Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: Barcelona

24 A Framework for Defining Innovation Districts: A Case Study of [email protected] Barcelona

Authors: Arnault Morisson

Abstract:

Innovation districts are being implemented as urban regeneration strategies in cities as diverse as Barcelona (Spain), Boston (Massachusetts), Chattanooga (Tennessee), Detroit (Michigan), Medellin (Colombia), and Montréal (Canada). Little, however, is known about the concept. This paper aims to provide a framework to define innovation districts. The research methodology is based on a qualitative approach using [email protected] Barcelona as a case study. [email protected] Barcelona was the first innovation district ever created and has been a model for the innovation districts of Medellin (Colombia) and Boston (Massachusetts) among others. Innovation districts based on the [email protected] Barcelona’s model can be defined as top-down urban innovation ecosystems designed around four multilayered and multidimensional models of innovation: urban planning, productive, collaborative, and creative, all coordinated under strong leadership, with the ultimate objectives to accelerate the innovation process and competitiveness of a locality. Innovation districts aim to respond to a new economic paradigm in which economic production flows back to cities.

Keywords: innovation ecosystem, governance, technology park, urban planning, urban policy, urban regeneration

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23 Assessment of the Impact of Traffic Safety Policy in Barcelona, 2010-2019

Authors: Lluís Bermúdez, Isabel Morillo

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Road safety involves carrying out a determined and explicit policy to reduce accidents. In the city of Barcelona, through the Local Road Safety Plan 2013-2018, in line with the framework that has been established at the European and state level, a series of preventive, corrective and technical measures are specified, with the priority objective of reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities. In this work, based on the data from the accidents managed by the local police during the period 2010-2019, an analysis is carried out to verify whether the measures established in the Plan to reduce the accident rate have had an effect or not and to what extent. The analysis focuses on the type of accident and the type of vehicles involved. Different count regression models have been fitted, from which it can be deduced that the number of serious and fatal victims of the accidents that have occurred in the city of Barcelona has been reduced as the measures approved by the authorities.

Keywords: accident reduction, count regression models, road safety, urban traffic

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22 Urban Ecological Interaction: Air, Water, Light and New Transit at the Human Scale of Barcelona’s Superilles

Authors: Philip Speranza

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As everyday transit options are shifting from autocentric to pedestrian and bicycle oriented modes for healthy living, downtown streets are becoming more attractive places to live. However, tools and methods to measure the natural environment at the small scale of streets do not exist. Fortunately, a combination of mobile data collection technology and parametric urban design software now allows an interface to relate urban ecological conditions. This paper describes creation of an interactive tool to measure urban phenomena of air, water, and heat/light at the scale of new three-by-three block pedestrianized areas in Barcelona called Superilles. Each Superilla limits transit to the exterior of the blocks and to create more walkable and bikeable interior streets for healthy living. The research will describe the integration of data collection, analysis, and design output via a live interface using parametric software Rhino Grasshopper and the Human User Interface (UI) plugin.

Keywords: transit, urban design, GIS, parametric design, Superilles, Barcelona, urban ecology

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21 Evolution of Economic Urban Spaces: Barcelona's Trafalgar Garment District, 1940-2017

Authors: Rafael Vicente Salar

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Cities are steadily transforming their productive systems based on value-adding strategies, with the aim of becoming more competitive in a globalized economy. This fact is reflected in inner urban spaces which are increasingly accommodating new economic activities related to knowledge, culture, creativity, and tourism, to the detriment of traditional activities. This is the case of the Trafalgar Garment District (TGD), located in Barcelona´s Eixample Dret neighborhood, an economic urban space historically devoted to the garment wholesale trade. This district is currently experiencing the transformation of its traditional economic specialization. In the last 50 years, external and internal factors have caused, firstly, the disintegration of the Catalonian garment regional cluster. This has resulted in the closure of the majority of metropolitan garment workshops. Secondly, this has also caused either the disappearance of wholesale firms or their relocation to more suitable spaces in the metropolitan area. Specifically, the TGD's economic restructuration is related to the attraction of firms related to the lodging industry and the new economy. In addition, some of the wholesale businesses are adopting new management strategies in order to remain in the TGD. These initiatives are thought to allow them, on one hand, to upgrade their products and, on the other, to reconfigure their internal organization in order to be more competitive.

Keywords: Barcelona, garment district, new economy, tourism, garmen wholesale trade

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20 Pricing the Risk Associated to Weather of Variable Renewable Energy Generation

Authors: Jorge M. Uribe

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We propose a methodology for setting the price of an insurance contract targeted to manage the risk associated with weather conditions that affect variable renewable energy generation. The methodology relies on conditional quantile regressions to estimate the weather risk of a solar panel. It is illustrated using real daily radiation and weather data for three cities in Spain (Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid) from February 2/2004 to January 22/2019. We also adapt the concepts of value at risk and expected short fall from finance to this context, to provide a complete panorama of what we label as weather risk. The methodology is easy to implement and can be used by insurance companies to price a contract with the aforementioned characteristics when data about similar projects and accurate cash flow projections are lacking. Our methodology assigns a higher price to an insurance product with the stated characteristics in Madrid, compared to Valencia and Barcelona. This is consistent with Madrid showing the largest interquartile range of operational deficits and it is unrelated to the average value deficit, which illustrates the importance of our proposal.

