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The term Tourbanity, invented as a new research identity to measure the relationship between tourism, urban planning, and sustainability, is authored by Architect Boutique Ibrahim Joharji.

Tourbanity” is a fusion of three key concepts:

  • “Tour” from “Tourism” represents tourism.
  • “Urban” stands for urban environments and planning.
  • “Sustainability” reflects the comprehensive concept of sustainability.


  • Transportation:
    • Air travel, land, and local transportation.
  • Tourist Activities:
    • Travelling between tourist sites, guided tours.
  • Shopping:
    • Purchasing souvenirs and gifts.

2. Urban Planning:

  • Infrastructure:
    • Construction and maintenance of roads, airports, and hotels.
  • Accommodation:
    • Operation of hotels and resorts.
  • Food and Beverage:
    • Production and distribution of food and beverages.
  • Waste:
    • Disposal of solid and liquid waste.

3. Sustainability:

  • Waste:
    • Waste management and recycling.
  • Energy Consumption:
    • Energy usage in various activities and services during the trip.
  • Practical Research:
    • Research on sustainability and efficient resource management.
  • Sustainable Design:
    • Designing infrastructure and buildings in an environmentally friendly and resource-efficient manner.

These categories illustrate how different factors can intertwine and affect each other in the realms of tourism, urban planning, and sustainability.

Transportation: Transportation is the most significant contributor to a tourist’s carbon footprint. It’s responsible for around 75% of the carbon emissions in the tourism sector​1​​2​.

Accommodation: Accommodation contributes a significant portion of the carbon emissions in tourism, specifically around 20% of the total emissions​3​.Activities: Although the exact breakdown for activities was not found, it’s known that they contribute to the remaining portion of a tourist’s carbon footprint after accounting for transportation and accommodation emissions.

Urban Planning, Sustainability, and Tourism: A Complex Interplay

Certain cities face challenges in sustaining tourism due to urban planning issues.

Examples span across tourism, urban planning, and sustainability.

Tourism issues include overcrowding and congestion in famous tourist cities.

Urban planning problems encompass urban sprawl in cities like Atlanta, sinking issues in Jakarta, air pollution in New Delhi, and building collapses in Marseille, all stemming from unsustainable urban development.

Sustainability concerns involve inadequate waste management and poorly managed public transportation.

There is an interconnection between these issues, as poor urban planning can lead to unsustainable practices, negatively affecting tourism.

For instance, a lack of effective public transportation can result in increased personal vehicle use, contributing to congestion and pollution.

Similarly, urban sprawl can lead to longer travel times and less accessible tourist attractions.

Hence, coordinated efforts between urban planning and sustainability are vital for ensuring a thriving and enjoyable tourism sector in these cities. n our research, we embarked on an extensive comparison of three diverse cities: Mecca, Los Angeles, and Paris. This comprehensive analysis delved into various aspects, including tourism, urban planning, and sustainability. To ensure accuracy and efficiency in our evaluations, we harnessed the power of artificial intelligence. This cutting-edge technology allowed us to process vast amounts of data, enabling a thorough examination of each city’s strengths and weaknesses. By employing AI, we gained valuable insights into key factors such as tourist attractions, accommodation, environmental sustainability, and urban planning. Through this innovative approach, we aim to provide a holistic view of these cities, facilitating informed decisions for sustainable urban development and tourism.

The relationship between tourism and the environment has been a subject of analysis due to the environmental impacts associated with tourism activities. Here are some key findings and statistics:

  1. Carbon Footprint Increase (2009-2013): Between 2009 and 2013, the global carbon footprint of tourism increased from 3.9 to 4.5 GtCO2e, which was four times more than previously estimated. This increase accounted for about 8% of global emissions during that period​1​.
  2. Tourism Industry Growth (2019): In 2019, the global tourism industry accounted for 10.3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 10% of the world’s total employment. Despite being a low-carbon industry, tourism plays a leading role in global climate change mitigation, energy conservation, and emission reduction efforts​2​.
  3. Increase in International Visits (2000-2010): The number of international visits worldwide rose from 675 million in 2000 to 940 million in 2010, demonstrating the growth of the tourism sector. The industry contributed 9% to the global GDP during this period​3​.
  4. Projected Environmental Impact (through 2050): Under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario, it’s projected that tourism could lead to a 154% increase in energy consumption, a 131% increase in greenhouse gas emissions, a 152% increase in water consumption, and a 251% increase in solid waste disposal by 2050. This projection underscores the need for sustainability to be a central aspect of tourism development moving forward​4​.

These findings indicate the significant environmental impact of the tourism sector, emphasizing the importance of sustainable practices to mitigate negative effects while supporting economic growth. The data also illustrates the growth of the tourism sector over the years and its contribution to global GDP and employment.

The interplay between tourism, urban planning, and climate change presents a complex scenario of challenges and opportunities. Here’s an analysis based on the data and information gathered:

  1. Climate Vulnerability on Tourism Revenues:
    • Climate vulnerability significantly affects international tourism revenues. The negative effect is both statistically and economically substantial across various regions, underscoring the critical intersection between climate change and the tourism sector​1​.
  2. Tourism’s Vulnerability and Contribution to Climate Change:
    • The tourism sector is highly vulnerable to climate change while also contributing to it. It faces diverse threats including extreme weather events, pollution, water shortages, biodiversity loss, and damage to assets and attractions at destinations, which are exacerbated by climate change​2​.
  3. Urbanization, Climate Change, and Health:
    • The urban heat island effect, intensified by urbanization, along with climate change, are expected to heighten the risk of poor human health in cities globally by the mid-21st century​3​.
  4. Global Urbanization Trends:
    • Currently, 55% of the global population resides in cities, a figure projected to rise to 68% by 2050. This urban migration, propelled by new economic models and globalization, is altering the configuration of cities, leading to challenges like accelerated urban sprawl, urban mobility pollution, and gentrification among others​4​.
  5. Urban Climate Resilience:
    • Cities worldwide are highly susceptible to climate-related risks, and with the acceleration in urban growth, the exposure to such risks is increasing. It’s imperative for cities to adopt an integrated, climate risk-informed development approach to advance resilient living and livelihoods. The urban areas are major contributors to global GDP and carbon emissions, hence play a pivotal role in climate change dynamics. The escalating urbanization is driving challenges like inequality, pollution, and climate change exposure, especially in coastal cities. The stress on city resources due to rapid urban changes necessitates a multi-sector systems approach to bolstering resilience against climate change impacts​5​.
  6. Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Planning:
    • A survey among over 700 communities globally explored the state of climate adaptation and mitigation planning. It highlighted the challenges cities are facing and how networks among various stakeholders influence climate policies design, indicating a collaborative approach towards addressing climate change challenges in urban settings​6​.

These insights underline the pressing need for comprehensive planning and adaptive strategies to navigate the intertwined challenges of tourism, urbanization, and climate change while working towards a sustainable and resilient future.

Sustainable urban planning, particularly in tourist cities, entails a multifaceted approach involving a blend of historical preservation, modern development, and environmental conservation. Here’s an analysis based on the gathered data:

  1. Heritage Trail Approach:
    • A study examined the concept of a ‘heritage trail’ in historical areas as a mechanism for achieving sustainability goals. This approach fosters direct interactions among different stakeholders involved in urban development within historical regions, aiming to balance modernization with heritage preservation​1​.
  2. Definition of Sustainable Urban Planning:
    • Sustainable urban planning is defined as the “development strategies and practices in cities that ensure livable, self-sustaining communities over the long term.” It involves a critical examination of development approaches to ensure they promote long-term sustainability​2​.
  3. Holistic Approach:
    • A holistic approach towards urban and port planning, especially in the context of cruise tourism, has been suggested to trigger more sustainable urban planning. This approach looks at the broader picture of infrastructure development supporting tourism growth, hinting at an integrated method of planning that caters to both the tourism sector and urban sustainability​3​.
  4. Historical Origin of Sustainability Planning:
    • The body of knowledge concerning urban sustainability planning has its roots in the 18-19th century discourses on environmental and social justice. However, contemporary Sustainable Development (SD) theory and practice were significantly shaped by seminal works of the 1970-1980s, showing a long-standing evolution of sustainability considerations in urban planning​4​.
  5. Tourism as a Tool for Social Sustainability:
    • Tourism is recognized as an instrument to support political stability, social sustainability, peace, cultural exchange, and knowledge. The partnership between tourism sectors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) underscores a collaborative approach towards leveraging tourism for urban sustainability, especially in contexts facing social and political challenges​5​.

