Winning the second price in a workshop on issues of accessibility and tourism, this was a development plan for the city of St.Denis on the island of Reunion near Madagascar.
When developing tourism, there exists a risk of the city becoming a representation of itself - a show, a theme park, even fake. At the same time, all tourists want to see something authentic and real. For this reason, we chose to develop St.Denis first from the point of view of the locals. If the city is well connected, accepting, accessible, and functions well, tourism will increase in a more stable, long lasting and genuine way.
To give some examples of how to exercise this strategy, we proposed, trough four viewpoints, some starting points to make the city work both for tourists and for locals. Examples include building connections between different areas, and developing the functions of these areas in themselves.
You can think of the issue of accessibility in terms of the senses. If you can't see, you'll need your hearing to navigate the streets, if you cant hear, you'll need your sense of sight even more. Well, if you're trying to make a place accessible to tourists, you'll need to approach accessibility more widely.
Some religions see the mind as the sixth sense. Your mind will always affect the other senses, determining how you interpret the other senses experiences. Feeling at ease with the atmosphere of a city could be seen as a central starting point from the tourists' point of view.
A city speaks to its visitors. It speaks about its atmosphere, about its way of life, about its identity, and how to use it. It speaks trough signals, trough infrastructure, and trough the local people. Trough building the city first for the locals, it’s possible to ensure, that it speaks of beautiful things.