Beach Town Tourism: The Smooth and Striated Dynamics of Pacific Beach, California
Pelach, Bryan David
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The beach is often considered spatially homogeneous. Marine tourism, coastal zone management, and urban planning policies frequently envision the beach as a static space without recognition of the socio-culturally dynamic, and spatially complex, relationships created between a beach’s user groups. Utilizing Pacific Beach, California as a case study, the complexity of these spatial relationships is examined and a selection of geophilosophical terms are applied so as to elucidate these dynamics. A literature review of Social-Ecological Systems - emphasizing the HANS model -provides the academic context, and an exploration of Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts of smooth and striated space establishes the philosophical framework for the research. Elite interviewing is supplemented by limited participant and unobtrusive observation, as well as Participatory GIS, to qualitatively document the complex spatial relationships between locals and the beach. A history of Pacific Beach is provided to situate the community and beach socially and spatially. The smooth and striated spaces of these complex relationships develop and justify a new conceptualization of space for marine destination planning. Results are discussed within the context of marine tourism and planning, and could be further extrapolated to the fields of coastal zone management, marine spatial planning, marine shipping and transportation, marine protected areas, protected destination systems, sustainable development, and coastal resilience.
- Marine affairs