Territorial Planning as a Creative Tool for the Upgrading of Cultural Tourism

Contemporary Challenges of Climate Change, Sustainable Tourism Consumption, and Destination Competitiveness

ISBN: 978-1-78756-344-5, eISBN: 978-1-78756-343-8

ISSN: 1871-3173

Publication date: 12 September 2018


In the contemporary period of an abundance and diversity of offers in cultural tourism globally, the need for new values, such as creativity, has become unavoidable. As well as creativity being the essence of every cultural practice, it is also becoming a tool with which to link and modernize cultural treasures for tourist consumption today. Its inclusion is also useful in territorial plans, whose strategic role is a driving force for local economies. Creativity can support particularly those sectors that have rich foundations but that suffer from general underdevelopment. Cultural tourism in the town of Golubac and its surroundings in eastern Serbia is a prime example. Although Golubac is situated on the Danube and has one of the best preserved old fortresses in the region, it has not been identified as an important site of cultural tourism. The aim of this chapter is to describe recent efforts to facilitate this branch of tourism through the application of creative tools in local planning documents by means of a multi-criteria analysis of crucial territorial plans for Golubac. In establishing these criteria, the theoretical knowledge that links creativity, cultural tourism and territorial planning will be studied. Implementation of this interlinked knowledge in the analysis will provide the backbone to a proposal for improvements in territorial planning which can profoundly facilitate creativity in cultural tourism globally.



Djukić, A., Djokić, V. and Antonić, B. (2018), "Territorial Planning as a Creative Tool for the Upgrading of Cultural Tourism", Ohnmacht, T., Priskin, J. and Stettler, J. (Ed.) Contemporary Challenges of Climate Change, Sustainable Tourism Consumption, and Destination Competitiveness (Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 15), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 101-122. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1871-317320180000015011

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Culture connects with humans in its essence, being present wherever humans live (Baumeister & Bushman, 2014, p. 45). However, this pervasiveness is not the case with cultural tourism. Despite the attraction of cultural heritage as a base from which to initiate and develop cultural tourism, other elements of tourism organization and infrastructure are also necessary. They can be described as forming a specific ‘cultural environment’, a system of local policies and governance, which, together with local cultural heritage, create a destination in which tourists are interested (Singh, 2008, p. 315). Furthermore, it is evident that this environment has been the ‘backbone’ that has boosted tourism in the last few decades (Kumral & Onder, 2009).

Globally, cultural tourism has been noticeably increasing in the last few decades. The figures presented by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a major international organization, clearly demonstrate this trend; international cultural tourists have increased in both numbers and in their overall share of tourists since 1995 (OECD, 2008, p. 21). These figures emphasize that the ‘mixture’ of culture and tourism can be very lucrative for the current fragile economy.

With the rise and differentiation of cultural tourism, prospective tourists have come to expect more. Consequently, the tourist industry has tried to find innovative and proactive ways of meeting these new expectations (Djukić & Vukmirović, 2012b), one of which has been creativity (Della Lucia et al., 2016; Guerreiro, 2016). Generally, creativity is seen as a key contribution to the twenty-first century economy (Florida, 2012). Hence, cultural tourism, as well as all other sectors that include creativity extensively in their functioning, can be considered advanced and as having a long-term viability.

Progress in cultural tourism is also related to improvements in territorial management and governance. Therefore, well-designed documents regarding territorial governance provide very important support for cultural tourism (Solima & Minguzzi, 2014), increasing a destination’s capacity further and contributing to the well-being of local residents as their ultimate goal (Ritchie & Crouch, 2003; Djukić & Vukmirović, 2012a).

In the case of Serbia, this is very questionable in respect of small and underdeveloped municipalities and towns, which usually have few governmental, professional or financial capacities to develop, maintain, appropriately promote and rationally utilize their cultural heritage. However, the entire economic development of many such places in Serbia can be fuelled by capitalizing on their exceptional tourist assets (Bjelac et al., 2009). A locally prominent example is the Golubac municipality in eastern Serbia, with its seat in the town of the same name. This small community is located at the entrance to the Iron Gate gorge, probably the most picturesque section of the Danube, which is also a major international water corridor (Crncevic et al., 2016). The town is known internationally and locally by virtue of the nearby medieval Golubac fortress (Ćirković, 2008), nowadays a well-preserved architectural monument under national protection. However, the location of this cultural asset has not played an important role in the development or international promotion of cultural tourism in Golubac.

