The regional-local nexus: A landscape-based integral design strategy for sustainable tourism development

Jesper Borsje, Ruud Tak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose -The purpose of this project is to investigate what a landscape architecture approach could add to sustainable tourism development. Design - Spatial design is used as tool to investigate the chances and possibilities of sustainable tourism. Methodology - In the project we used research by design as method. This is done by doing a case study on the Dubrovnik Riviera, where we tested our concepts, ideas and methods in practice. During the case study we used participation, the layer approach of de Hoog and Sijmons (1996) and the landscape approach of Koh (2010) as our main methods. Approach - Using the local landscape and culture as base and inspiration for the development of sustainable tourism. Combined with tourism trends and the input of local stakeholders we worked out a spatial plan. Findings - The landscape including natural and cultural qualities can serve as a perfect base for the development of new forms of sustainable tourism: - A touristic region should function as a system, where all villages are working together adding something unique to the whole system - An efficient extensive public transport network and zoning can help developing a region sustainable - A combination between a bottom-up and top-down approach is needed to implement sustainable tourism, creating preconditions for each other to function optimally. So, we can conclude that a landscape-based design approach gives a significant new insight in how sustainable tourism can be developed in practice. The originality of this research - The landscape architecture approach fills the gap between ideas about sustainable tourism and the practical applicability of it. Using the local landscape and culture sets a sustainable framework for developing sustainable tourism and results in a working tourism system led by the local community. Using landscape architecture in sustainable tourism development is a new, but very interesting and promising addition to the current research and concrete development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-82
Number of pages18
JournalTourism and Hospitality Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Design
  • Integral
  • Landscape
  • Landscape architecture
  • Multi-scale
  • Participation


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