Reminder: Survey “Urban Life Amidst COVID-19”

You can still participate in the survey “Urban Life Amidst COVID-19” which is conducted by Prof. Dr. Talja Blokland (Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Dr. Johanna Hoerning (Technische Universität Berlin), and their research team. The survey focuses on Berlin’s city life amidst COVID-19.
Read more about the research project here and take the survey here.

US-American city tourism and Covid-19

The USA is strongly affected by the global pandemic. This has been apparent in the far-reaching changes in urban tourism, among other things. Bloomberg has collected data for individual cities in the USA and explores the economic effects.

The data, as well as interviews with mayors, budget directors and other government officials, offer another view of what’s at stake as lawmakers in Washington debate whether to provide more aid to coronavirus-battered states and cities.

You can find the full article here.

UNESCO Cities Platform Meeting on transformative urban tourism

On June 25, 2020 the UNESCO hold a Cities Platform online meeting and discussed various cities’ responses to COVID-19. There was also a special panel which focused on the pandemic’s impact on urban tourism:

As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, it has had an unprecedented impact on travel with the closing of virtually all destinations worldwide. Tourism was a major source of growth, employment and income for many of the world’s developing countries with over 1.5 billion people crossing international borders in 2019. Yet, millions of jobs in the travel and tourism sector are being lost every day and up to 120 million are under immediate threat.

You can find a video of the full online meeting here. The special session on transformative city tourism starts about 2:41:00.

New additions to literature collection

We have just added the following five articles to our body of literature which collects publications focussing on various aspects of new urban tourism:

Nientied, P., Toto, R. (2020). Learning from overtourism; new tourism policy for the city of Rotterdam, Urban Research & Practice,

Nieuwland, S., van Melik, R. (2020). Regulating Airbnb: how cities deal with perceived negative externalities of short-term rentals, Current Issues in Tourism, 23 (7), 811-825,

Robertson, D., Oliver, C., Nost, E. (2020). Short-term rentals as digitally-mediated tourism gentrification: impacts on housing in New Orleans, Tourism Geographies,

Stors, N. (2020). Constructing new urban tourism space through Airbnb, Tourism Geographies,

Su, X., Spierings, B., Hooimeijer, P. (2020). Different urban settings affect multi-dimensional tourist-resident interactions, Tourism Geographies,

You can find and browse through our full literature collection here.

Survey: “Urban Life Amidst COVID-19”


A research team, led by Prof. Dr. Talja Blokland (Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Dr. Johanna Hoerning (Technische Universität Berlin), is investigating the various impacts of the global pandemic on Berlin’s everyday life. In order to get a valid impression on the social consequences of COVID-19, her team has developed a survey which can be taken by anyone aged 18 and older who lives in Berlin and the surrounding area.

You can find more information on the research project here.
The survey can be taken directly here.

Contagious Cities: Facing and Understanding the Pandemic (Webinar)

Image credit: CC BY Dale Crosby Close (

The Covid-19 pandemic has and will continue to transform all aspects of our lives. Tourism and mobilities are among the areas which will be affected tremendously. On Thursday, April 30, the Cultural Research Network offers a very interesting global webinar on this issue. Contagious Cities: Facing and Understanding the Pandemic will tackle questions like:

Are we ready to face the global challenge of Covid-19 pandemic outbreak?

Do we know how microbes, migration and metropolises cohabitate or relate to each other?

Can we tap into the artistic and cultural creativity to better understand the global infectious diseases or even investigate how they travel across urban and human borders?

The webinar will raise and discuss these questions in a live conversation with artists, curators, researchers and cultural producers of the Contagious Cities, an international cultural project developed by Wellcome Trust in 2018 to mark the centenary of the 1918 flu pandemic.

The webinar will share important insights from the Contagious Cities project, that brought together international curators, artists and scientists through residences across New York, Hong Kong and Geneva to explore how epidemics spread in urban environments.