The aim of this chapter is to determine whether the main territorial planning documents in Golubac include and promote the creative elements that are a prerequisite for upgrading cultural tourism locally. This will be done through the selection and critical analysis of local plans that are important for territorial governance and management in Serbia. To satisfy this aim, theoretical knowledge that links creativity, cultural tourism and territorial planning will be studied in order to form the criteria for the selection and analysis. Ultimately, findings from these documents are also expected to contribute internationally to recommending improvements in local territorial planning capable of profoundly facilitating creativity in cultural tourism.

Methods and Materials

The proposed method for this research is a multi-case study analysing more than one territorial plan. This is recommended as a scientific approach in forming a theory embracing several topics (Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007). In the present research, this theory must encompass creativity, cultural tourism and territorial planning. A multi-case study is also more scientifically reliable due to its greater level of representativeness (Gerring, 2004).

In accordance with this method, drawing up the proper criteria for the selection and analysis of several case studies is crucial. Therefore, they will be developed through comprehensive research into the international literature that links all the topics. The selection process is designed to be the first part of the case-study analysis. This is carried out by combining the acquired criteria with an assessment of the current conditions of the research unit, namely Golubac municipality with its seat. The result is two selected documents on territorial planning, whose developmental elements (visions, aims and actions) are further analyzed using the research criteria. Territorial planning in this research pertains to both municipal- and urban-level planning. Comparing the impact of the selected territorial planning documents, as well as an understanding of the possible synergies between creativity, territorial development and cultural tourism in the local context of Golubac, will finally be re-formed as recommendations both regionally and internationally.

Regarding the research material, the full framework of planning and strategic documents for the territory of the Golubac municipality was examined. They are all listed, and those with a spatial reference have been mapped; see Fig. 1:

Fig. 1. 
Urban Plans and Urban Design Projects for the Urban Area of Golubac Town (Source: B. Antonić).

Fig. 1.

Urban Plans and Urban Design Projects for the Urban Area of Golubac Town (Source: B. Antonić).

  • (1)

    Spatial plan of Golubac municipality (mandatory by law)

  • (2)

    Plan of general arrangement of the urban settlement of Golubac (mandatory by law)

  • (3)

    Plan of detailed arrangement for revitalization of the fortress of ‘Golubački grad’

  • (4)

    Plan of the detailed arrangement for a cycling path and footpath along the Vinci-Golubački Grad embankment

  • (5)

    Plan of detailed regulation for the complex of Tumane monastery and the ‘Bigrena akumulacija’ natural monument

  • (6)

    Urban design project for the revitalization of the Golubac fortress

  • (7)

    Urban design project for an apartment village next to the Golubac fortress

  • (8)

    Urban design project for fishing village in Golubac

  • (9)

    Strategy of local economic development for the Golubac municipality

  • (10)

    Strategy of sustainable development for the Golubac municipality for the period 2015–2020

  • (11)

    Marketing plan: upgrading of tourist provision by the Golubac municipality

  • (12)

    Feasibility study for declaration of the tourist side of ‘Golubac Fortress’ (Golubac municipality).

Creative Territorial Planning for Cultural Tourism

Creativity as a Tool for Local Development

Creativity is the essence of every cultural practice because it includes the creation of meaningful new products (Mumford, 2003). However, in the present-day world, creativity is considered a modern value, even though it is viewed as a field of innovations. ‘Contemporary economies acknowledge the expanding significance of cultural products that combine aesthetic values with utilitarian functionality, and more and more they make use of creativity’ (OECD, 2005, p. 7).

The modern interpretation of creativity relates to the concept of creative class and creative industries. The creative class is thought to be a key driving force for economic development. Creativity is also connected to highly skilled jobs and professionals (Florida, 2014). These jobs are mainly based on scientific, technological and artistic creativity (Kratke, 2011), collectively being called creative industries. The core sectors are advertising, animation, architecture, design, film, gaming, gastronomy, music, the performing arts, software and interactive games and television and radio (OECD, 2014). In addition, Florida (2014) claims that the creative class can contribute significantly to overall economic development locally. Other theorists contest this ‘narrowing’ to the impact on the economy alone and argue that cultural class can strengthen social capital locally too (OECD, 2005; Maruksen, 2006). However, the figures mostly indicate economic prosperity as an outcome – the creative economy is becoming a very important economic sector that creates a sizable number of new jobs, which accounted for 7–10% of the total global workforce in the 2000s (UNESCO, 2006). In developed countries, the numbers of employees and entities involved are even greater, and they are crucial for global competitiveness (Sacco & Segre, 2009).

