An interesting recent article by Janan Ganesh in the FT on the impact of tourism “ossifying” medium sized cities resonated with a trip to Portugal over the summer. His contention that tourism hampers change because the visitor wants the “old town” to stay the same not grow a new tech sector, was reflected in Porto and Lisbon where there is local opposition to the airbnb-ification of property in the city centre as displacing real activity.
However if you’ve read any of my other blogs on Lisbon you’ll know that the regeneration of the city economy has been remarkable, and revisiting a busy and sparkling Porto the Uber driver claim that they were being priced out of the city was undermined by my experience in 2012 when the city centre was empty, desolate and rundown.
Visits in 2012 were en route to Guimaraes to produce part of the European Capital of Culture programme (Open City). Travelling back there I was delighted, and slightly surprised, to find a symbol of culture as a force for economic growth, with the city tangibly more prosperous and vibrant.
New term, new travel plans (Vasco de Gama above…):
- Lisbon again shortly
- Sao Paulo / Santiago / Buenos Aires in October
- Berlin and maybe one more in November
- New Delhi and Mumbai in December
Closer to home the pitch process continues for Bristol to become one of Channel 4’s Creative Hubs – decision in the next few weeks…
I’m taking a very quick crash course in Chilean cinema ahead of chairing a panel at Raindance Film Festival.
And finally, picking up previous blogs on the impact of Reliance Jio on the Indian mobile data market I’ll be chairing a panel with them to explore the Indian opportunity in London on Sept 17th