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Where’s the city I felt in love of?

Where’s the city I felt in love of?

What do Les Rambles in Barcelona, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco or Tower Bridge in London have in common?

Fisherman's Wharf Code: San_Francisco 004

My answer is many things. The main, in my opinion, is that the residents of all those cities have abandoned the idea of using their respective touristy areas. Obviously, barely anyone from Barcelona renounces to the symbolism of les Rambles or Parc Güell. Neither in Heidelberg, its neighbors will renounce the castle. But as a matter of fact, the citizens of each tourist city have abandoned some places in favor of visitors. Few citizens of San Francisco go to the Fisherman‘s Wharf unless they are showing it to a friend who is visiting. But at the same time, all of them will feel excited when a stranger tells how much they loved walking around there.

Changing of the Guard

Is it possible to find a compromise between the number of visitors and the local life? Is it possible to know the number of visitors before the neighbors stop using an some city areas. Is there any risk that an abuse of tourism kills the spirit of a city?

Somehow, a similar thing happens in nature parks or ancient civilizations settlements. The archaeological value must be maintained to keep its interest. An abuse can damage the heritage which in turn damage its value. Consequently, natural parks and ruin management excel a strong control on the number of visitors. Machu Picchu is an example of misuse. They have an extension of two years  until 2017 before facing a potential closure (for preservation) if they want keep the category of Wonder of the world. Should a city consider similar actions before the city looses its spirit (and number of visitors)?

Columbus Codi: Barcelona_004
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