Creative industries have a broad meaning, also being referred to as cultural industries (Hesmondhalgh, 2002; EU-CR, 2014). There are also other similar concepts, such as sustainable industries, modern industries, copyright industries, content industries etc. Also, creative industries are linked with culture in their essence because they exchange ‘cultural goods and services’ (UNESCO, 2006). They also occupy a myriad of creative sectors, which touch all elements of general development. Many of them are also very close to the activities of cultural tourism, such as gastronomy, creative crafts, design, music and multimedia (Ralević et al., 2014). Finally, creative industries have emphasized a ‘modern element’, which respects art and design, sudden changes in patterns of consumption and demand, democracy and inclusion (OECD, 2014, pp. 32–33).

Creativity in Cultural Tourism

In recent decades, the pressure from the abundance and diversity of tourism offers in general has prompted suppliers to find new ways to attract prospective tourists. This offer includes innovative and creative services and goods, which consequently support the overall competitiveness and ‘entrepreneur spirit’ (Kumral & Onder, 2009). This is particularly true of cultural tourism, one of the most prosperous of economic sectors (Richards & Wilson, 2007b).

The fruitful combination of culture and tourism was first noticed in those post-industrial cities and regions in the developed world that faced problems of economic restructuring in the late twentieth century. However, their intellectual potential and advanced services were a good base for the blossoming of cultural tourism. Then, the link between creativity and cultural tourism was noticed in other, smaller places, where creative organizations could stimulate innovations in local tourism (Brouder, 2012). Therefore, in this case, ‘creativity and tourism in particular became sectors favoured by a large number of cities and regions’ (Richards & Wilson, 2007b, p. 2). Today, culture locally fosters the creation of an environment that attracts both residents and tourists (OECD, 2005).

The traditional tourism pattern of suppliers and consumers as two opposite sides in the tourist sector needs to be reviewed. Nowadays, this ‘boundary’ is not so clear, as tourists can also be a part of the creative act in tourism (Kumral & Onder, 2009). Đukić and Vukmirović (2011a) point out that creative cultural tourism involves the participation of tourists, something different from their traditional role as observers.

The importance of cultural industries in cultural tourism has been underlined over the past few years: ‘There are a wide range of potential benefits to be realised from developing the linkages between tourism and the creative industries’ (OECD, 2014, p. 72). Nevertheless, the two sectors are still very fragmented; co-ordination and good governance are expected to strengthen both of them. The best approach in creative cultural tourism is a multidimensional and intersector integration with the enabled inclusion of both tourists and residents. This can be done through comprehensive and well-organized policies (Richards & Wilson, 2007a). Therefore, these policies should be established as integrative in relation to all stakeholders and made appropriately flexible to deal with the challenging realities of the contemporary world (Saris & Brouwer, 2005).

Creativity in Territorial Planning

Planning documents have been identified as key to the development of cultural tourism (OECD, 2014, p. 102). Urban and regional plans generally belong to the profound list of policy documents. Their characteristic is a spatial stratification that is also reflected in the area in question, from very detailed urban plans of a street or an urban block to more strategic regional plans covering large regions and provinces. Similarly, successful cultural tourism seeks development strategies from the government at all the levels mentioned (Richards & Wilson, 2007b). Chapain, Clifton and Comunian (2013) especially cite the importance of these strategies at the regional and local/urban levels. This means that well-designed territorial planning can significantly contribute to the promotion and consumption of offers in cultural tourism at all territorial levels.

However, mutual influence can be observed going in the opposite direction. There is much evidence to support that cultural tourism can be a very powerful tool to activate and speed up both territorial (Della Lucia et al., 2016) and urban regeneration (Richards & Wilson, 2007a; Idajati, 2014). Smith (2007) notes the importance of interlinking creativity, culture, tourism and space-related planning to achieve favourable urban regeneration. This approach, based on culture and creativity, is even applicable to the revitalization of small towns (Lazzeroni et al., 2013). Hence, a creativity-led cultural economy can profoundly anticipate territorial development and thus the role of urban and spatial planning.

The European Union (EU) is a very important example of this synergy due to its well-known commitment to strategy-driven development. It is estimated that there are more than 1.4 million creative and cultural institutions and enterprises in the EU (EU-CR, 2014), which therefore play an important role in the general economy (CEU, 2007). For instance, the European Agenda for Culture (2011) underlines the importance of space and territory in expanding cultural creativity through the establishment of collaborative sites, multidisciplinary environments between academia and entrepreneurs, and the renovation and revitalization of old industrial infrastructures into clusters of innovation and creativity (EU, 2011). All these tasks are very complex to implement and inevitably require comprehensive territorial planning. Similarly, the EU’s Committee of the Regions identifies a ‘place-based development approach’ in the cultural and creative industries, meaning that ‘policies and support instruments need to be determined locally, building on local specificities and assets and tapping into local resources’ (EU-CR, 2014, p. 2). Finally, the EU appreciates the significant share of culture in the ‘European tourism experience’ (EC, n.d.), even identifying the cultural and creative industries as being among the initiators of new forms of tourism (EU, 2011). In summary, the relevant EU strategic documents emphasize the significance of co-creation between creativity, culture, tourism and territorial planning. The majority of EU sources imply that the EU sees European culture as having great development potential, creativity as an initial tool, regional and urban planning as an institutional tool and (cultural) tourism as a final tool for the well-being of Europeans.

