coast as a project?

The next edition of the Symposium pretends to broaden its scale and focus its debate about coastal urban concentrations with the objective of:
- establishing a qualitative dimension of a coastal tourist metropolis, in terms of the pondering of factors related to its geographical and territorial structure, its dimension and population type, its economical model and its resources;
- defining the role, potential, and the possible conflicts derived from the fast development of the physical and digital infrastructures in all public and private sectors involved in the process of decision making and actual proceeding upon the territory;
- exploring a new strategic vision based upon a system of indicators related not as much to a society of an industrial foundation, as to one dependent on the tertiary sector; characterized, above all, by the emphasis acquired by the qualitative in relation to the dominance of the quantitative.

The Barcelona Model, was an internationally recognized local management experience that tried to combine the improvement of infrastructures and urban equipment, correct the city’s social inequalities, ameliorate the quality of life and of urban design focusing on the improvement of the esthetic and physical quality of the space, enhance decentralization and welcome the movement towards the districts and autonomous entities and promote civil participation. The Barcelona Model hoped to solve the social, environmental and democratic deficit inherited from the Franco era, taking advantage of the new political conditions and the creative and enterprising cultural tradition of a free Mediterranean city.

The Symposium will be held for 1 day and a half, articulated into 3 parts:

It seeks to understand the role of excellence of the network infrastructures in the new economy - both physical and digital -. The discussion will aim at defining how far cities are structured by their networks and how they affect their processes of change.

The objective of this session is to analyse the urban factor (Urbis) of some European tourist cities, according to others elements related to their geographical and territorial structures, their size and type of population, their economic models and their resources, in order to find common experiences and potential strategies for an innovative process of change. The discussion will seek to define the role, the potentials and the possible conflicts arising by the success of tourism economy within complex urban systems.

3 - The Metropolis and the Knowledge / CAPACITY OF INNOVATION
It aims to define criteria for a project able to integrate the urban factor (Urbis) with the tourist factor.  The latter one becomes a source of opportunity for negotiation with the territory and with its society rather than a threat for the identity, local authenticity, social cohesion, economic stability, and precarious environment. The discussion will seek to define new productive sectors linked to a knowledge based economy, which benefit from tourism success and drive the development of new urban models.

Barcelona is the central case studies of the debate, as a metropolis in the ideal time to reinvent a new own storyboard capable of implementing a change in terms of tourist destination model as well as urban model with a high quality of life.

The Symposium count on conferences, roundtables and dialogues among experts, politicians and private agents linked to the tourist market and the development of coastal cities. The program will be published in coming months.


The assistance of local, national and international personalities from the fields of culture, politics, business and opinion is expected. The capacity is limited to 150 people who could book their ticket at Intelligent Coast’s Web page:
Send an email to Victoria Puigdevalls:  with your name, surname and the number of ticket you want to book.

28th of May: 4:00 - 8:00 pm
29th of May: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Function Room, Museu Picasso
c/ Montcada 15-23, 08003

80 Euros
Seating is limited to the first 150 registrants

Book your ticket sending an email to:

Simoultaneous interpretation

tf: 0034 93 4513664

You can make a flight reservation at Agencia ITB
Tfn: 93 481 77 08 - Fx: 93 318 60 53

Organisation: Intelligent Coast
Directed by: Manuel Gausa, Silvia Banchini and Luis Falcón
Sponsors:Ayuntamiento de Barcelona, Diputación de Barcelona, Generalitat de Cataluña, Fundación UPC, Agencia de Viaje ITB.
Colaborators: Museo Picasso

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