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01.2 Islands, sustainability and quality of life

Tuesday, June 27, 2023
11:00 - 12:30


Mihyun Seong
University of Groningen

Dominant Industry and Lock-in Ripple Effects on the Local Economy: a path renewal and local economy in Geoje, South Korea


This research investigates regional economic lock-ins through Geoje island in South Korea, where its economy has been shaped under national- and regional- development policies. Under path dependency theory in evolutionary economic geography, the ripple effects of the shipbuilding industry in Geoje are investigated to measure how strongly its local economy is tied into the dominant industry. This investigation is to provide a novel sight of a path renewal mechanism towards a more stable and resilient development. Using spatial analysis with GIS and econometrics, statistically significant relationships are found between the shipbuilding industry, and regional economic indicators such as employment (total number of employees) and economic structure (industrial diversity) in each administrative division. These statistical models take space and time factors into account in order to provide neighboring and time-lag effects. As the research results indicate, the shipbuilding industry has statistically significant positive relationships with the both indicators, but low coefficients for the industrial diversity. Even with the low coefficients between the shipbuilding industry and the industrial diversity, the spatial econometrics model (dynamic Spatial Durbin Model (SDM) with common factors) indicates the industrial diversity of one spatial unit impacts its neighboring units. Therefore, the findings of this research initiate further discussion of a renewal mechanism with diversification and the ripple effects on the local economy.

Aglaia Spyridoula Koliotasi
Ionian University

Societal Happiness and sustainability of tourism destinations. Comparing two island case studies in Greece


Tourism development may not always be a source of satisfaction or happiness in local societies. Considering the three pillars of sustainability: economy, society, environment, societal sustainability can be achieved through the concept of “happiness”. Societal happiness as a community characteristic is shaped by the happiness of individuals-closely linked concept and dependency with quality of life. A plethora of studies measures happiness with secondary data while the majority of the primary research concentrates on the investigation of the happiness of tourists. This study attempts to fill the gap in the relevant literature by measuring happiness in society and more specifically in residents, entrepreneurs, employees at tourism destinations. The data collection will be carried out through primary research adopting an online semi-structured questionnaire, common to the examined categories of society - stakeholders of tourism. Two Greek islands with different geographical characteristics and types of tourism development will serve as case studies: Kerkyra (Corfu) and Euboia. More specifically, Kerkyra (Corfu) is a mature and internationally known tourism destination that follows the massive tourism pattern, has an airport as well as ports and marinas and it is an important cruise destination, while Euboia is mostly considered as a domestic tourism destination that is easily accessible - it is connected to the mainland of Greece via a bridge. The proposed research intends to identify and analyze the causes that affect happiness in the light of sustainability, propose good practices, which, if implemented, will contribute positively to the societal happiness of both examined tourism destinations.
Dr. Loukia - Maria Fratsea
Harokopio University

Resilience and well-being in Aegean island communities viewed through the lens of transformative mobilities


Many islands in the Aegean Sea face geographical disadvantages in addition to geographical distance. Their economies fluctuate seasonally, while population dynamics and socio-economic characteristics vary widely. Different forms of mobility play an important role in strengthening social resilience in island regions. Indeed, there are several transformative mobilities that relate to a mix of the numerous mobilities within and between rural/island regions, linking island areas with other areas, both urban and rural. These mobilities have a transformative capacity that enhance the attractiveness of island communities and quality of life.
This paper draws upon a 5-year research in two rural island communities in the Aegean Sea, focusing primarily on the socioeconomic research of local population and stakeholders in the midst of the economic recession in Greece. Methodologically, the paper synthesises survey data collected over two periods (2014/2017) with residents of the Northern Cyclades, rich qualitative material from 45 interviews and 4 focus groups conducted with various stakeholders between 2014 and 2018, and participatory research.
The aim of the paper is to discuss the dynamics of resilience in two rural coastal areas in relation to the different forms of mobilities of local and non-local social groups (e.g., local population, migrants, professional groups, internal migrants) and to critically discuss the local practices of resilience and the views and perceptions of the different social groups in relation to quality of life and well-being, arguing for a more nuanced analysis of the transformative capacity of mobilities in island areas.
Sissal Dahl
University of Groningen

Retelling the Continuously Changing Island


On the Faroe Islands, an isolated archipelago in the of the North Atlantic Ocean, the history of the islands and its islanders has been passed down orally through generations. However, these are stories of a past long gone, framed by an island reality that has now been transformed by globalisation. This research continues the tradition of storytelling, but replaces the grand narratives of quests, heroes, and villains with an interest in the particular and mundane stories of everyday life in a place that has experienced comprehensive change over the last decades. The focus is on the capital of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn, and its recent transition from being a rural to an urban area with continously increasing urban possibilities and characteristics. It will engage with the memories, emotions and experiences of this transition from periphery to centre that continue to be overlooked, namely that of local women. Life-story interviewing with elderly local women is used to gain thick description of the emplaced embodied experience of the continously changing city of Tórshavn and its everyday geographies. This insight contributes to the discussion of the gendered experience of island life and the intersection of gender and Islandness (Karides, 2017), and a more diverse and plural understanding of rural-urban transitions on islands.



Contact for questions about abstracts or registration: groningen@congressbydesign.com 

Contact for questions about the content of the programme: ruralgeo2023@rug.nl