Keywords: insurance, weather, vre, risk

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19 Airbnb, Hotel Industry and Optimum Strategies: Evidence from European Cities, Barcelona, London and Paris

Authors: Juan Pedro Aznar Alarcon, Josep Maria Sayeras Maspera

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Airbnb and other similar platforms are offering a near substitute to the traditional accommodation service supplied by the hotel sector. In this context, hotels can try to compete by offering higher quality and additional services, which imply the need for new investments or try to compete by reducing prices. The theoretical model presented in this paper analyzes the best response using a sequential game theory model. The main conclusion is that due to the financial constraints that small and medium hotels have these hotels have reduced prices whereas hotels that belong to international groups or have an easy access to financial resources have increased their investment to increase the quality of the service provided. To check the validity of the theoretical model financial data from Barcelona, London and Paris hotels have been used analyzing profitability, quality of the service provided, the investment propensity and the evolution of the gross profit. The model and the empirical data provide the base for some industrial policy in the hospitality industry. To address the extra cost that small hotels in Europe have to face compared by bigger firms would help to improve the level of quality provided and to some extent have positive externalities in terms of job creation and an increasing added value for the industry.

Keywords: Airbnb, profitability, hospitality industry, game theory

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18 The Image Redefinition of Urban Destinations: The Case of Madrid and Barcelona

Authors: Montserrat Crespi Vallbona, Marta Domínguez Pérez

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Globalization impacts on cities and especially on their centers, especially on those spaces more visible and coveted. Changes are involved in processes such as touristification, gentrification or studentification, in addition of shop trendiness. The city becomes a good of interchange rather than a communal good for its inhabitants and consequently, its value is monetized. So, these different tendencies are analyzed: on one hand, the presence of tourists, the home rental increase, the explosion of businesses related to tourism; on the other hand; the return of middle classes or gentries to the center in a socio-spatial model that has changed highlighting the centers by their culture and their opportunities as well as by the value of public space and centrality; then, the interest of students (national and international) to be part of these city centers as dynamic groups and emerging classes with a higher purchasing power and better cultural capital than in the past; and finally, the conversion of old stores into modern ones, where vintage trend and the renewal of antiquity is the essence. All these transforming processes impact the European cities and redefine their image. All these trends reinforce the impression and brand of the urban center as an attractive space for investment, keeping such nonsense meaningful. These four tendencies have been spreading correlatively impacting the centers and transforming them involving the displacement of former residents of these spaces and revitalizing the center that is financed and commercialized in parallel. The cases of Madrid and Barcelona as spaces of greater evidence in Spain of these tendencies serve to illustrate these processes and represent the spearhead. Useful recommendations are presented to urban planners to find the conciliation of communal and commercialized spaces.

Keywords: gentrification, shop trendiness, studentification, touristification

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17 Development and Adaptation of a LGBM Machine Learning Model, with a Suitable Concept Drift Detection and Adaptation Technique, for Barcelona Household Electric Load Forecasting During Covid-19 Pandemic Periods (Pre-Pandemic and Strict Lockdown)

Authors: Eric Pla Erra, Mariana Jimenez Martinez

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While aggregated loads at a community level tend to be easier to predict, individual household load forecasting present more challenges with higher volatility and uncertainty. Furthermore, the drastic changes that our behavior patterns have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic have modified our daily electrical consumption curves and, therefore, further complicated the forecasting methods used to predict short-term electric load. Load forecasting is vital for the smooth and optimized planning and operation of our electric grids, but it also plays a crucial role for individual domestic consumers that rely on a HEMS (Home Energy Management Systems) to optimize their energy usage through self-generation, storage, or smart appliances management. An accurate forecasting leads to higher energy savings and overall energy efficiency of the household when paired with a proper HEMS. In order to study how COVID-19 has affected the accuracy of forecasting methods, an evaluation of the performance of a state-of-the-art LGBM (Light Gradient Boosting Model) will be conducted during the transition between pre-pandemic and lockdowns periods, considering day-ahead electric load forecasting. LGBM improves the capabilities of standard Decision Tree models in both speed and reduction of memory consumption, but it still offers a high accuracy. Even though LGBM has complex non-linear modelling capabilities, it has proven to be a competitive method under challenging forecasting scenarios such as short series, heterogeneous series, or data patterns with minimal prior knowledge. An adaptation of the LGBM model – called “resilient LGBM” – will be also tested, incorporating a concept drift detection technique for time series analysis, with the purpose to evaluate its capabilities to improve the model’s accuracy during extreme events such as COVID-19 lockdowns. The results for the LGBM and resilient LGBM will be compared using standard RMSE (Root Mean Squared Error) as the main performance metric. The models’ performance will be evaluated over a set of real households’ hourly electricity consumption data measured before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. All households are located in the city of Barcelona, Spain, and present different consumption profiles. This study is carried out under the ComMit-20 project, financed by AGAUR (Agència de Gestiód’AjutsUniversitaris), which aims to determine the short and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on building energy consumption, incrementing the resilience of electrical systems through the use of tools such as HEMS and artificial intelligence.

Keywords: concept drift, forecasting, home energy management system (HEMS), light gradient boosting model (LGBM)

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16 The Competence of Solving Mathematical Problems in the Formation of Ethical Values

Authors: Veronica Diaz Quezada

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A study and its preliminary results are presented. The research is descriptive and exploratory and it is still in process. Its objective is to develop an assessment method in the field of fostering values using competence mathematics problem solving. This is part of a more extensive research that aims at contributing to educational integration in Latin America, particularly to the development of proposals to link education for citizenship and the mathematics lessons. This is being carried out by research teams of University of Barcelona-España; University Nacional of Costa Rica; University Autónoma of Querétaro-México; Pontificia University Católica of Perú, University Nacional of Villa María- Argentina and University of Los Lagos-Chile, in the context of Andrés Bello Chair for the Association of Latin American Universities. This research was developed and implemented in Chile in 2016, using mixed research methods. It included interviews and a problem-solving math test with ethical values that was administered to students of the secondary education of the regions of Los Ríos and of the Lakes of Chile. The results show the lack of integration between the teaching of values and science discipline.

Keywords: citizenchip, ethical values, mathematics, secondary school, solving problem

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15 Heritage and Tourism in the Era of Big Data: Analysis of Chinese Cultural Tourism in Catalonia

Authors: Xinge Liao, Francesc Xavier Roige Ventura, Dolores Sanchez Aguilera

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With the development of the Internet, the study of tourism behavior has rapidly expanded from the traditional physical market to the online market. Data on the Internet is characterized by dynamic changes, and new data appear all the time. In recent years the generation of a large volume of data was characterized, such as forums, blogs, and other sources, which have expanded over time and space, together they constitute large-scale Internet data, known as Big Data. This data of technological origin that derives from the use of devices and the activity of multiple users is becoming a source of great importance for the study of geography and the behavior of tourists. The study will focus on cultural heritage tourist practices in the context of Big Data. The research will focus on exploring the characteristics and behavior of Chinese tourists in relation to the cultural heritage of Catalonia. Geographical information, target image, perceptions in user-generated content will be studied through data analysis from Weibo -the largest social networks of blogs in China. Through the analysis of the behavior of heritage tourists in the Big Data environment, this study will understand the practices (activities, motivations, perceptions) of cultural tourists and then understand the needs and preferences of tourists in order to better guide the sustainable development of tourism in heritage sites.

Keywords: Barcelona, Big Data, Catalonia, cultural heritage, Chinese tourism market, tourists’ behavior

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14 World’s Fair (EXPO) Induced Heritage

Authors: Işılay Tiarnagh Sheridan

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World EXPO, short version for the “exposition”, is a large universal public exhibition held since 1851. Within the 164 years, it was organized 34 times in 22 cities and as a result it has given birth to its very own culture unlike most of other international events. It has an outstanding power in transforming the places, in which it is held, into trademarks via changes in their urban tissues. For that, it is widely remembered with its cities instead of its countries. Within the scope of this change, some constructions were planned to be temporary, some planned to be permanent and some were thought to be temporary but kept afterwards becoming important monuments such as the Crystal Palace of London (though it was destroyed later by a fire) and the Eiffel Tower of Paris. These examples are the most prominent names upon considering World EXPOs. Yet, there are so many other legacies of these events within modern city fabric today that we don’t usually associate with its Expo history. Some of them are leading figures not only for the housing city but for other cities also, such as the first Metro line of Paris during 1900 World EXPO; some of them are listed as monuments of the cities such as Saint Louis Art Museum of 1904 World EXPO; some of them, like Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building of 1880 World’s EXPO, are among UNESCO World Heritage Sites and some of them are the masterpieces of modern architecture such as the famous Barcelona Pavilion, German pavilion of the 1929 World’s EXPO, of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Thus, the aim of this paper is to analyze the history of World’s EXPO and its eventual results in the birth of its own cultural heritage. Upon organizing these results, the paper aims to create a brief list of EXPO heritage monuments and sites so as to form a database for their further conservation needs.

Keywords: expo, heritage, world's fair, legacy

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13 Sediment Trapping by Seagrass Blades under Oscillatory Flow

Authors: Aina Barcelona, Carolyn Oldham, Jordi Colomer, Jordi Garcia-Orellana, Teresa Serra

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Seagrass meadows increase the sedimentation within the canopy. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about how seagrasses impact the vertical distribution of sediment coming from external sources and reaches the meadow. This study aims to determine the number of particles retained by a seagrass meadow. Based on the hydrodynamics in the vertical direction, a meadow can be separated into different compartments: the blades, the seabed, within the canopy layer, and the above canopy layer. A set of laboratory experiments were conducted under different hydrodynamic conditions and canopy densities with the purpose to mimic the real field conditions. This study demonstrates and quantifies that seagrass meadows decrease the volume of the suspended sediment by two mechanisms: capturing the suspended sediment by the seagrass blades and promoting the particle sedimentation to the seabed. This study also demonstrates that the number of sediment particles trapped by single seagrass blades decreases with canopy density. However, when considering the trapping by the total number of blades, the sediment captured by all the blades of the meadow increases with canopy density. Furthermore, comparing with the bare seabed, this study demonstrated that there is a reduction in the suspended particles within the canopy, which implies an improvement in the water clarity. In addition, the particle sedimentation on the seabed increases with the canopy density compared with the bare seabed, making evident the contribution of the vegetation in enhancing sedimentation.

Keywords: seagrass, sediment capture, turbulent kinetic energy, oscillatory flow

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12 Homophily in Youth Athletics: Sociodemographics, Group Cohesion, and the Psychology of Performance in Sport

Authors: Brandon Ko

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Whether it’s a kitchen staff or a law firm, many groups tend to have homogenous characteristics of race, gender, interests, and goals. Social groups are not typically random samples of the population and will usually have common identifiers. According to Blau, age, sex, and education all play salient roles in shaping relationships within members of society. So if there is some degree of homogeneity within groups, the question arises whether this is beneficial or harmful to a group’s effectiveness. There has been much disagreement in the scientific community as to whether the presence of homophily benefits or hinders an athletic team's cohesiveness. For this paper, a comparative study of research of soccer case studies that followed various, youth players was studied against examinations of the effects that such a culture has on athletes. The case studies were used as evidence to determine what kind of homophily existed within the soccer camps. One case study followed several European developmental clubs such as Bayern Munich and Barcelona. Another study followed eight different players, four of each gender, implementing a similar method of interviewing, observing, and questioning. The individual and team goals of each athlete were reviewed to see which teams and players were ego-oriented and which were team-oriented. Additionally, there had been little research done on the relationship between homophily and how it applies to the sport community, suggesting the need to develop this neglected problem in applied psychology. This paper argues that the benefits of an egalitarian culture and stronger relations with people of a similar socio-demographic outweigh the liabilities of cohesion like being stereotyped and a lack of network outside the group as produced by homophily in athletic competition.

Keywords: group cohesion, homophily, sports psychology, youth athletics

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11 The Minimum Patch Size Scale for Seagrass Canopy Restoration

Authors: Aina Barcelona, Carolyn Oldham, Jordi Colomer, Teresa Serra

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The loss of seagrass meadows worldwide is being tackled by formulating coastal restoration strategies. Seagrass loss results in a network of vegetated patches which are barely interconnected, and consequently, the ecological services they provide may be highly compromised. Hence, there is a need to optimize coastal management efforts in order to implement successful restoration strategies, not only through modifying the architecture of the canopies but also by gathering together information on the hydrodynamic conditions of the seabeds. To obtain information on the hydrodynamics within the patches of vegetation, this study deals with the scale analysis of the minimum lengths of patch management strategies that can be effectively used on. To this aim, a set of laboratory experiments were conducted in a laboratory flume where the plant densities, patch lengths, and hydrodynamic conditions were varied to discern the vegetated patch lengths that can provide optimal ecosystem services for canopy development. Two possible patch behaviours based on the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) production were determined: one where plants do not interact with the flow and the other where plants interact with waves and produce TKE. Furthermore, this study determines the minimum patch lengths that can provide successful management restoration. A canopy will produce TKE, depending on its density, the length of the vegetated patch, and the wave velocities. Therefore, a vegetated patch will produce plant-wave interaction under high wave velocities when it presents large lengths and high canopy densities.

Keywords: seagrass, minimum patch size, turbulent kinetic energy, oscillatory flow

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10 Portuguese City Reconstructed from Public Space: The Example of the Requalification of Cacém Central Area

Authors: Rodrigo Coelho

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As several authors have pointed out (such as Jordi Borja, or Oriol Bohigas), the necessity to “make center” presents itself not only as a imperative response to deal with the processes of dissolution of peripheral urbanization, as it should be assumed, from the point of view its symbolic and functional meaning, as a key concept to think and act on the enlarged city. The notion of re-centralization (successfully applied in urban periphery recompositions, such as in Barcelona or Lyon), understood from the redefinition of mobility, the strengthening of core functions, and from the creation or consolidation of urban fabrics (always articulated with policies of creation and redevelopment of public spaces), seems to become one of the key strategies over the challenge of making the city on the “city periphery”. The question we want to address in this paper concerns, essentially, the importance of public space in the (re) construction of the contemporary "shapeless city” sectors (which, in general, we associate to urban peripheries). We will seek demonstrate, from the analysis of a Portuguese case study–The Cacém Central Area requalification, integrated in Polis Program (National Program for Urban Rehabilitation and Environmental Improvement of Cities, released in 1999 by the Portuguese government), the conditions under which the public space project can act, subsequently, in the urban areas of recent formation, where, in many situations, the public space did not have a structuring role in its urbanization, seeing its presence reduced to a residual character. More specifically, we intend to demonstrate with this example the methodological and urban design aspects that led to the regeneration of a disqualified and degraded urban area, by intervening consistently and profoundly in public space (with well defined objectives and criteria, and framed in a more comprehensive strategy, attentive to the various scales of urban design).

Keywords: public space, urban design, urban regeneration, urban and regional studies

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9 Ecological Concerns in Food Systems: An Ethnographical Approach on Vegan Impact in Governmentality

Authors: Jessica Gonzalez

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Veganism, along with different types of vegetarianism, consists in the abstinence of animal products. Far from being only an alimentary regulation, it stands as a political posture against the food industry generating itself a set of beliefs, prohibitions, and attitudes that compel the individual to a reevaluation of his obligations towards the environment. Veganism defends animal rights and at the same time reinforces a different conception of natural resources embodying it in alimentary restrictions. These practices emerge in the context of alimentary modernity, which is characterized by bringing new concerns to the consumer. An increased skepticism towards the government ability to protect food supply; a notable distrust toward the market guaranties on providing safe food with sustainable techniques and the desire to react to the neoliberal forms of exploitation are some of its consequences of this phenomenon. This study aims to approach the concept of governmentality as a coproduced system of legitimized practices and knowledge, formed by the interaction of the different actors that are involved. In a scenario where the State seems to retreat from centralized regulation of food production giving up importance to citizens, dietary consultants, farmers, and stockbreeders, veganism plays its role on the conformation of distinctive forms of environmentalism, nature rights and responses to ecological crisis. The ethnographic method allows observing the mechanisms of interaction of consumers and discourses with the mainstream food system, providing evidence about the means of generation of new conceptions about nature and the environment. The paper focuses on how the dietary restrictions, consumption patterns and public discourses of vegans in Barcelona impact local consumption, demonstrating its relevance as a mechanism that associates particular concerns about food with political economy.

Keywords: animal rights, environmentalism, food system, governmentality, veganism

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8 Sociological Approach to the Influence of Gender Stereotypes in Sport Education

Authors: Sara Rozenwajn Acheroy

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This study aims to analyze gender stereotypes’ influence of physical education’s teachers in secondary education and coaches in sports clubs of five sports: swimming, beach-volley, tennis, gymnastics and football. Because sport is a major socializing agent of high symbolic, ideological and economical relevance with an impact in the social values and the construct of identity, in addition, to be an international and global phenomenon, States tend to institutionalize it through education, federations, and clubs, as well as build sports facilities. Research in the field is now needed more than ever, given that sport is still considered as a masculine practice, and that such perspective is spread at school since the age of six in physical education lessons. For all those reasons, and more, it is necessary to study which stereotypes are transmitted in its everyday practice and how it affects young people’s self-perception on their physical and body capacities. This study’s objectives are centered on 4 points: 1) stereotypes and self-perception of students and young people, 2) teachers and coaches’ stereotypes and influence, 3) social status of parents (indicative) and 4) environmental analysis of schools and sport clubs. To that end, triangular methodology has been favored. Quantitative and qualitative data, through semi-structured interviews with coaches and teachers; group interviews with young people; 450 surveys in high schools from Madrid, Barcelona and Canary Islands; and participant observation in clubs. Remarks made at this stage of the study are diverse and not conclusive. For example, physical education teachers have more gender stereotypes than coaches in sport clubs, matching with our hypothesis so far. It also seems that young people at the age of 16-17 still do not have internalized gender stereotypes as deep as their teachers. This among other observations of the current fieldwork will be exposed, hoping to give a better understanding of the need for gender policies and educational programs with gender perspective in all sectors that includes sport’s activities.

Keywords: gender, sport, sexism, gender stereotypes, sport education

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7 Countering Radicalization to Violent Extremism: A Comparative Study of Canada, the UK and South East Asia

Authors: Daniel Alati

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Recent high-profile terrorist events in Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe – the London Bridge attacks, the terrorist attacks in Nice, France and Barcelona, Spain, the 2014 Ottawa Parliament attacks and the 2017 attacks in Edmonton – have all raised levels of public and academic concern with so-called “lone-wolf” and “radicalized” terrorism. Similarly, several countries outside of the “Western” world have been dealing with radicalization to violent extremism for several years. Many South East Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines have all had experience with what might be described as ISIS or extremist-inspired acts of terrorism. Indeed, it appears the greatest strength of groups such as ISIS has been their ability to spread a global message of violent extremism that has led to radicalization in markedly different jurisdictions throughout the world. These markedly different jurisdictions have responded with counter-radicalization strategies that warrant further comparative analysis. This paper utilizes an inter-disciplinary legal methodology. In doing so, it compares legal, political, cultural and historical aspects of the counter-radicalization strategies employed by Canada, the United Kingdom and several South East Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines). Whilst acknowledging significant legal and political differences between these jurisdictions, the paper engages in these analyses with an eye towards understanding which best practices might be shared between the jurisdictions. In doing so, it presents valuable findings of a comparative nature that are useful to both academic and practitioner audiences in several jurisdictions.

Keywords: Canada, United Kingdom and South East Asia, comparative law and politics, radicalization to violent extremism, terrorism

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6 When Creativity Is the Solution: How to Transform Makkah into a Creative City

Authors: Saeed Al Amoudy

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During the last decade, the rapidly growing prestige of so-called Creative Cities has inspired many other cities seeking to enhance their attractiveness, creativity, and success. However, the concept of a creative city seems to be an elusive one because it reflects a set of distinct ideologies which apply distinct ideas of creativity to physical and economic urban development. The main aim of this study is to investigate the ways in which the theoretical concept of the creative city can be usefully and practically employed to develop the urban services and global identity of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. This is a challenging prospect since no research on creative cities in the Middle East has previously been conducted. The city of Makkah and its holy sites is known as the focus of religious devotion for one and half billion Muslims around the globe, with millions travelling there on annual pilgrimage. The ideas of three of the key authors who have addressed relevant aspects of the concept of the creative city, Landry, Howkins and Florida, were explored in depth for the purpose of identifying the model which would be best suited to Makkah’s identity as a sacred city. Of these, it was the approach of Landry and others whose work was originally focused on finding creative solutions to the problems faced by cities which proved most suitable for the context of Makkah. The development strategies of five case studies of Creative Cities situated in different parts of the world, namely Vancouver, Yokohama, Glasgow, Barcelona, and Sydney, were also examined. Inspired by their diverse experiences, a model, referred to by the acronym CREATIVE, was developed by bringing together the key elements which seemed to ,account for the success of these five creative cities: Concept, Resources, Events, Attractiveness, Technology, Involvement, Vision and Enthusiasm. Expert opinion was sought on the model by presenting this for discussion at five international conferences. This model was used to guide both the process of data collection via interviews, documentation and field notes, and for analysing this, revealing that Makkah has great potential to become a Creative City. The results suggested that implementation of the CREATIVE model in Makkah would help produce creative solutions to address the problems that the city currently faces due to the growing number of pilgrims every year.

Keywords: creative city, city imaging, Makkah, sacred city

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5 Low SPOP Expression and High MDM2 expression Are Associated with Tumor Progression and Predict Poor Prognosis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Authors: Chang Liang, Weizhi Gong, Yan Zhang

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Purpose: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a malignant tumor with a high mortality rate and poor prognosis worldwide. Murine double minute 2 (MDM2) regulates the tumor suppressor p53, increasing cancer risk and accelerating tumor progression. Speckle-type POX virus and zinc finger protein (SPOP), a key of subunit of Cullin-Ring E3 ligase, inhibits tumor genesis and progression by the ubiquitination of its downstream substrates. This study aimed to clarify whether SPOP and MDM2 are mutually regulated in HCC and the correlation between SPOP and MDM2 and the prognosis of HCC patients. Methods: First, the expression of SPOP and MDM2 in HCC tissues were detected by TCGA database. Then, 53 paired samples of HCC tumor and adjacent tissues were collected to evaluate the expression of SPOP and MDM2 using immunohistochemistry. Chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test were used to analyze the relationship between clinicopathological features and the expression levels of SPOP and MDM2. In addition, Kaplan‒Meier curve analysis and log-rank test were used to investigate the effects of SPOP and MDM2 on the survival of HCC patients. Last, the Multivariate Cox proportional risk regression model analyzed whether the different expression levels of SPOP and MDM2 were independent risk factors for the prognosis of HCC patients. Results: Bioinformatics analysis revealed the low expression of SPOP and high expression of MDM2 were related to worse prognosis of HCC patients. The relationship between the expression of SPOP and MDM2 and tumor stem-like features showed an opposite trend. The immunohistochemistry showed the expression of SPOP protein was significantly downregulated while MDM2 protein significantly upregulated in HCC tissue compared to that in para-cancerous tissue. Tumors with low SPOP expression were related to worse T stage and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage, but tumors with high MDM2 expression were related to worse T stage, M stage, and BCLC stage. Kaplan–Meier curves showed HCC patients with high SPOP expression and low MDM2 expression had better survival than those with low SPOP expression and high MDM2 expression (P < 0.05). A multivariate Cox proportional risk regression model confirmed that a high MDM2 expression level was an independent risk factor for poor prognosis in HCC patients (P <0.05). Conclusion: The expression of SPOP protein was significantly downregulated, while the expression of MDM2 significantly upregulated in HCC. The low expression of SPOP and high expression. of MDM2 were associated with malignant progression and poor prognosis of HCC patients, indicating a potential therapeutic target for HCC patients.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, murine double minute 2, speckle-type POX virus and zinc finger protein, ubiquitination

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4 Compression-Extrusion Test to Assess Texture of Thickened Liquids for Dysphagia

Authors: Jesus Salmeron, Carmen De Vega, Maria Soledad Vicente, Mireia Olabarria, Olaia Martinez

Abstract:

Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing affects mostly elder people: 56-78% of the institutionalized and 44% of the hospitalized. Liquid food thickening is a necessary measure in this situation because it reduces the risk of penetration-aspiration. Until now, and as proposed by the American Dietetic Association in 2002, possible consistencies have been categorized in three groups attending to their viscosity: nectar (50-350 mPa•s), honey (350-1750 mPa•s) and pudding (>1750 mPa•s). The adequate viscosity level should be identified for every patient, according to her/his impairment. Nevertheless, a systematic review on dysphagia diet performed recently indicated that there is no evidence to suggest that there is any transition of clinical relevance between the three levels proposed. It was also stated that other physical properties of the bolus (slipperiness, density or cohesiveness, among others) could influence swallowing in affected patients and could contribute to the amount of remaining residue. Texture parameters need to be evaluated as possible alternative to viscosity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the instrumental extrusion-compression test as a possible tool to characterize changes along time in water thickened with various products and in the three theoretical consistencies. Six commercial thickeners were used: NM® (NM), Multi-thick® (M), Nutilis Powder® (Nut), Resource® (R), Thick&Easy® (TE) and Vegenat® (V). All of them with a modified starch base. Only one of them, Nut, also had a 6,4% of gum (guar, tara and xanthan). They were prepared as indicated in the instructions of each product and dispensing the correspondent amount for nectar, honey and pudding consistencies in 300 mL of tap water at 18ºC-20ºC. The mixture was stirred for about 30 s. Once it was homogeneously spread, it was dispensed in 30 mL plastic glasses; always to the same height. Each of these glasses was used as a measuring point. Viscosity was measured using a rotational viscometer (ST-2001, Selecta, Barcelona). Extrusion-compression test was performed using a TA.XT2i texture analyzer (Stable Micro Systems, UK) with a 25 mm diameter cylindrical probe (SMSP/25). Penetration distance was set at 10 mm and a speed of 3 mm/s. Measurements were made at 1, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 minutes from the moment samples were mixed. From the force (g)–time (s) curves obtained in the instrumental assays, maximum force peak (F) was chosen a reference parameter. Viscosity (mPa•s) and F (g) showed to be highly correlated and had similar development along time, following time-dependent quadratic models. It was possible to predict viscosity using F as an independent variable, as they were linearly correlated. In conclusion, compression-extrusion test could be an alternative and a useful tool to assess physical characteristics of thickened liquids.

Keywords: compression-extrusion test, dysphagia, texture analyzer, thickener

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3 Networked Media, Citizen Journalism and Political Participation in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia: Insight from a European Research Project

Authors: Andrea Miconi

Abstract:

The research will focus on the results of the Tempus European Project eMEDia dedicated to Cross-Media Journalism. The project is founded by the European Commission as it involves four European partners - IULM University, Tampere University, University of Barcelona, and the Mediterranean network Unimed - and three Tunisian Universities – IPSI La Manouba, Sfax and Sousse – along with the Tunisian Ministry for Higher Education and the National Syndicate of Journalists. The focus on Tunisian condition is basically due to the role played by digital activists in its recent history. The research is dedicated to the relationship between political participation, news-making practices and the spread of social media, as it is affecting Tunisian society. As we know, Tunisia during the Arab Spring had been widely considered as a laboratory for the analysis the use of new technologies for political participation. Nonetheless, the literature about the Arab Spring actually fell short in explaining the genesis of the phenomenon, on the one hand by isolating technologies as a casual factor in the spread of demonstrations, and on the other by analyzing North-African condition through a biased perspective. Nowadays, it is interesting to focus on the consolidation of the information environment three years after the uprisings. And what is relevant, only a close, in-depth analysis of Tunisian society is able to provide an explanation of its history, and namely of the part of digital media in the overall evolution of political system. That is why the research is based on different methodologies: desk stage, interviews, and in-depth analysis of communication practices. Networked journalism is the condition determined by the technological innovation on news-making activities: a condition upon which professional journalist can no longer be considered the only player in the information arena, and a new skill must be developed. Along with democratization, nonetheless, the so-called citizen journalism is also likely to produce some ambiguous effects, such as the lack of professional standards and the spread of information cascades, which may prove to be particularly dangerous in an evolving media market as the Tunisian one. This is why, according to the project, a new profile must be defined, which is able to manage this new condition, and which can be hardly reduced to the parameters of traditional journalistic work. Rather than simply using new devices for news visualization, communication professionals must also be able to dialogue with all new players and to accept the decentralized nature of digital environments. This networked nature of news-making seemed to emerge during the Tunisian revolution, when bloggers, journalists, and activists used to retweet each other. Nonetheless, this intensification of communication exchange was inspired by the political climax of the uprising, while all media, by definition, are also supposed to bring some effects on people’s state of mind, culture and daily life routines. That is why it is worth analyzing the consolidation of these practices in a normal, post-revolutionary situation.

