Balancing tourism growth as productive and disruptive fiction. A discursive-institutional approach to urban planning

Ruby Neugebauer, Martijn Duineveld, I.M. Buizer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


The claimed successes of the city of Amsterdam in terms of its innovativeness and popularity for tourists have come together with growing concerns about over-crowding, noise pollution, a decreased visitor experience and alienated residents. The municipal government responded with the “Stad in Balans” (City in Balance) program, with spatial distribution as an important part of a solution to the perceived pressures. Through a discursive-institutional approach (DI), we analyse how the idea and discourse of ‘balance’ and ‘spreading’ has been institutionalised and how it got remoulded in this process. An in-depth qualitative analysis of the relocation of the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA) serves as an embedded case to sharpen our theoretical framework and to illustrate the discourse(s) on the spatial distribution of visitors and institutional dynamics that influenced each other over time, leading into new moments of institutionalization that shifted emphasis from ‘spreading within in the city’ to ‘spreading beyond the city’s borders’. But that, when taken together, and in spite of new political leadership in the city, brushed aside community concerns. Above all, it created a high sense of uncertainty for players such as PTA and citizens alike, raising the question whether or not the policy turmoil fundamentally altered the city’s growth-oriented tourism policy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAESOP 2019 Conference - Book of Abstracts
Subtitle of host publicationPlanning for Transition
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
EventAssociation of European Schools of Planning conference 2019: Planning for transition - Università Iuav di Venezia, Venice, Italy
Duration: 9 Jul 201913 Jul 2019


ConferenceAssociation of European Schools of Planning conference 2019
Abbreviated titleAESOP
Internet address


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