The webinar will be available via zoom. To register please visit here:

Date & Time: April 30, 2020 2:30 PM (Berlin time)

Ken Arnold – Creative Director at Wellcome (London, UK)
Sarah Henry – Chief Curator and Deputy Director at the Museum of the City of New York (New York, USA)
Ying Kwok  – Curator of Contagious Cities: Far Away, Too Close at Tai Kwun Contemporary (Hong Kong, China)
Matt Adams – Co-founder of Blast Theory (London, UK)
James Doeser – Freelance cultural researcher (London, UK)

Moderator: Natalia Grincheva

Updated blog

Our blog is updated – we edited the research group’s self-description and added the section “literature” where you can browse relevant publications addressing various aspects of new urban tourism.
Have fun going through new and modified sections!

Call for Book Chapters

The Power of New Urban Tourism: Markets, Representations and Contestations

Sybille Frank, Claudia Jürgens, Claus Müller, Anna Laura Raschke, Kristin Wellner

Topic and Objective of the Book

Since urban space is represented as an assemblage of important sights, buzzing atmospheres, distinctive local cultures and (imagined) ways of life attached to it, tourists are visiting cities in growing numbers. Recently, advertising slogans such as “live like a local” and the notion of staying in “homes” rather than in hotel rooms or holiday apartments have increasingly shifted the attention of urban tourists from sightseeing to life-seeing and life-sharing. The marketing campaigns transport the idea of embedding oneself in a residential neighborhood in order to at least temporarily attain the status of a local while traveling.

This New Urban Tourism (Maitland 2007) – a new variant of tourism that turns residential neighborhoods into tourist destinations – furthers the need of inhabitants to deal with these ever new, transient neighbors and raises questions of how to integrate them into their own notions of locals, non-locals and tourists. It also challenges the everyday life in urban neighborhoods as the routines of locals and tourists and their respective usage of public and private spaces might differ, if not clash. Touristification of everyday life, evolving usage practices of urban spaces, changing lifestyles and altering inhabitants may blur the line between distinguishable groups of users of certain spaces and expedite changes in neighborhoods and cities.

This book seeks to bring together theoretical and empirical research from different disciplines on how (and which) representations of people and places attract tourists to residential neighborhoods. How do local communities contest both these powerful representations, as well as the impact of New Urban Tourism on their neighborhoods? How is the housing market and the use of space influenced by new tourist demands?

We hope to advance the discussion on power relations, discourse and market power in housing and tourism, contested meaning-making, urban and touristic practices, and the politics of representation in the internationally rising research field of New Urban Tourism. We look for contributions that address but are not limited to one of the following themes:

Theories of New Urban Tourism

  • Theoretic reflections and discourses on New Urban Tourism
  • Relations between New Urban Tourism and other forms of mobilities
  • Postcolonial perspectives on New Urban Tourism

New Urban Tourism and Housing Market

  • Effects on rental and real estate markets and business models
  • Economic impact of peer-to-peer platforms such as Airbnb
  • Effects on traditional tourism markets and tourism infrastructures
  • Quality of life and quality of housing in urban tourist destinations
  • Its impact on work and service industries

New Urban Tourism and Contestations

  • Power relations that New Urban Tourism challenges or entails
  • Conflicts between tourists and residents in residential neighborhoods
  • ‘Touristification’ of everyday life in cities and tourist practices
  • Xenophobia and protests against tourists

Representations of New Urban Tourism

  • New Urban Tourists, their lifestyles and their travel preferences
  • Media representations of residential neighborhoods for and by travelers
  • Representations of tourists and the construction of the local
  • Identity constructions and mechanisms of (in)- and (ex)clusion
  • Representations of New Urban Tourism as vehicle for cosmopolitanism


Target Audience

The book will be of interest to academic audiences seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the social, economic, political and cultural effects of New Urban Tourism on cities and on urban quality of life in different regions of the world. It will also be useful to professionals involved in governing, planning, designing and transforming (new) urban tourism. The book will also be relevant for undergraduate, Masters and PhD students engaging in analyses of contemporary tourism.


Type of Contributions and Submission Procedure

As we aim for an interdisciplinary understanding of complex developments around New Urban Tourism, we welcome chapter proposals from different disciplines. These may be urban studies, architecture, urban planning, ethnology, anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, human geography, economics, history, political sciences, and others. We look both for empirical and theoretical chapters and especially seek for contributions those reflecting on cases of New Urban Tourism in cities of South America, Arabia, Africa, Asia and Australia. We nonetheless welcome chapters on New Urban Tourism in European and North American cities.

Please send your abstract of no more than 300 words to Anna Laura Raschke ( by December 1, 2019.