Shaping Research Criteria

Understanding that the resources supporting creative cultural tourism are mainly based in the developed countries, the relevant documents from the main transnational organizations in this part of the world (OECD, EU) will be taken into consideration in deciding the criteria.

A recent OECD study (2014) clearly indicates several important policy implications that are influencing the development of cultural tourism. Two such EU documents (European Agenda for Culture and the EU report ‘Culture and Creativity: Europe’s regions and cities are making a difference’) will be used as a ‘filter’ to profile adequately the criteria for further analysis of the case study.

Table 1.

Derivation of Criteria.

No. OECD Study on Creative Tourism – Policy Implications (2014, p. 67) European Agenda for Culture – Specialization Strategy (2011, pp. 11–15) EU Report on Culture and Creativity Europe’s Regions and Cities (2014) Derived Criteria
1. Creative industries are largely based on intangible content, which generates new policy challenges compared to tangible culture. Investing in intangible goods must become a part of a new economic policy as a way to include arts, culture and museums in the building of a renewed prosperity. Culture drives the accumulation of intangible assets such as human, social and cultural/symbolic capital, thereby fostering economic and social growth and environmental sustainability. C1: INTANGIBLE CONTENT < SPATIAL IMPACT: The significance of intangible content to generate a tangible impact on culture in its territorial aspect (new cultural and creative spaces, especially through urban regeneration).
2. Policies should focus on knowledge as a primary driver of value creation. Investing in education, skills and lifelong learning: promotion of creative skills and creativity. The importance of learning creative skills from an early age and the need to deal with the consequences of the digital shift. Important links with other policy areas, such as industry, tourism, education and finance. C2: APPLIED KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION: Development of knowledge- and skill-driven facilities – formal and informal education.
3. New technologies provide the essential linkages between producers, consumers and places. Enhancing access to and use and quality of information and communication technologies and ICT applications. Industrial technologies will support projects in the field of innovative ICT solutions for creative industries and SMEs. C3: TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN SPACE: the spatial promotion of new, technology-driven forms of tourist gatherings.
4. Policies should aim to bring producers and consumers together in order to co-create value. Integrated urban development projects and rehabilitation of cultural infrastructure. A leading role in the production and trade of goods generated by the creative industries. C4: SPATIAL AND FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION: the creation of ‘mutual places’, where different actors and sectors can meet – mixed-use and mixed-density development.
5. To fully exploit the added value potential of the creative industries, there needs to be more integration and convergence between industries and sectors. Support for clusters, partnerships, infrastructures, business advisory services, also for creative hubs. To bring together policy-makers, experts, creative minds and trend watchers, artists and representatives of European associations and international organizations to facilitate ‘creative networking’.

Case Study: Golubac, Serbia

Golubac, Serbia: Assessment of Current Conditions

The municipality and town of Golubac have been selected for this research due to the very noticeable gap between the rich local potential for cultural tourism and the limited socioeconomic capacities for assisting in its promotion as an international tourist destination.

Golubac is situated in Braničevo district, in the underdeveloped eastern part of Serbia, adjacent to the national border with Romania. Its most prominent problem is certainly the decline of its population, which has been very visible since the end of the Second World War; the municipality of Golubac lost more than 55% of its population between 1948 and 2011, mostly in its 23 villages (SORS, 2011). In the case of the town, demographic decline has been recorded only in the last three decades (SORS, 2011). Nevertheless, Golubac town is certainly the smallest on the Danube in Serbia (Golubac town: 1,653 inhabitants, urban area included: 2,581 in 2011), and small size matters in tourism, as small size is recognized to be a problem for tourism development (Dinis & Krakover, 2016).

In addition to these data, other demographic factors are also negative. The populations of both the municipality and the town are generally aged. Finally, with a density of 22 inhabitants per km2, it is also the least densely populated municipality in the Serbian Danube region.

Economic performance has also been in a very bad state for decades. From 1995 to 2005, the municipality of Golubac was listed among the least developed municipalities in Serbia under the “Law on Insufficiently Developed Areas” (Bjelac et al., 2009). This is still evident today: Golubac is among the most endangered municipalities in Serbia, belonging to approximately 20% of Serbian municipalities whose level of general development is below 50% of the national average (MRDRS, 2009–15).

