by Nikos Belavilas*
“We can prove that we are entitled to dream with realism, defining together and putting into practice what until yesterday was deemed unattainable.”
We are experiencing the effects of market design, of a “casino-capitalism” that produces crises for many and wealth for the very few. Greece and the whole of Europe, while sinking in an economic and social chaos are suffering from the same nightmare. The commodification of land, the sale of public property, environmental disasters, the big transportation and energy projects, the «mega-projects» of urban regeneration are all part of it. Hailed as development tools they are in fact tools of the real estate bubble this side of the Atlantic. Behind them lies the highly unified corruption of the European political and economic elite as well as a plan to seize state, public and private resources, a plan to conquest public space in its constitutive and physical sense. Continue reading
Joseph E. Stiglitz
A new blog post on the economy: “As we struggle with today’s crises, we should be asking whether we are responding in ways that exacerbate our long-term problems. The path marked out by the deficit hawks and austerity advocates both weakens the economy today and undermines future prospects. The irony is that, with insufficient aggregate demand the major source of global weakness today, there is an alternative: invest in our future, in ways that help us to address simultaneously the problems of global warming, global inequality and poverty, and the necessity of structural change.”
Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/global-warming–inequality–and-structural-change-by-joseph-e–stiglitz#vctRi17Rs6Fwp0Eq.99
by Renard Teipelke
Afterwards, everybody always knows better. We were obsessed with numbers. “We” as in “the majority”, “the public”, “the decision-makers”, or “our/the representatives”. It does not matter if you or I were obsessed with numbers. It was the zeitgeist for at least the past two decades. It worked well for most of the time because of the numbers or despite of them. But then a financial implosion triggered a global economic crisis that resulted in a political and – in many places – even society/community crisis of an extent unforeseen by those experts who are throwing out predictions and forecasts every day. Now we have to deal with this mess. And the time of pure number fetishism is also over (at least for now). Continue reading
… or a very different type of Nation Branding.
by Ares Kalandides
This blog entry by Yanis Varoufakis in his own blog, though not directly linked to place management, contains such interesting thoughts on the economic co-dependencies between places that I have found it absolutely relevant. Indeed, one of my main points of criticism of a lot of place-related research is that it tends to look at places only as competing entities, ignoring all the other complex relations that bound them together.
An interesting article by Alex Andreou on national stereotypes and their consequences. As I have argued before, there are probably few countries in Europe with a worse image than Greece at the moment. How much of it is true, how much constructed by media or politics is a matter of debate. The foloowing article compares image and reality and is worth your time:
New Statesman – Exploding the myth of the feckless, lazy Greeks.
Although this piece by economist Yanis Varoufakis is not directly linked to place branding, I find that it is an excellent account of how and why country stereotypes are produced, what the role of story-telling and of journalists is and what consequeces this may have.
By Renard Teipelke
Last Thursday, November 17, 2011, gentrification and urban politics experts Andrej Holm and Wolf Wetzel gave a lecture at Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main. The lecture was titled “Squatting is worthwhile – staying, too” and combined the two authors’ research on German cities’ squatting history* and the current development in Berlin as well as Frankfurt. Here is what I got out of their lecture:
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in:polis | urbanism in cooperation with the School of Tourism and Hotel Management (Akdeniz University Antalya) are happy to announce the Second Call for Papers for the Conference “Destination Management and Branding in the Mediterranean Region” to be held in Antalya in April 2012.