Desert Tourism: Tracing the Fragile Edges of Development

Overview


Deserts are becoming increasingly popular tourist destinations. However, the growth of this tourism niche raises particular challenges, jeopardizing their fragile ecosystems and straining scarce resources. Paradoxically, the increasing popularity of desert tourism is undermining the very essence of the allure of these places. In developing countries, the consequences are even more drastic, as local populations live in dire conditions with few resources and insufficient ...
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Overview


Deserts are becoming increasingly popular tourist destinations. However, the growth of this tourism niche raises particular challenges, jeopardizing their fragile ecosystems and straining scarce resources. Paradoxically, the increasing popularity of desert tourism is undermining the very essence of the allure of these places. In developing countries, the consequences are even more drastic, as local populations live in dire conditions with few resources and insufficient infrastructure, rarely benefiting from tourism's economic effects.
This book seeks to analyze the relationship between tourism and the sustainable development of those territories, addressing issues raised by architecture, landscape design, and planning. Following a historical perspective, Susan Miller, Claude Prelorenzo, Neil Levine, and Aziza Chaouni show how the imaginaire of the desert was invented by movie directors, writers, and architects. Virginie Lefebvre, Alessandra Ponte, and Kazys Varnelis explore traces of previous conflicts that transformed deserts, from war to peace, into touristic destinations and places for experimentation. Finally, an analysis of contemporary conditions helps to measure the challenges still to be faced: Vincent Battesti tackles the ethnocultural landscapes of the oasis, Chris Johnson the preservation of deserts and impacts on local communities, and Gini Lee the use of deserts as creative places for artists.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Virginie Lefebvre is a Professor in History and Theory at the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture Paris-Malaquais and a founding member of the research laboratory LIAT (laboratoire de recherche architecture, infrastructure et territoire).

Aziza Chaouni is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Toronto.

Susan Gilson Miller is Associate Professor of History at the University of California at Davis.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Desert Tourism Then and Now Virginie Picon-Lefebvre 6

1 Desert Blues: Historical Riffs on the Moroccan Periphery Susan Gilson Miller 8

2 The Desert as a (Movie) Myth Claude Prelorenzo 20

3 A Utopian Space Between Tourism and Development: Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture for the Deserts of the American Southwest Neil Levine 34

4 The Kasbah Hotel: Mythopoesis in the Moroccan Tourist Landscape Aziza Chaouni 52

5 From War to Peace, the Making of a Landscape Virginie Picon-Lefebvre 62

6 Photographic Encounters In The American Desert Alessandra Ponte 74

7 Quartzsite, Arizona: Tales of Desert Nomads Robert Sumrell Kazys Varnelis 94

8 The Saharan Oasis Put to the Test of Its Landscape: The Jerid Vincent Battesti 104

9 Desert Tourism As A Vehicle For Nature Conservation: The Jordanian Experience Chris Johnson 118

10 The Intention To Notice: Explorations Through Ephemeral Desert Landscapes Gini Lee 134

Contributors 148

Acknowledgments 150

Illustration Credits 151

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