The demographic and economic decline of Golubac is in sharp contrast to its rich cultural and natural heritage. First, the municipality is located at the entrance of the Iron Gate, the longest gorge on the Danube (Fig. 2). In line with its magnificent landscape and many endemic species, the entire gorge acquired the status of a national park in 1974. Furthermore, the fortress of Golubac is one of the best-preserved medieval and Ottoman fortresses in Serbia, indeed, along the Danube (Fig. 3). Even though it is under the state’s protection as a cultural monument of exceptional importance (NIPCMRS, n.d.) and is promoted as a first-class destination for cultural tourism, it is not well represented in the broad tourist offer of Serbia and the Danube region. Finally, there are also many other tourist assets in the municipality, like a monastery, the well-preserved old center of Golubac town, surviving traditional culture in nearby villages, several traditional festivals etc.

Fig. 2. 
The Iron Gate Gorge Near the Town (Source: A. Djukić).

Fig. 2.

The Iron Gate Gorge Near the Town (Source: A. Djukić).

Fig. 3. 
Golubac Fortress is Currently Undergoing Reconstruction (Source: B. Antonić).

Fig. 3.

Golubac Fortress is Currently Undergoing Reconstruction (Source: B. Antonić).

They are not exceptionally important separately, but together they have the potential to enrich and strengthen the tourist offer of Golubac and the wider region of eastern Serbia. However, many of them are in a bad state of repair today. The old center of Golubac town is in just such a situation, even though it can be described as a well-preserved nineteenth-century marketplace for this region (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4. 
The Bad Physical State and Functional Emptiness of the Old Center of the Town of Golubac (Source: B. Antonić).

Fig. 4.

The Bad Physical State and Functional Emptiness of the Old Center of the Town of Golubac (Source: B. Antonić).

Fig. 5. 
The Danube is at its Widest in Front of Golubac (Source: B. Antonić).

Fig. 5.

The Danube is at its Widest in Front of Golubac (Source: B. Antonić).

Territorial Planning in Golubac

After the socioeconomic crisis during the turbulent 1990s, which has been called a ‘blocked transformation’ (Petrović, 2004), at the start of new millennium, the Serbian government placed plans to reinvigorate underdeveloped regions and settlements such as Golubac on its agenda. Accordingly, the state has granted special financial support for the enactment of all policy documents that are mandatory for municipalities.

For territorial planning purposes, two documents are mandatory under the national constitution: the spatial plan for the whole municipality or city, and the urban plan for its seat (PS, 2006, Art. 190–191). The seats of underdeveloped municipalities are usually small towns or bigger villages. Further elaboration of the applicable law in this field, the Law on Planning and Construction, defines three types of planning documents under municipal responsibility that include both strategic and regulatory elements: (1) spatial plan of the unit of local self-government (municipality or city); (2) general urban plan (for major urban settlements); and (3) plan of the general arrangements (for other important settlements, including tourist destinations). The other documents included in territorial planning, which concern smaller zones (plans of detailed arrangements), are mostly regulatory in orientation (MBTIRS, 2015). Nevertheless, all these documents must respect vertical coordination, which implies a ‘top-down’ approach to territorial planning, that is, ‘the establishment of links between all levels of spatial planning and the development of space, from the national towards the regional, and on to the local level’ (MBTIRS, 2009–14, Art. 3).

Inclusion of the aforementioned vertical coordination has proved to be a big territorial planning task for the Golubac municipality. Generally this has been an issue in many regions in Serbia (Trkulja, 2012), but the importance of the space of the Golubac municipality has been its impetus nationally. Thus, territorial planning in the municipality must follow the aims and actions proposed by several upper-level spatial plans:

  • (1)

    Spatial plan of the Republic of Serbia 2010–2020

  • (2)

    Regional spatial plan for the Podunavlje and Braničevo districts

  • (3)

    Spatial plan of the special-purpose area of the E-80 international waterway, the Danube (Pan-European corridor VIII)

  • (4)

    Spatial plan of the special-purpose area of the ‘Đerdap’ National Park. (Đerdap is the Serbian name for the Iron Gate region.)

Besides these planning obligations, Golubac municipality has been very successful in developing a planning and strategic base for the most attractive areas within its territory. It has enacted 12 important documents (see section 2), more than half of which are essentially orientated towards tourism.

