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A one day Interdisciplinary PhD colloquium in the fields of architecture, planning, urban regeneration, tourism, construction and transport.


School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Westminster, London

 6th July 2009

‘Understanding Places’ will be the central theme of this PhD colloquium organised by the doctoral students from the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at University of Westminster, London. This one day colloquium will act as a platform for knowledge exchange, creative thinking, discussion and a networking opportunity.

Do not miss this unique opportunity for PhD students to share ideas, meet and network in the vibrant and inspiring environment of central London!


This conference will explore the concept of place in a number of ways – for example, by investigating how socio-cultural-political processes and interactions create place, how people relate to and perceive places, and how movement and mobility affect sense of place. Following the key strands within the overarching category of the Built Environment abstracts for papers are invited for the following categories:

  • Architecture; 
  • Planning;
  • Urban Development and Regeneration
  • Tourism;
  • Transport;
  • Property and Construction Management;
  • Adjoining fields of social sciences that are involved in related research.
  • PhD students undertaking interdisciplinary research connected to the main topic areas are also welcome to submit papers. In addition to this, we would like to encourage entries on:
  • PhD-related issues (examples of this could be particular stages of  research degree - transfer, viva, writing up)
  • Specific research methods
  • Different types of thesis (e.g. PhD by design)



The School of Architecture and the Built Environment is located at the University of Westminster's Marylebone Campus, opposite Baker Street tube station in central London. SABE is involved in a wide variety of interdisciplinary research activities relating to all aspects of architecture and the built environment, ranging from city planning and regeneration to transport and tourism. 




A Best Paper Prize will be awarded by the Journal of Place Management and Development. The prize will consist of the following:


  •  1 year free online subscription to the Journal of Place Management and Development (equivalent to over £200),
  •  Promotion of the award-winning paper and author via their international networks,
  •  A framed certificate for the winner, and
  •  An invitation to submit the winning paper for possible publication in the Journal of Place Management and Development subject to review.


Monday, July 6th 2009. 



University of Westminster, London, Marylebone Campus, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS.




Some colloquium papers are available below as pdf's:


Marie Avellino Stewart

Title: Negotiation, Imagination and Re-invention of Place



Malta is highly dependent on tourism and as a mature market, is witnessing a decline in tourism arrivals, especially from Britain. This paper is part of a PhD Dissertation (work in progress), which aims to identify the motivators for travel for the British mature market which has been the staple for decades, especially in the shoulder and low season. The PhD research aims to contribute to the understanding of a negotiated self and a nationalised identity through an analysis of narratives from British 50+ tourists holidaying on the Island of Malta, which would give a better understanding of what the tourist is looking for at his chosen destination.


This research is based on participant observation, and in depth interviews undertaken during 2007- 2009. This allowed for a deep and broad perspective of the motivators of this niche market.


This paper will to seek to examine the extent to which the ex-colonial ties may be binding, through the identification of social, cultural and symbolic capital which is exchanged/ negotiated between host and guests. It will also aim to show that the British Mature Tourist negotiates images of self, cultural and national identity by visiting places and spaces in Malta, which at prima facia may not conform to what is considered to be the standard type of tourist attractions which are found on excursion itineraries, but in effect are spaces which hold hidden and deeper meanings for the visitor. These spaces are culturally and socially reconstructed through the tourist gaze, impacting both on the guest as well as the host, as a bi-national re-invention takes place.


Keywords: Place, authenticity, capital, culture, negotiation, re-invention, imagination


Download the pdf


Victoria Henshaw, Mags Adams and Trevor J Cox

Title: Researching Urban Olfactory Environments and Place

through Sensewalking



Contemporary professional built environmental practices are dominated by considerations of the visual and auditory with little direct thought being given to the role and experiencing of the olfactory in the regeneration and re-development of urban environments. The human body is however a fully sensing organism and draws from olfactory clues in the experiencing and cognitive processing of towns and cities and the streets, squares and spaces within them.


