'Ugly' Tourism in Belgium

An entrepreneur in a declining industrial city takes visitors on an 'Urban Safari.'

Charleroi, a city of 200,000 with an unemployment rate of over 25%, typically doesn't get many tourists, writes Frances Robinson, but native son Nicolas Buissart hopes to change that with his unconventional tours of former industrial sites. Stops include abandoned metro stations, a converted river barge, and former steel works.

While Buissart describes ticket sales as "robust," city officials have yet to embrace the concept, writes Robinson:

"City authorities haven't taken kindly to the tour. They say the city has turned a corner.

"'The cultural life of Charleroi is very rich,' insists [Antoine Tanzilli, the councilor responsible for promoting tourism at City Hall.] "Although it's not a tourist town in the conventional sense, we get visitors due to the airport, and there are some architectural jewels.'

"New transport and business projects, he reckons, will reinvigorate the city center."

Full Story: Tour Embraces a Town's Ugly Truth: It's a Dump

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95