Looking at Historic Cities and Livability of Residents

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Abstract

European cities capital of culture have faced an exponential rise of mass tourism that has determined a mutation of urban livability for both residents and tourists. Tourist crowding and the proliferation of tourist related services such as holiday apartments, eateries and tourist stores have changed the way locals live their cities. This study, conducted in Florence, Italy, investigates the reasons of the dissatisfaction of residents with the historic center of the city. Chronologically the number of Florentines leaving the center corresponds to the increasing number of tourists visiting the city. Aside from the temporary coincidence, the aim of the study is to lay down a preliminary recognition of the causes determining the abandonment. Tourism has a massive impact in cities capitals of culture but it is also a source of revenues for the governments. What are the factors contributing to the depopulation of Florence? Is tourism the main one? The article illustrates the pressure of tourism in a city like Florence, describing the macroscopic effects in the recent years. In order to understand the reasons of people, with an investigation from down to top, the study presents the results of a survey addressed to locals. A pre-determined range of options, presented without prejudicial comments, allowed people to orient their responses. The answers released interesting results, somehow discrepant from the mainstream narration. These data constitute precious material to look at for future research and administrative choices inclusive of diverse needs.