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Place marketing and sustainable places

Picadilly Gardens in Manchester

Picadilly Gardens in Manchester

by Cathy Parker*

Recently, Piccadilly Gardens was voted Manchester’s worst attraction on Tripadvisor. The designers of Piccadilly Gardens, Arup, say “Piccadilly Gardens transforms Manchester’s central park from a problem area into an effective public space”. On the other hand tripadvisors say “Designed by numpties. Dirty, rotten, awful area. Avoid at all costs. Shameful display and use of civic area.”

Piccadilly Gardens is a ‘great’ example to use to illustrate the complexities inherent in place marketing and how the practice must change if it wants to be relevant in the context of sustainable places. In the last couple of months I have been asked to speak about the topic of place marketing and sustainability at three international tourism conferences. Most recently, this was at the 1st Corfu Symposium on Managing and Marketing Places. (more…)

Pick of the Day: India’s smart city craze: big, green and doomed from the start? | Cities | theguardian.com

“And it exists: on paper. Its name is Dholera, and it is a key part of what you might call India’s 21st-century utopian urban experiment. Economists argue that the country desperately needs new cities: its urban population is expected to rise from 28% in 2001 to almost 36% in 2026, bringing the total number of people living in its cities and urban regions to 590 million.”

Read the full article on The Guardian India’s smart city craze: big, green and doomed from the start? | Cities | theguardian.com.

Improving High Street Performance: What are we trying to achieve?


Professor Cathy Parker’s (Manchester Metropolitan University) research results on High Street performance. Very useful for anybody dealing with retail.

Originally posted on Prof Cathy Parker's Blog:

We have just finished a review of the published academic retail, shopping and town centre literature so we can identify all the factors that affect high street performance.  We have read over 170 studies and identified a range of factors that affect performance (more of those in a future blog). However, what we have found really surprising is the number of different interpretations of performance.  In other words, what  researchers choose to study.  These are either factors they investigate because they may be changing (e.g.  levels of investment) or ones they think should be improved (e.g. visitor satisfaction).  Of course we have evidence that researchers use the ‘old favourites’ such as footfall, vacancy rates, vitality and viability. But we have found 98 others!

I have published the full list below, along with our definition (see * for exceptions) and an example of an article that refers to the factor. Our next step…

View original 1,763 more words

A Sense of Scale – Part II

Street - Vientiane, Lao (Teipelke, 2014)

By Renard Teipelke

At the end of last year, my ‘scale’ perspective and understanding was challenged when I moved to the gigantic metropolitan area of Manila in the Philippines (article here). This March I have been challenged again by a field trip (a.k.a. “mission”) to urban areas in Lao PDR: In the blink of an eye, scale – once again – presented itself to me very differently. While I have been mostly concerned with infrastructure scale and size necessities in response to high densities and rapid urban growth in metropolitan areas, the experience in Lao made me think about other urban development requirements.




by Ares Kalandides

The other day, following an “unfortunate” speech by the Greek minister of Culture and Sports, I offered some thoughts on culture and the creative economy (here on this blog). Only the day after, on Sunday 23rd February 2014, the newly designated Italian minster of Culture and Tourism, Dario Franceschini, stressed the economic dimension of the future Italian cultural policy, in an interview for the Italian newspaper Il sole 24 ore. I think there is a need to elaborate more on my initial thoughts on culture, economy and the creative industries, and try to clarify what I think are profound misconceptions.


“Culture is economy” – or maybe not?


by Ares Kalandides

On 20th of February 2014, the Greek Minister of Culture and Sports Mr. Panos Panagiotopoulos delivered the opening speech of the EU conference ‘Financing Creativity’ in Athens. The aim of the conference was to address models of cultural policy for the coming decades, but as it has been the fashion in the past 15 years in Europe, it turned into a meaningless discourse full of platitudes and dangerous oversimplifications around the notion of the creative economy.


Misplaced Perceptions of Urban Development beyond ‘the West’

Rush Hour Mandaluyong (Renard Teipelke, 2013)By Renard Teipelke

“I was so negatively surprised: This city looks exactly like a city in Europe or the US.”


“I couldn’t believe how they can do so much wrong – it is so different from our cities.”

I heard someone expressing these two opinions last week. We are in a city in Southeast Asia, although this does not really matter for the argument I am going to develop.

The quoted person was trying to explain why the city we were in is an extreme example for what can go wrong in urban development – traffic, car dependency, overcrowding, oversized malls, environmental pollution, no green space or public areas, etc. The quoted person explained to me how the big malls, the lack of public space, and all those cars prove how decision makers of that city had simply copied the textbook global city as we can find it in industrialized countries (or often referred to as ‘the West’ by many people). At the same time, the quoted person expressed concerns that these decision makers have been directing/managing the urban development of their city in the wrong direction – particularly contrasting what city managers in ‘the West’ are doing now; i.e. the quoted person was missing bicycle lanes, small-scale buildings and mixed-used neighborhoods, organic food markets, and low emission zones.



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