Two plans had to incorporate both strategic and regulatory elements by law and thus include a ‘policy approach’. Officially the first, the spatial plan for the entire municipality, must treat the entire territory of the municipality equally, hindering a better focus on the most important places within Golubac that have tourist potential (Fig. 6). Therefore, the first plan to be selected for analysis is the Plan of the General Arrangement of the Urban Settlement of Golubac, which also comprises the majority of tourist destinations. The second plan to be present, the Plan of the Detailed Arrangement of the Danube Riverside, was selected because it was compiled in cooperation with international organizations and has a stress on the tourist potential.

Fig. 6. 
Spatial Plan of the Municipality of Golubac – Map of the Planned Settlement Network (Source: Research-Business Center of the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade).

Fig. 6.

Spatial Plan of the Municipality of Golubac – Map of the Planned Settlement Network (Source: Research-Business Center of the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade).

Case Study 1: Plan of the General Arrangement of Urban Settlement of Golubac

The Plan of the General Arrangement of the Urban Settlement of Golubac is a relatively new plan, enacted in 2013 (hereinafter called General Plan). The General Plan includes Golubac town, three nearby villages with suburban characteristics and the Golubac Fortress area.

Fig. 7. 
Plan of the General Arrangement of the Urban Settlement of Golubac – Land Use Map (Source: Arhiplan Co.).

Fig. 7.

Plan of the General Arrangement of the Urban Settlement of Golubac – Land Use Map (Source: Arhiplan Co.).

C1 – Intangible Content > Spatial Impact

Creative industries are not directly mentioned in the main planning actions. However, some of them are included in the tourism sector (gastronomy) or in the planning actions for the central zone (creative crafts and design). Intangible heritage is also mentioned in the objectives of the plan, where a link is made between planning objectives and all the heritage types of the Đerdap/Iron Gate region.

C2 – Applied Knowledge and Education

The actions regarding formal education are well presented in the General Plan (strategic solution, typology and building regulations). Conversely, this is not the case with informal types of education, even though there are plenty of possibilities, including those which link tourism, culture and education. Knowledge-related development is not explicitly highlighted.

C3 – Technology-Driven Space

Technology is not mentioned in relation to innovations, creativeness or the culture industry, but is treated as a technology for the purposes of communal infrastructure. Therefore, this criterion is not fulfilled even at its most basic.

C4 – Spatial and Functional Integration

There are many innovations in this criterion. The General Plan promotes many completely new facilities, such as a marina, a tourist ‘fishing’ village, a small tourist port and new green areas. Furthermore, new tourist routes are also proposed. The most prominent is a new promenade for pedestrians and cyclists along the Danube, which directly links the fortress and the old center of Golubac. The General Plan is also protective of public space. This is particularly evident in the case of open public spaces: a special set of related planning actions is dedicated to their preservation and modernization. Similarly, the General Plan backs the development of cultural facilities, but it is more focused on those in public ownership and in traditional forms (culture center, regional museum, etc.). The General Plan also supports mixed-use and mixed-density development from the outset, that is, from the aims of the plan. This is especially noticeable in the case of the part of the town along the river, where a mixture of non-residential facilities is planned. This is also the area where the main concentration of tourist infrastructure is located. Nevertheless, there are also restrictions, such as a strict division between culture and tourism in land use organization, as well as a stance that culture should be in the public sector and in public ownership.


Although the General Plan supports the development of cultural tourism, it is presented in a very traditional way. In other words, it lacks direct clarification or any connection with creative industries or with knowledge and creativity as planning tools.

Case Study 2: Plan of the Detailed Arrangement of the Cycling Path and Footpath along the Vinci-Golubački Grad Embankment

The Plan of the Detailed Arrangement of the Cycling Path and Footpath along the Vinci-Golubački Grad Embankment (hereinafter called Detailed Plan) is a very specific plan, created in collaboration between the local community and international professionals and with the support of EU funding in an IPA project between Serbia and Romania. The initial motive, the creation of a plan to promote the Eurovelo cycling route along the Danube, was later widened to include nearby tourist and cultural assets.

The first phase had very few limitations imposed by competent legal acts. Later phases had a more rigid structure and content, proposed by these acts. This ‘opportunity’ triggered innovations and creativity. This phase was divided between four models: a balanced spatial model, a polycentric model, a landmark-driven model and a ‘game as a model’. The models include very modern facilities (extreme sports, a conference center, an IT hub etc.), as well as facilities with a contemporary interpretation of medieval themes (open-air culture, fairy-tale square, craft zone, arts and crafts bazaar etc.). All models were elaborated into functional algorithms with related regulations and 3D representations.

