Sustainable Urban Tourism Involving Local Agents and Partnerships for New Forms of Governance (SUT Governance)

  • Project team:

    Paskaleva-Shapira, Krassimira (Project leader); Reinhard Coenen

  • Funding:

    European Commission

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners:

    Universität für Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungswissenschaften (University of Business and Administration Sciences) Vienna; Regional Consulting Ziviltechniker GmbH, Vienna; Aristoteles University, Thessaloniki (Greece), University of Veliko Turnovo (Bulgaria).

  • Research group:

    Sustainability and environment

Project description

European cities are facing growing problems due to the high and growing demands from tourism. Different and sometimes competing requirements need to be reconciled such as maintaining the physical heritage in the context of living, developing cities; creating a viable tourist infrastructure; strengthening the cultural and social viability of local communities; balancing the interests of residents and visitors; providing a sound long-term economic development and high-quality employment opportunities; minimizing the adverse ecological impacts and promoting sustainable consumption patterns. Achieving this requires collaboration between all parties concerned including the urban governments, the private sector and non-governmental groups.

This project presents an effort to work with public-private partnerships and urban governments in Europe to develop, validate, and deploy a general framework for urban sustainable tourism partnerships that is applicable to a variety of urban municipal and development contexts. The partnership framework and the benchmark tool developed by the project will help urban policy-makers realize linkages between tourism and sustainable development, including using the principles of Agenda 21, for tourism decision-making and improved management, planning and implementation practices.

(The project's national research will be focused in Germany, Austria, Greece and Bulgaria.) The case study efforts will center on four selected cities: Heidelberg (D), Graz (A), Thessaloniki (GR), and Veliko Turnovo (BG), all of which have been internationally recognized in their sustainable development efforts and have developed tourism as a strategic economic. The inclusion of Bulgaria - an EU accession candidate - will allow assessment of obstacles and potentials for such countries to reach European norms and also to draw on existing European experience.

For further information on this project see


Coenen, R.
Benchmarking SUT partnerships: The SUT-governance project approach and the tool
2003. EU “SUT-governance” Project Conference (2003), Heidelberg, Germany, June 23–24, 2003 
Paskaleva, K.
New action to promote governance for sustainable urban tourism: European experts forge stepping up in research, practice and action
2003. Konferenz “Sustainable Urban Tourism European SUT-GOVERNANCE” (2003), Heidelberg, Germany, June 23–24, 2003 
Paskaleva, K.
Innovative partnerships for effective governance of sustainable urban tourism: Conceptual approach and application
2003. Konferenz “Sustainable Urban Tourism European SUT-GOVERNANCE” (2003), Heidelberg, Germany, June 23–24, 2003 
Paskaleva, K.
Benchmarking partnerships for sustainable urban tourism: The European experience
2003. TravelTourism Research Association European Conference (2003), Glasgow, United Kingdom, September 24–27, 2003 
Journal Articles
Paskaleva, K.; Kaleynska, T.
Bulgaria’s tourism: A thriving and sustainable future?
2001. Integra, (1), 10–13 
Paskaleva, K.
Promoting partnerships for effective governance of sustainable urban tourism: The case of Germany
2001. INTA International Seminar ’Tourism in the City - Opportunities for RegenerationDevelopment’, Session ’Local Tourism Management’ (2001), Turin, Italy, February 20–22, 2001 
Paskaleva, K.
Innovative partnerships for sustainable urban tourism: Framework approach and the European experience
2001. TTRA European Conference “CreatingManaging Growth in TravelTourism” (2001), Stockholm, Sweden, April 20–25, 2001 


Dr. Krassimira Paskaleva-Shapira, PhD
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe