Profile of Mrs Ana Mrda University of Zagreb, Faculty of Architecture

Ana Mrda

Ana Mrda, Ph.D., Dipl.Eng.Arch., graduated 2007 and earned doctorate 2015 at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb. Won many urban and architectural competitions and collaborated with various architectural offices. Published several scientific papers and participated in numerous international conferences. During doctoral studies participated in the academic exchange at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 2012 and at Universidad Polit├ęcnica de Madrid, 2014. During her postdoctoral research participated in the academic exchange at Macquarie University, 2016 and as a research fellow at TU Wien, 2016.

General research interests

Spatial planning, tourism management, environment protection

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Title

Method for Determining Tourism Carrying Capacity in Spatial Planning

PhD Abstract

Doctoral dissertation studies the interdependence between the development of tourism and the preservation of space from the spatial planning point of view. Spatial planning of tourism zones is improved in this research by determining tourism carrying capacity as a planning process and the means of maintaining sustainable usage of space. The dissertation tries to offer a solution for the question on what kind of spatial planning method can offer a certain way to control the effects of spatial encroachment made by tourism.
The need for this kind of research is based on analysis of conditions and problems of tourist space development in Croatia, scientific and expert principles as well as objectives defined by international and national documents that regulate sustainable tourism spatial planning. Former research about tourism planning in the form of tourism carrying capacity (based on spatial planning oriented approach) are also taken into consideration.
This research is based on the theoretical overview of scientific and professional literature and documents in the field of tourism and spatial planning. These documents are used to summarize criteria and guidelines for setting up method for determining tourism carrying capacity within spatial planning framework. Testing of these hypotheses is done by field (empirical) research which includes three islands (Hvar, Mljet, Vis) with a total of 57 tourist zones.
The results of this research entail: (1) defining the tourist terms from the spatial planning discourse, (2) distributing tourism development periods under the criteria of tourist space transformation, (3) determining types of tourist destinations according to spatial characteristics, (4) setting the general criteria for the spatial planning of tourism according to the analysis of international and national documents on spatial planning and tourism, (5) setting the criteria for the implementation and adaptation of the concept of tourist carrying capacity in spatial planning as a means of preserving spatial values and controlling optimal area development, (6) setting a method for determining tourism carrying capacity as a practical and applicable mean for spatial planning of sustainable usage of tourist space, (7) establishing criteria for spatial planning evaluation of spatial characteristics of tourist destinations and tourist spatial resources, (8) determining spatial-specific factors for evaluation of tourist zones, (9) determining the spatial models for tourist destinations zoning (placement of tourist zones in relation to fundamental physical values) and (10) criteria for setting the spatial-specific quality standards for analytical control and continuous monitoring of preservation of tourist space.
Established method for determining tourism carrying capacity in spatial planning is a complex, dynamic and adaptable one. It is necessarily integral (multidisciplinary) and it is spirally implemented through processes of site evaluation, as well as development planning and condition monitoring.
Evaluation is an essential part of the method, which is carried out through three basic steps: mapping, categorization and assessment. The components of evaluation are: spatial characteristics - spatial resources for tourism development, spatial-specific factors for tourist zone planning and finally, spatial model of tourism development.
Planning depends on the coordination and goal setting for local tourism development, which will establish the space-specific quality standards and planning scenarios for local tourism development.
The third step is to monitor the status of for local tourism development, which is based on the setting up and controlling the spatial indicators, which affect the setting and control of optimum tourist capacities.
The contribution of this research entails the contribution to spatial planning on theoretical (methodological) level as a complement to the method of spatial planning in relation to the issue of tourism planning and mapping of spatial specificities as resources for tourism development (planners' evaluation of space). It is also a contribution to the practical (professional, expert) level through the possibility of application of the research in the development of spatial planning documents (adoption of recommendations and guidelines for the improvement of laws and regulations in the field of spatial planning regarding the planning of tourist areas on the Croatian islands in the Adriatic Sea).