Perhaps the most unique model is the last one, the ‘game as a model’, which is based on a combination of new and revived medieval games and accompanying ‘playgrounds’. All of them are related to the cultural and natural heritage of Golubac. The most notable ones are modern reconstructed medieval tournaments, thematic fairs, a fishing village with ponds, nautical games on the Danube, a medieval theatre, a costume parade ground, a water park, etc. (Figs. 6 and 7). Obviously, the value of this model is that it is directed more towards multi-layer functionality than to the strictly physical side of planned development, representing quite an ‘unorthodox approach’ for Serbian territorial planning, which mainly deals with strict land controls (Trkulja, 2012). Much of this phase could not be included in the final version of the Detailed Plan, except for some facilities deemed to be essential, such as the new marina (Figure 8). Other elements were very strictly regulated (Fig. 9).

Figs. 8 and 9. 
The First Phase of the Detailed Plan, ‘Game as a Model’: Tournament Reconstructions (upper) and New Water Sports Facilities (lower)
Figs. 8 and 9. 
The First Phase of the Detailed Plan, ‘Game as a Model’: Tournament Reconstructions (upper) and New Water Sports Facilities (lower)

Figs. 8 and 9.

The First Phase of the Detailed Plan, ‘Game as a Model’: Tournament Reconstructions (upper) and New Water Sports Facilities (lower)

C1 – Intangible Content > Spatial Impact

As with the first plan, creative industries are not directly mentioned in the main planning actions. However, the Detailed Plan underlines modern approaches and integrative development in its aims. The exploitation of intangible heritage, especially which related to medieval life and events, is obvious. Similarly, the use of cultural elements is highlighted. Furthermore, tourism is positioned as the backbone of the plan, the widening of broad tourist offers and the link between tourism and other compatible urban functions being on its basic agenda.

C2 – Applied Knowledge and Education

Educational facilities and spaces are not developed specifically as a separate element of the Detailed Plan, which merely proposes indirect and very general actions to support education. Generally, this element can be considered unsatisfactory.

C3 – Technology-Driven Space

Although the technology of the Detailed Plan and space have not been directly linked, it is obvious that the main planned facilities are complex and modern or else combine medieval themes with a contemporary interpretation.

C4 – Spatial and Functional Integration

Besides already developed tourist facilities, the Detailed Plan offers a palette of new ones; a marina, a river port, thematically ‘coloured’ tourist villages (‘a fishing village’), modern green areas and sports grounds. Many of these new spaces are designed to be public, open to both tourists and locals, and are dedicated to socialization, public meetings, sport, recreation and spectacles. This makes open public spaces the backbone of the Detailed Plan. The plan also proposes paths to their realization through public–private partnerships. The main objection is that many of the facilities and actions proposed in the first phase of the plan were not incorporated into its enacted and thus operational version.

New ‘meeting points’ for small gatherings are occurring along the 7-km-long path. In this way, mixed use is intentionally combined with different zones identified through their physical appearance (built-up zones or free/more natural zones). The meeting points also make the entire path more interesting for users.

Figs. 10 and 11. 
Plan of the Detailed Arrangement of the Cycling Path and Footpath along the Vinci-Golubački Grad Embankment: Map of Planned Marina (lower) and the Section of Embankment in Central Golubac (upper)
Figs. 10 and 11. 
Plan of the Detailed Arrangement of the Cycling Path and Footpath along the Vinci-Golubački Grad Embankment: Map of Planned Marina (lower) and the Section of Embankment in Central Golubac (upper)

Figs. 10 and 11.

Plan of the Detailed Arrangement of the Cycling Path and Footpath along the Vinci-Golubački Grad Embankment: Map of Planned Marina (lower) and the Section of Embankment in Central Golubac (upper)


The Detailed Plan is based on modern tourism development. The incorporation of the fortress and the old urban center are seen as key elements in the future development of the wider urban area and the Danube riverside. The plan also proposes many facilities of mixed creativity, innovation and heritage and innovative and creative ways of implementing them (public–private partnership, cross-border cooperation etc.). Examples are a fairy-tale square or a playground for reconstructed medieval tournaments. Even though the creative economy is not positioned as a functional outline in the plan, it is evident that it uses relevant knowledge from this field.


The selected community of Golubac, Serbia, and the two urban plans analyzed here illustrate very well the situation in Serbian planning regarding cultural tourism and creativity. The most common finding in the analysis is that creative elements are not directly mentioned, even though some planning actions concur with them. Furthermore, when they are mentioned, they are usually presented in a more traditional manner, through already established or publicly expected activities and forms.