These insights showcase a progressive and multi-dimensional approach to sustainable urban planning in tourist cities. The intertwining of heritage preservation, modern development, and environmental conservation forms a critical framework for ensuring that urban planning in tourist cities is both sustainable and beneficial to all stakeholders involved.

The role of urban planning in supporting sustainable tourism is crucial for fostering economic growth, preserving cultural heritage, and promoting environmental sustainability. Here are some key points and examples based on the gathered information:

  1. Transportation, Accommodation, and Attractions:
    • Urban planning can significantly enhance sustainable tourism by providing efficient and accessible transportation, diverse and affordable accommodation, and attractions that showcase the cultural and historical heritage of a region​1​.
  2. Sustainable Cities Index:
    • The “Sustainable Cities Index” assesses the sustainability performance of 100 cities around the world, focusing on balancing the immediate needs of today without compromising future demands. This index can guide urban planners in developing strategies that support sustainable tourism while addressing the core sustainability dimensions​2​.
  3. Examples of Sustainable Urban Planning:
    • Some cities have initiated inspiring sustainable urban planning practices, like Barcelona’s implementation of “superblocks” to reduce traffic and promote pedestrian-friendly spaces. In Amsterdam, a self-watering green tram shelter with a rainwater storage system has been introduced. Such innovative urban planning examples reflect a commitment to sustainability while catering to the needs of tourists and residents alike​3​.
  4. Urban Tourism as a Development Driver:
    • Urban tourism can be a driving force in the development of cities and countries, contributing to the progress of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 11: Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable​4​.
  5. Residents’ Involvement:
    • Engaging residents in urban tourism planning is essential for fostering sustainable practices. Advances in technology can reshape tourism planning and residents’ engagement, helping cities work towards more sustainable urban planning practices​5​.

These insights emphasize the role of urban planning in aligning the goals of sustainable tourism with the broader objectives of urban sustainability, cultural preservation, and community engagement. Through innovative planning strategies, cities can create a conducive environment for sustainable tourism, which in turn, can spur economic growth, social cohesion, and environmental conservation.

The future of tourism and its relationship with sustainability entails a complex landscape of challenges and opportunities. Here’s a synthesis of insights based on the gathered data:

  1. Future Directions for Tourism Research:
    • Research in sustainable tourism is highlighted as crucial for understanding and addressing the challenges faced by the sector. The engagement of diverse stakeholders is emphasized as key in navigating these challenges towards more sustainable practices​1​.
  2. Innovation and Sustainability:
    • Experts assert that a focus on innovation and sustainability will be pivotal for tourism owners and managers to recover and thrive post-pandemic. A sustainable approach is seen as central to driving global economic development as travel restrictions ease​2​.
  3. Post-Pandemic Resilience:
    • The COVID-19 pandemic caused a loss of $4.5 trillion and 62 million jobs in the travel and tourism sector globally in 2020. However, as the world recovers, there’s potential for the sector to rebound as an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient sector with key transformations aimed at sustainability​3​.
  4. Complex System of Global Tourism:
    • Tourism is described as a complex system within a dynamic framework exposed to rapid and challenging developments. The existing research does not fully capture the global challenges that could shape the worldwide tourism system in the future concerning both the industry and society​4​.
  5. Environmental Challenges:
    • Tourism is estimated to account for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental challenges are highlighted, with local environmental issues arising from unchecked growth in tourism. The temporary closure of sites is seen as a reaction to these challenges, emphasizing the importance of a sustainable approach​5​.

These insights underline the importance of a multifaceted approach towards understanding and addressing the challenges and opportunities inherent in the interplay between tourism and sustainability as we move into the future. Sustainable practices, innovative approaches, and robust research frameworks are emphasized as crucial components in navigating the complex landscape of global tourism.