Submission deadlines

1 December 2019
An abstract of up to 300 words is to be submitted to

1 January 2020
Editors will select chapters based on the following criteria: relevance to the theme and goal of the book, originality of the contribution, theoretical rigour and quality of the empirical material. Authors of all submitted abstracts will be informed about the editorial decision via email.

29 February 2020
First draft of individual chapters to be submitted to the editors by email. Chapters need to be 6-8,000 words in length and written in English. Authors of chapters are responsible for the language editing.

30 June 2020
Feedback on the first review of chapters.

31 August 2020
Second draft of individual chapters to be submitted to the editors by email.

31 October 2020
Feedback on the second review of chapters.

30 November 2020
Final editing of chapters and book submission.

June 2021
Book publication.


Editors’ Details

Professor Dr. Sybille Frank, TU Darmstadt, Institute for Sociology,

Claudia Jürgens, TU Berlin, Institute of Architecture,

Claus Müller, TU Berlin, Institute of Architecture,

Dr. Anna Laura Raschke, TU Darmstadt, Institute for Sociology,

Professor Dr. Kristin Wellner, TU Berlin, Institute of Architecture,



Maitland, Robert (2007): Tourists, the creative class and distinctive areas in major cities. The roles of visitors and residents in developing new tourism areas. In: Greg Richards, Julie Wilson (Eds.): Tourism, creativity and development. London: Routledge (Contemporary geographies of leisure, tourism, and mobility), pp. 73–86.

Conference proceeding published

We are proud to announce the recent publication of the conference proceeding “Touristifizierung urbaner Räume?” edited by Tim Freytag and Andreas Kagermeier.

The joint conference organized by AK Tourismusforschung and AK Stadtzukünfte took place May, 22nd till 24th 2019 in Freiburg, Germany and dealt with urban transformations caused by tourism. The resulting conference proceeding contains selected talks that investigate the interrelatedness of tourism and urban change from various research perspectives, as the table of contents illustrates:

Entwicklungslinien und Perspektiven der New Urban Tourism-Forschung
Christoph Sommer, Luise Stoltenberg, Thomas Frisch & Natalie Stors

Ist der New Urban Tourist ein Choraster?
Anja Saretzki

Städtische Quartiere in der Tourismusfalle? Zur Wahrnehmung von Tourismus und Airbnb in Berlin – Ein Werkstattbericht
Claus Müller, Anna Laura Raschke, Stefan Brandt, Sybille Frank & Kristin Wellner

Touristifizierung „stadtverträglich“ machen. Neue Ansätze in der Berliner Tourismuspolitik
Nils Grube

Coworking im Kontext urbaner Räume. Problemzentrierte Einblicke aus diversitätsspezifischer, destinationsspezifischer und stadtplanerischer Perspektive
Nicolai Scherle & Markus Pillmayer

Der tourismuspolitische Handlungsrahmen urbaner Transformationsprozesse
Franziska Thiele & Nina Martha Dembowski

Tourismusberatung als Transformationsgenerator städtischer Räume – zu einer Geographie des Wissens
Karlheinz Wöhler

For more information please have a look at:

Image_Touristifizierung urbaner Räume

Urban Political Episodes on “Reclaiming the Tourist City”

Reclaiming the Tourist City at world-famous Checkpoint Charlie? Two episodes of the new Urban Political Podcast (on Urban Theory, Research and Action) are dealing with this very question. Amongst an architect, politicians and a building historian, Christoph Sommer from our Urban Research Group contributed his point of view.

Part 1 is about Heritage Preservation and Urban Development at Checkpoint Charlie. Much-visited by tourists and generally avoided by Berliners, the site has faced growing conflict over plans to develop a hotel, Hard Rock Cafe and museum. This first part details the historical importance of the empty plots at the former Cold War border crossing and reflects on wider debates about heritage, tourism and urban development.Find out why urban emptiness can have heritage value.

Part 2 is about Regaining Democratic Control in the course of the redevelopment of this must see. This episode examines the extent to which democratic control has been exerted in the Checkpoint Charlie case and how development plans have been modified under increased pressure from societal groups. Listen to hear about the possibilities of contesting tourist-centred developments in inner cities and why activists should never automatically trust a leftwing government.