My name is Donagh Horgan, and I am joining InHolland as a senior researcher in urban tourism, fresh out of the port of Glasgow.
My background is in social innovation in the built environment – with a growing focus on tourism, as a vehicle to drive conversations around socio-spatial inequality.
Since 2020 I have collaborated with colleagues on the H2020 funded SMARTDEST project looking at digitally-enabled solutions to combat social exclusion driven by overtoruism. I am excited to join the research group, and to support scaling activities of the urban tourism lab in Rotterdam and further afield. Trained as an architect, I worked for several years in practice on projects across Europe and Russia which led me to understand the limits of speculative development approaches for planning place and community.
As an urban nomad I lived on four continents of the world, and in cities as diverse as Moscow, São Paulo, Belgrade and Jerusalem. I speak a number of languages and am hoping to add Dutch to my collection with your patience.
While the coronavirus and climate emergency have stalled my own adventures, I am excited to investigate nuanced and regenerative pathways to urban tourism, based on social equity and inclusive growth. With over a decade of experience in designing tools and methodologies for stakeholder engagement, I am keen to share my skills to compliment such a rich set of expertise. In addition to academic research, I consult with a number of city governments on public-sector innovation programmes for Bloomberg Philanthropies – including working with the city of Rotterdam in the early stages of the Mayoral Challenges, for which they were awarded $1m.
I look forward to growing new international links for the School of Creative Business, and to getting to know you all and your research interests. Most of all I am truly excited about getting my hands dirty in practice-based research in such a rich and exciting urban context, and being on that journey with you all.