Research projects

Age-inclusive cycling and urban transformations in tourist cities

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ENTOURAGE is a research project awarded to Rovira i Virgili University under the EU-funded call Marie Skłodowska-Curie – H2020-MSCA-IF-2020. EN-TOUR-AGE stands for “European tourist cities in transformation: constructing age- friendly tourism mobilities” and is led by Dr Wilbert den Hoed. The project will run until August 2023.

ENTOURAGE investigates the transformations and weaknesses of urban mobility in tourist cities, and their effects on the inclusion of older residents and tourists. It investigates the prospects and implications of age-friendly tourism for urban planning and management, within a framework of sustainability and compatibility with the daily lives of residents. The study analyses the following urban mobility issues:

  1. practices of negotiation of urban space: how older visitors and residents in tourist cities negotiate tourism spaces and engage in sustainable urban mobility.
  2. the production of urban space through the perspective of mobile and less mobile communities, to understand the potentially marginalising role of mobilities for some groups and individuals.
  3. the discourses around social inclusion and age diversity that underpin policy strategies of urban transformation and sustainable mobility.
Source: Trouw, 24/04/2021. Image: Carmen Secanella

The study uses interview methods and mobile participatory activities to understand older adults’ experience of urban mobility and urban tourism spaces. These methods will be applied in the city of Barcelona, while case studies in Amsterdam and Venice will act as references for policy and practical approaches. All three cities affected by social and mobility exclusion stemming from ‘over-tourism’ and, currently, by the international tourism slowdown. As a result, the project explores new requirements to inform inclusive and sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery strategies.

The project is carried out by the award recipient, Wilbert den Hoed, and by Dr Antonio Paolo Russo, professor at the Department of Geography of the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) in Tarragona, Spain. Wilbert holds a PhD in Human Geography from Newcastle University (2018), and has postdoctoral research experience at the European Policies Research Centre of the Strathclyde and Delft Technological Universities. ENTOURAGE, furthermore, collaborates with the Urban Ageing Research Group at the University of Manchester and the urban innovation promotion company SerenDPT in Venice. The project also benefits from its vicinity to the H2020 SMARTDEST project, led by the URV, which deals with social exclusion in tourist destinations.