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Preservation of the Mediterranean Identity: An Intra-City Analysis Towards a Macro-Regional Approach for the Characterisation of Urban Sustainability

Eleni Feleki (), Charisios Achillas (), Christos Vlachokostas (), Alexandra V. Michailidou (), Leticia Ortega () and Nicolas Moussiopoulos ()
Additional contact information
Eleni Feleki: Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, P.O. Box 483, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Charisios Achillas: Department of Logistics, TEI of Central Macedonia, 60100 Katerini, Greece
Christos Vlachokostas: Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, P.O. Box 483, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Alexandra V. Michailidou: Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, P.O. Box 483, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Leticia Ortega: Valencia Institute of Buildings, Calle Tres Forques 98, 46018 Valencia, Spain
Nicolas Moussiopoulos: Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, P.O. Box 483, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 10, 1-21

Abstract: Globalisation combined with high urbanisation trends affects not only the traditional pillars of sustainability (environment, society, and economy), but also local identity. Customs and traditions are fading away and alienation is the result of new lifestyles deriving mainly from high interaction between locals and foreigners (focus on tourism). Facing the challenge of characterising urban sustainability, reflection on special characteristics of the urban fabric that are affected (spatial dimension of sustainability) is not always considered. Even though a lot of research is dedicated to the characterisation of urban areas’ sustainability, the element of local, regional, and macro-regional identity seems not to be systematically incorporated. This work attempts to develop and test a methodological framework to identify and prioritise the common symbolic elements that constitute the identity of a group of cities and that need to be sustained. The study focuses on the Euro-Mediterranean region. A survey is addressed to 64 scientists from five cities: Dubrovnik, Genoa, Rhodes, Valencia, and Venice. “Urban structure” is revealed as the most important element that constitutes the “Mediterranean identity”. Moreover, the level of threat deriving from mass tourism on the “Mediterranean identity” is estimated. The survey provides insight into the definition of the spatial dimension of sustainability and the determination/weighting of the case-specific component of an integrated urban sustainability assessment tool.

Keywords: core set of indicators; index; urban sustainability; globalisation; spatial dimension (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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