Research database

SMARTDEST - Cities as mobility hubs: tackling social exclusion through ‘smart’ citizen engagement

37 months (2020 - 2022)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
UE-funded research - H2020 - Societal Challenges - Inclusive Societies
Funding body:
Project identification number:


The SMARTDEST project tackles the societal challenge of social inclusion and sustainability in European cities by developing innovative solutions in the face of the conflicts and externalities that are emerging as a result of new forms of mobile dwelling. These encompass the rising cost of living, housing shortages, congestion of public services, the dislocation and marginalisation of low-income workers, and the transformation of place identities; all factors that point at avenues of exclusion of the most vulnerable sectors of resident communities. Faced with this, SMARTDESTs overarching aim is to contribute towards urban policy agendas which take tourism and its social effects seriously. Its ambition is to fill a knowledge gap about the effects of tourism mobilities on urban inclusion and cohesion, and about the contextual, political and technological factors that determine fundamental variations in such effects; and to explore, design and test the validity of potential innovative pathways to mitigate social exclusion. The project thus includes 4 research packages that respectively (1) analyse tourism mobilities and mobile dwelling as transformative force-fields for places; (2) excavate social exclusion issues and coping practices through the engagement with affected communities in case study cities; (3) develop CityLabs as sites for the design of people-based and place-based solutions (both in the digital and non-digital realm) which demonstrate value for the broad destination ecosystem of case study cities, and scale up as innovative systems of governance; (4) transfer the insights gained by the project at local level and extend their impacts through a dialogue with policy entities, concern communities, innovators and scientists throughout the EU policy space. The project is implemented by a consortium of 12 partners from 7 EU countries and 1 associated country, covering a broad range of academic skills; and engages with 8 case study cities.

People involved



  • Universitat Rovira i Virgili - URV - Coordinator


Total cost: € 3,097,867.50
Total contribution: € 3,097,867.50
PoliTo total cost: € 299,312.50
PoliTo contribution: € 299,312.50