In recent years, sensewalking has developed as a qualitative method of exploring aspects of the physical and/or cognitive experience of being within a particular, often urban, environment. The method, which can be located within feminist and ecological epistemologies, thus offers a potentially useful means of investigating and analysing the everyday urban olfactory experience of place.


Drawing from the experience of carrying out a series of olfactory walks with research participants in the town centre of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, this paper explores the use of sensewalking as a method for investigating the olfactory environment of towns and cities and argues that sensewalking provides a valuable means of understanding the olfactory contribution to place, providing valuable insights into the physical and social environment. Of relevance to research involving the bodily experiencing of place, and of interest to researchers and town and city managers alike, the authors will offer insights into epistemological and practical issues that are likely to be experienced as part of the journey.


Keywords: smell, olfactory, sensory, urban, sensewalking


Download the pdf


S M Nazrul Islam

Title: Tourism Marketing in Developing Countries: A Study of Bangladesh



Tourism has become a very important and dynamic sector both in the world economy and particular in the developing countries. Its growth affects not only the activities directly linked to tourism but also other sectors. Tourism is already an important sector in some developing countries and will become so for others. Developing countries have been fast growing in tourism industry terms in the world over the last decade. Tourism is one of the most important sectors in a large number of developing countries. Increases in economic growth, disposable income and leisure time, political stability, and aggressive tourism campaigns, among others factors, have fuelled the significant growth of tourism. Developing countries have some common characteristics, such as extreme poverty and widespread conflict (including civil war and ethnic clashes), extensive political corruption, lack of political and social stability, human resource weakness (human assets index, nutrition, health, education and adult literacy), and economic vulnerability. Bangladesh is a developing country in Asia, holding high potentiality for tourism. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) plays an important role for the development of tourism. For a long time, Bangladesh has been an attractive destination for tourists. But at present, its position is not significant in terms of the international tourism market. The overall objective of this research is to identify the issues and challenges in tourism marketing facing Bangladesh.


Key words: tourism, developing county, marketing, and case study


Download the pdf


Ivo Melle





It is now well established, at least in principle, that some visitors from the western world are seeking untamed places or primal locations in the Developing Countries for alternative tourism experiences. In this process, visitors get ideas about the destination before their holiday trips and/or learn in situ during their holiday. Among items to be learned are place names. Such names may have complex histories depending on the social processes that affect the destination. This paper is part of a broader study of the relationship between local culture and the emergence of ecotourism. The study examined how indigenous/local social structure and customs link up with the early stages of ecotourism development. It is the outcome of a research process which can best be referred to as being native through (emic) interactions with three ‘groupings’ of hosts: 1. fellow natives - villagers, elites, and hoteliers; 2. developers: councils and regional delegations; 3. non-native settlers in addition to capturing ecotourism practices. The paper reveals that while visitors have chiefly hedonistic but also ethically responsible relations with destination, the local tourism industry does not use the time-honoured name of the destination, ‘Mwaam’. The adoption and popularisation of an apparently inauthentic name (‘Muanenguba’) for the destination by the first visitors has blurred the sense of place. The current use of different names to refer to the destination - Mwaam, Ebwo and Muanenguba – is synchronic to diverse relations of various groups in the host community to the destination. Varied use of time-honoured and other names also reflects the struggle between tradition and modernity.


Keywords: Mwaam, Ebwo, Muanenguba, authenticity, Twin Lakes, Muanengoe, settlers, ecotourists


Download the pdf




Kae Neustadt

Title: A Matter of Degree: Significance, Spatial Planning and the Historic Environment.



The concept of significance – the relative value of a resource – is key to the effective implementation of conservation principles into strategic and spatial planning policies. Heritage protection cannot work without a process for deciding what is worthy of preservation and to what extent. This presentation examines the role of significance in heritage protection policies and guidance and how that role might be applied to historic landscapes. Specific focus is aimed at the role of Historic Landscape Characterisation as a source of information for the evaluation of significance and as a potential tool for the planning and management of historic landscapes. Incorporation of English Heritage’s Conservation Principles and the guidance of the DCMS White Paper on Heritage Protection are examined as potential tools for integrating heritage management principles into the agenda of sustainable development and strategic and spatial planning.