Keywords: cross-media, education, Mediterranean, networked journalism, social media, Tunisia

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2 Benefits of Rainbow School Programmes: Students' and Teachers' Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Gender-Fair Language in Gender-Inclusive Schools

Authors: Teresa Naves, Katy Pallas, Carme Florit, Cristina Anton, Joan Collado, Diana Millan

Abstract:

Although gender-fair language is relatively novel in Spain, in Catalonia, the Department of Education, as well as LGBT Associations, have been promoting several innovative programmes aimed at implementing gender-inclusive schools. These Rainbow School communities are ideal for looking at how these programmes affect the use of gender-fair language and the balanced representation of gender. The students' and teachers' perceptions and attitudes have been compared to those analysed in schools that have never implemented such programmes in primary or secondary education. Spanish and Catalan, unlike English, are gendered languages in which masculine forms have traditionally been used as the unmarked gender and have been claimed to be inclusive of all genders. While the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) rejects the use of inclusive language and thus deems all variables of inclusion of double gender as unnecessary, the vast majority of universities are promoting not only inclusive language but also gender-inclusive curricula. Adopting gender-fair language policies and including gender perspective in the curricula is an innovative trend at university level and in primary and secondary school education. Inclusion in education is a basic human right and the foundation for a more just and equal society. Educators can facilitate the process of welcoming by ensuring handbooks, forms, and other communications are inclusive of all family structures and gender identities. Using gendered language such as 'girls and boys' can be alienating for gender non-conforming and gender diverse students; on the other hand, non-gendered words like 'students' are regarded as inclusive of all identities. The paper discusses the results of mixed method research (survey, interviews, and experiment) conducted in Rainbow and non-Rainbow schools in Alacant and Barcelona (Spain). The experiment aimed at checking the role of gender-fair language in learners' perception of gender balance. It was conducted in Spanish, Catalan, and English. Students aged 10 to 16 (N > 600) were asked to draw pictures of people using specific prompts. The prompts in Spanish and Catalan were written using the generic masculine, 'los presidentes' 'els presidents' (presidents); using double gendered language such as 'ninos y ninas', 'nens i nenes' (boys and girls); and using non-gendered words like 'alumnado' 'alumnat' (students). The prompts were subdivided into people in school contexts participants could identify with, such as students and teachers; occupations mostly associated with men, such as pilots and firefighters; and occupations associated with women, such as ballet dancers and nurses. As could be expected, the participants only drew approximately the same percentage of female and male characters when double-gendered language or non-gendered words such as 'students' or 'teachers' were used, regardless of the language used in the experiment. When they were asked to draw people using the so-called generic masculine in Spanish or Catalan, 'los estudiantes' 'els estudiants' (students), less than 35% of the drawings contained female characters. The differences between the results for Rainbow and Non-Rainbow schools will be discussed in the light of the innovative coeducation programmes and learners' perceptions on gender-fair language gathered in the surveys and interviews.

Keywords: gender-fair language, gender-inclusive schools, learners’ and teachers’ perceptions and attitudes, rainbow coeducation programmes

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1 Global Winners versus Local Losers: Globalization Identity and Tradition in Spanish Club Football

Authors: Jim O'brien

Abstract:

Contemporary global representation and consumption of La Liga across a plethora of media platform outlets has resulted in significant implications for the historical, political and cultural developments which shaped the development of Spanish club football. This has established and reinforced a hierarchy of a small number of teams belonging to or aspiring to belong to a cluster of global elite clubs seeking to imitate the blueprint of the English Premier League in respect of corporate branding and marketing in order to secure a global fan base through success and exposure in La Liga itself and through the Champions League. The synthesis between globalization, global sport and the status of high profile clubs has created radical change within the folkloric iconography of Spanish football. The main focus of this paper is to critically evaluate the consequences of globalization on the rich tapestry at the core of the game’s distinctive history in Spain. The seminal debate underpinning the study considers whether the divergent aspects of globalization have acted as a malevolent force, eroding tradition, causing financial meltdown and reducing much of the fabric of club football to the status of by standers, or have promoted a renaissance of these traditions, securing their legacies through new fans and audiences. The study draws on extensive sources on the history, politics and culture of Spanish football, in both English and Spanish. It also uses primary and archive material derived from interviews and fieldwork undertaken with scholars, media professionals and club representatives in Spain. The paper has four main themes. Firstly, it contextualizes the key historical, political and cultural forces which shaped the landscape of Spanish football from the late nineteenth century. The seminal notions of region, locality and cultural divergence are pivotal to this discourse. The study then considers the relationship between football, ethnicity and identity as a barometer of continuity and change, suggesting that tradition is being reinvented and re-framed to reflect the shifting demographic and societal patterns within the Spanish state. Following on from this, consideration is given to the paradoxical function of ‘El Clasico’ and the dominant duopoly of the FC Barcelona – Real Madrid axis in both eroding tradition in the global nexus of football’s commodification and in protecting historic political rivalries. To most global consumers of La Liga, the mega- spectacle and hyperbole of ‘El Clasico’ is the essence of Spanish football, with cultural misrepresentation and distortion catapulting the event to the global media audience. Finally, the paper examines La Liga as a sporting phenomenon in which elite clubs, cult managers and galacticos serve as commodities on the altar of mass consumption in football’s global entertainment matrix. These processes accentuate a homogenous mosaic of cultural conformity which obscures local, regional and national identities and paradoxically fuses the global with the local to maintain the distinctive hue of La Liga, as witnessed by the extraordinary successes of Athletico Madrid and FC Eibar in recent seasons.

Keywords: Spanish football, globalization, cultural identity, tradition, folklore

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