Event Title

Tourists replaced my neighbors!: Local understandings of neighborhood change in Cusco

Start Date

8-11-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

8-11-2017 5:30 PM

Description

The San Blas neighborhood of Cuzco is a typical Andean community that sits in the city center above the Plaza de Armas. Cusco was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, eventually increasing tourism and creating complications of building renovation for local residents; the restoration requirements for cities declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites demand that buildings be renovated in a strict and usually expensive fashion. The San Blas neighborhood is home to both Incan and Spanish Colonial architectural structures, which are protected in order to maintain the city’s cultural and historical integrity. Since the beginning of Cusco’s tourism boom in the 1990s, San Blas and the rest of Cusco’s historical center has experienced an influx of tourists and affluent Europeans and North Americans who are buying and renting long-term residents’ houses in order to establish tourist-friendly businesses such as hotels, restaurants and yoga studios. Nonetheless, some long-term residents have stayed, many of which and have taken advantage of the tourism industry by opening their own hotels, restaurants or souvenir shops. In sum, the fabric of the population has changed rapidly over the past thirty years. Although tourism is an important economic resource for a large part of the San Blas population, its negative effects in many ways outweigh its positive effects for long-term residents. I am addressing the issues associated with neighborhood change, gentrification and the tourism boom for long-term residents, while exploring ways that the quality of life of these residents can be improved in the present and future.

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Nov 8th, 1:30 PM Nov 8th, 5:30 PM

Tourists replaced my neighbors!: Local understandings of neighborhood change in Cusco

The San Blas neighborhood of Cuzco is a typical Andean community that sits in the city center above the Plaza de Armas. Cusco was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, eventually increasing tourism and creating complications of building renovation for local residents; the restoration requirements for cities declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites demand that buildings be renovated in a strict and usually expensive fashion. The San Blas neighborhood is home to both Incan and Spanish Colonial architectural structures, which are protected in order to maintain the city’s cultural and historical integrity. Since the beginning of Cusco’s tourism boom in the 1990s, San Blas and the rest of Cusco’s historical center has experienced an influx of tourists and affluent Europeans and North Americans who are buying and renting long-term residents’ houses in order to establish tourist-friendly businesses such as hotels, restaurants and yoga studios. Nonetheless, some long-term residents have stayed, many of which and have taken advantage of the tourism industry by opening their own hotels, restaurants or souvenir shops. In sum, the fabric of the population has changed rapidly over the past thirty years. Although tourism is an important economic resource for a large part of the San Blas population, its negative effects in many ways outweigh its positive effects for long-term residents. I am addressing the issues associated with neighborhood change, gentrification and the tourism boom for long-term residents, while exploring ways that the quality of life of these residents can be improved in the present and future.