Download the pdf


Bart Neuts

Title: Resource Use of Public Space in an Urban Tourist Environment:

Is tragedy inevitable?




Conceptual paper


Purpose: Starting from the premise that public space is inclusive and subtractable, it is theoretically linked to a wider area of public goods to show the special implications of this on the use of public space in an urban tourist environment.

Design/methodology/approach: After defining public space from a topographical point of view and linking the concept with ‘citizenship’, the paper borrows from economical literature concerning public goods theories and consequently alters Hardin’s ‘tragedy of the commons’ concept in light of public space use.

Findings: It is found that much alike most natural resources, the open access characteristics of public space will lead to higher than socially optimal visitor numbers and a loss of wealth to society. However, unlike many other open access resources, the special characteristics of public space make it both subtractable and reproducible. As opposed to Hardin’s tragedy, this overuse is only temporal and therefore time-specific.

Originality/value: The paper increases the understanding of the intangible societal costs caused by tourist co-consumption

of public space and calls for a quantitative valuation of these costs in order to improve cost-benefit analyses and decision making.


Keywords: public space, topographical approach, citizenship, tragedy of the commons, open access, overuse


Download the pdf



Patricia Simões Aelbrecht

Title: Rethinking Urban Design for a changing Public Life.



The nature and conceptualizations of public space and public life have been always associated with collective participation and socialization, in other words, with the capacity to live together among strangers. Today these associations seem to have become challenged and problematic, and often end in questioning whether public space still matters for our public life? This uncertainty has become somehow evident in the rising scholarly interest in the last two decades debates on the future of our cities’ public life and public spaces. However, most of the research produced has been extremely limited and narrow in its scope and often taken disparate positions especially between academics and practitioners, above all it has been dominated by narratives of profound loss and lament. Thus, it has failed to provide an understanding of the new context of social change we are in at the moment.

It is precisely this search for a new understanding of public life and public space that provides the impetus for this paper. There is an urge to go beyond these narratives of loss and to support more optimistic views on the purpose of public space and public life. To achieve that, I argue we need to provide more microsociological research to study in detail the how and where of our socialization in public. Just then, we can begin to understand in which conditions public spaces can work well for our public life. Thus, through a review of literature and supported by fieldwork, I will first develop a research design for reading and mapping our contemporary public life in new designed public spaces, and then discuss its implications on the urban design practice.

Hence, with this paper I expect not only to bring into a new light the understanding and reading of our public life and public spaces but also to contribute for the rethinking of the role of Urban Design today within this context of changing public life.


Keywords: Public life, Public space, Public Space Sociology, Microsociology, Social encounters,

Urban Design.


Download the pdf


Nadia von Benzon

Title: Access all areas?: the challenges of using a participatory approach in environmental research with intellectually disabled children






This paper seeks to outline the need for a participatory methodology when undertaking research

with disabled children about their environment, discussing both the opportunities and challenges

that such an approach presents.




This paper draws on the author’s own experience in a recent research project exploring disabled

children’s perceptions of and access to the natural environment.




A participatory approach to research can provide data that is both ethically preferable and more

reliable than traditional forms of data collection. This paper argues that if research is approached in a sensitive and flexible manner, disabled children are often able to participate effectively in

environmental decision making.


Limitations and Implications


Whilst implementing a fully participatory research programme may be costly and time-consuming,

or fall outside the remit of the project, participatory elements can be included in research to

complement more direct approaches.


Download the pdf




In collaboration with:


The Journal of Place Management and


Launched in 2008, the Journal of Place Management and Development, is published in partnership with the Institute of Place Management, the international professional body that supports people committed to developing, managing and making places better


Organising Committee


Ilaria Pappalepore  [email protected]

Barbora Cherifi - [email protected]

Tania Sengupta [email protected]

Claudia Sima  [email protected]

Jane Edwards  [email protected]

Ram Sateesh  [email protected];