Good urban and civil planning has a significant impact on sustainable tourism through the following means:

  1. Infrastructure Improvement:
    • Efficient and accessible transportation systems, diverse and affordable accommodation options, and well-preserved attractions are facilitated by sound urban planning. For instance, Barcelona’s “superblocks” initiative reduced traffic and promoted pedestrian-friendly spaces, enhancing the overall tourist experience​1​.
  2. Heritage and Environmental Protection:
    • Urban planning helps preserve historical sites and natural landscapes which are central to sustainable tourism. The Heritage Trail Approach in certain historical areas is a prime example where urban planning balances modernization with heritage preservation, promoting sustainable tourism​2​.
  3. Economic Growth Stimulation:
    • Tourism, driven by effective urban planning, can be a significant economic growth engine. For example, in 2019, the global tourism industry contributed 10.3% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounted for 10% of the world’s total employment, showcasing the sector’s economic importance​3​.
  4. Community Engagement Encouragement:
    • Engaging residents in urban tourism planning is essential for fostering sustainable practices. Advances in technology are reshaping tourism planning and residents’ engagement, which in turn, help cities work towards more sustainable urban planning practices​4​.
  5. Sustainable Urban Planning Practices:
    • Employing sustainable urban planning practices like green building designs, energy-efficient systems, and waste management solutions are crucial for reducing the environmental impact of tourism activities.
  6. Resilience Building:
    • Urban planning aimed at resilience helps cities and tourist destinations better manage and recover from various challenges, thereby supporting sustainable tourism. For instance, the Sustainable Cities Index guides urban planners in developing strategies that support sustainable tourism while addressing core sustainability dimensions​5​.

These facets underscore the importance of integrating good urban and civil planning with sustainable tourism objectives to foster a mutually beneficial relationship between the tourism sector and urban communities.

The interplay between urban planning and sustainable tourism is pivotal for global economic and environmental sustainability. Effective urban planning, showcased by initiatives like Barcelona’s “superblocks,” can reduce traffic by significant margins, promoting eco-friendly, pedestrian-centric spaces​1​. Tourism, contributing 10.3% to global GDP and accounting for 10% of worldwide employment in 2019, underscores its economic significance​2​. However, with an 8% contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, the sector also highlights a pressing environmental concern​3​. Moving forward, a synergized approach between urban planning and sustainable tourism—fueled by innovation, community engagement, and resilience-building strategies—can forge a pathway towards a balanced economic growth, environmental conservation, and social inclusivity in the global tourism landscape.

The environmental impact of aviation is a well-acknowledged issue, contributing significantly to the carbon emissions associated with tourism. Currently, aviation is an indispensable part of international tourism, with its avoidance being challenging due to the lack of widespread effective alternatives.

Upon tourists’ arrival, urban planning and architecture become crucial factors in determining the sustainability of the tourism experience. Proper urban planning can mitigate environmental needs and enhance efficiency through:

  1. Eco-friendly Design: Designing buildings and urban areas in a way that conserves energy and minimizes waste can significantly contribute to sustainability. For instance, green building designs can reduce energy use by up to 50%.
  2. Efficient Public Transportation Systems: Providing efficient public transportation reduces reliance on private cars and decreases emissions. For example, cities with well-established public transportation systems can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 37% compared to cities heavily reliant on personal vehicles.
  3. Resource Management: Implementing effective water and waste management practices are crucial. Cities with effective waste management systems can recycle up to 60% of the waste generated, minimizing the environmental footprint.

Architecture also plays a pivotal role in achieving sustainability, with the potential to improve energy efficiency. Also, reduce emissions through environmentally friendly designs. For instance, energy-efficient building designs can lower energy consumption by 30-50%, and renewable energy installations in urban areas can significantly offset carbon emissions. In summary, that urban planning and architecture play a significant role in achieving sustainability post the aviation stage. However, innovations in the aviation industry can also make a substantial difference in reducing the overall environmental impact of tourism. The synergy between urban planning, architecture, and sustainable aviation practices can provide a comprehensive approach to addressing the environmental challenges associated with tourism.

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