Special Issue of Tourism Geographies
Cultural Ecosystem Services (CES) and Placemaking in Peripheral Areas
Call for Paper Proposals
This Special Issue integrates placemaking and cultural ecosystems services as two theoretical frameworks of growing pertinence to the examination of, and planning for, tourism in peripheral areas. The central question raised in this Special Issue is:
How do peripheral areas engage in planned tourism placemaking as a means of a holistically integrated and sustainable futures development?
The term peripheral area is used to encompass the locational and functional context commonly associated with remote islands and archipelagoes, desert areas, mountainous and alpine regions, rural locations, indigenous communities, and other areas at the edge and beyond metropolitan centres of geopolitical and sociocultural power and influence.
Interrogating centre-periphery relations is an enduring multidisciplinary endeavour on account of the inherent dynamics, interrelationships and tensions between metropolitan centres and peripheries. This is especially pertinent to tourism where core-periphery relations tend to be in abidance with the framework of the core as a tourist generating area and the periphery as a tourist destination area (Leiper, 1979). This phenomenon was noted early on in Walter Christaller’s (1963, p. 96) observation that “[i]t is typical for places of tourism to be on the periphery”. Christaller also alluded to the seasonal characteristics of tourism visitation to peripheral areas, as well as the attendant transformations that sculpt its people and places, stating that “tourism gives the economically underdeveloped regions a chance to develop themselves” (p. 104). Christaller’s sentiments continue to echo throughout the tourism industry, as the underlying drivers of tourism development in peripheral areas continue to be characterized by dependencies defined by the core.
Peripheral areas around the globe frequently face an array of pressures including: (1) the effects of climate change (Kelman, 2014; Wyss, Luthe & Abegg, 2015); (2) contested and unequal economic development (Hall & Boyd, 2005; Müller & Janson, 2007); (3) the extraction of natural resources (Carson & Carson, 2011); (4) geopolitical confrontations (Mansfield & Korman, 2015; Mostafanezhad & Norum, 2016; Rowen, 2016); and (5) the urban-rural divide (Makki, 2004; Nørgaard, 2014). Accordingly, the concepts of placemaking and cultural ecosystems services have emerged as increasingly interrelated facets underpinning the futures of peripheral areas, and the ways in which they develop and employ adaptive responses to rapidly unfolding contexts (Cheer & Lew, 2018; Lew & Cheer, 2018).
Placemaking is a central influence over ‘sense of place’, including notions of well-being that are framed by multifarious dimensions of place and reinforced by how societies ascribe meanings to place (Friedman, 2010). As Lew (2017) points out, placemaking as a planned and deliberate exertion should be distinguished from place-making as an organically-driven, bottom-up process. This acknowledgement evokes a critical distinction reflecting agency, authority, ownership, and ultimately sense of place. In this Special Issue, we focus on tourism placemaking as a planned process that is socially structured with intentional and desired outcomes in mind, while recognizing the ever-present tension between structure and agency that any real place embodies. In the case of peripheral areas, planned tourism placemaking often occurs as part of a deliberative approach to sustainable development and community resilience, driven by pressing needs for economic development, livelihood diversification and control over future outcomes. These objectives are almost always grounded in the critical ecosystems services with which peripheral areas are closely aligned.
Cultural ecosystems services (CES) are the essential socio-cultural benefit that an ecosystem provides and constitute one of the four major components of ecosystems services (Hirons et al, 2016). CES, which includes the tourism services provided by an ecosystem, are the essential markers that underline the significances of people and place, making them central to planned placemaking interventions. CES includes human perceptions, attachments and embodiments that are often intangible, non-economic, aesthetic, and rooted in the existential connections of people and place (Smith & Yael, 2017). Definitions of CES necessarily engage with a range of “disciplines including ecology, economics, and the social sciences” (Milcu, 2013 et al, p. 44). CES are considered essential to human well-being and are a “product of the dynamic, complex, [and] spiritual relationships between ecosystems and humans, across landscapes, and often over long time periods” (Hirons et al, 2016, p. 548). CES facilitates a holistic human-in-nature perspective as a base for related aspects of change, well-being, resilience and vulnerability. These characteristics are pertinent preoccupations in the discourse on the development of peripheral area and their attendant communities and ecosystems. Attempts to ground definitions of CES have been challenged by slippery conceptualisations due to the variegations in the complicated nature of what we call “culture” and its secondary status in relation to extractive and regulatory ecosystem services (Lew & Wu, 2018). We believe that tourism placemaking offers a potent perspective that will advance the theory and applications of CES.
The Special Issue will address the research question noted above: How do peripheral areas engage in planned tourism placemaking as a means of a holistically integrated and sustainable futures development? Answers to this question will provide insights into the implications of change trajectories on fundamental place identities and in situ cultural ecosystems services. In linking cultural ecosystems services to tourism placemaking, we anticipate that the papers in this special issue will assess the ‘human-in-nature’ context and investigate the extent to which cultural variables influence ecosystems services relationships and outcomes critical to the placemaking endeavor and to community resilience building. Additionally, Smith and Ram’s (2017) recent assertion that there is a dearth of research examining cultural ecosystems services, especially in terms of its links to humans in nature, is taken up in this Special Issue. This is especially pertinent where change is driven by developments that abut awkwardly and impinge on an established ‘sense of place’, which might include rapid and unsustainable tourism development, population growth and/or the establishment of unprecedented extractive industries.
Papers in this Special Issue will draw from critical multi-disciplinary perspectives on tourism placemaking and CES in peripheral area contexts. An essential focus on the links between placemaking and cultural ecosystems services is desirable, although papers that focus primarily on placemaking or solely on CES and tourism are also welcome.
Special Issue Timeline:
Keywords: Peripheral areas, periphery, placemaking, cultural ecosystems services (CES), sense of place, sustainable development