However, some new findings can be recognized when comparing the two selected urban plans. First, a more visible connection with cultural tourism is achieved in the plan of the detailed arrangement. A better focus on a certain field, such as a tourist path in this plan, is a good approach to making a breakthrough and introducing innovations, such as new, creative and knowledge-based facilities and the implementation tools in cultural tourism suggested in the plan. This plan also presents some restrictions. Thus, the size of the area covered and the lesser variety of existing facilities prevent the inclusion of some elements compatible with cultural tourism, such as the lack of existing educational facilities and their weak connection with modern forms of knowledge and technology.

It is also visible that creativity arises if there are no initial restrictions or they are relatively ‘fluid’. The first phase of the Detailed Plan clearly illustrates this stance. The rigidity of the Serbian legal system regarding territorial planning formalizes this document too much, rendering it incapable of being more creative and potentially far-reaching for cultural tourism. Taking into account the ‘prescriptions’ for the plans’ structure and themes under the applicable national Law on Planning and Construction, it seems that these work against the cultural and creative elements of the tourism sector in Serbia. This is more noticeable in the first plan that was analyzed. First, tourism is ‘classically’ elaborated for long-term planning periods, even though it is a fast-growing sector globally where novelties can appear and develop swiftly. Secondly, they are oriented more towards the control of space than to creativity and innovation, which certainly does not help tourism. Thirdly, a strict division between tourism and culture in planning actions, such as that in relation to space and ownership, discourages mutual cooperation and appropriate integration.

In summary, all our findings regarding territorial planning in Serbia confirm the usual position for this field in many post-socialist countries – the system of regional and urban planning is still very conservative and has not adapted itself to new conditions (Hirt & Stanilov, 2014). Therefore, Serbian plans are fairly rigid (Trkulja, 2012) and inflexible regarding innovations in cultural tourism, such as the contemporary use of creativity and market-led culture management.


This chapter has demonstrated how creativity can be exploited as an innovative tool in planning a space for cultural tourism in Golubac, Serbia. Taking into account the local conditions, creativity is analyzed by means of the institution of territorial planning, which must be strategically oriented to achieve the well-being of local residents. Golubac is intentionally selected as a ‘research polygon’ due to the gap mentioned earlier between its rich cultural heritage and its problems of overall development, since territorial planning, as a mandatory legal tool, should have an important role in bridging this gap.

It is obvious from this research that there is a gap between the theory as presented and the analyzed case studies regarding creativity in cultural tourism in small and remote places. The theoretical and policy corpus formed in the last two decades implies that this modern interpretation of heritage and creativity can be very lucrative for local development. However, reflecting creativity through cultural tourism in small and remote places is still an issue to be discussed and analyzed further.

The system of urban and spatial planning in post-socialist Serbia, organized by relevant legal acts, proves to be very rigid when it comes to tourism, which belongs to the group of sectors in which innovation and rapid development are expected. Knowing that this system is similar in many countries undergoing socioeconomic transformation, some innovations to achieve more flexibility in this field could be added to sustain contemporary cultural tourism. This can further support general tourism planning, implementation of which is also problematic in societies undergoing transition (Alipour & Dizdarevic, 2007). Perhaps the development actions in urban and spatial plans should be divided into two groups, the first shaped to support the rapid and unexpected development that is common in the tourism sector in the form of flagship projects, the second continuing along the already ‘well-trodden path’ of the comprehensive and balanced long-term planning of spaces.

Education is highlighted as being a very significant contributor to viable and creative cultural tourism. However, traditional territorial planning is usually oriented towards formal education. Informal and life-long learning, which are closely connected to creativity and technological innovation, are thus rarely placed on its agenda, especially in the case of small and underdeveloped communities such as Golubac, where resources for education are often limited. This indicates that the field of (modern) knowledge and technology, where creativity certainly belongs, should be organized separately from (formal) education in urban and spatial plans.

Nevertheless, the reverse influences, from territorial planning to creative cultural tourism, can be also seen. Despite the establishment and formation of creative clusters and networks highlighted in cultural tourism, it is rarely investigated in a spatial manner. Thus, the question of how creative clusters and networks in tourism are mirrored in a space as a major constituent of any large development project has still not been answered satisfactorily.

The latter insights make it clear that cultural tourism, even as a globally known topic, still possesses ‘niches’ which can be further studied and explored in practice. The relationship identified with territorial planning is an example of this conclusion. The differences and gaps that have been revealed can become a new signal customizing the fundamentals of cultural tourism to territorial considerations, which are usually seen as practical due to their obvious links with a precise space.


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This chapter was completed as part of National Research Projects No. 36034 and No. 36035, financed by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia, and for the purposes of the project ‘DANube Urban Brand, a regional network building through tourism and education to strengthen “Danube” cultural identity and solidarity’, selected by the INTERREG Danube Transnational Programme.