by Ares Kalandides and Mihalis Kavaratzis
Let’s face it: There are probably few countries in Europe right now with a worse image than Greece (we can’t really think of any that even come close). From what we hear, it is especially in Germany, the Netherlands and in Austria where that image is the worst. And even Greece’s southern neighbours (Italy for example) seem to be glaring at us with the fear of contamination. Greece is Europe’s joke. Both being Greeks who have been living abroad for a while and have left for different reasons, we know very well how much of what is said today is absolutely true – and partly a reason we are not living there. But also, we know Greece very well, we have our families and our friends back there, and we know that there is much more to the country than what the populistic central European media wants us to believe. The problem, as usual, are the stereotypes: extending what may be true for some (or many) to everybody. So any expression of the type “the Greeks are” or “the Greeks do” (it could be the Germans, the Brits etc.) is reductive and simply stupid. But it serves the goal of stigmatizing a whole people, making it look like humans of a lower category.
From the Guest Editorial by Ares Kalandides, Mihalis Kavaratzis and Martin Boisen:
This is a special edition of the International Place Branding Conference series and the third special issue of the Journal of Place Management and Development dedicated to the conference. The two previous special issues have proven to be valuable reference points in recent place branding literature. Since the first International Place Branding Conference in Berlin in 2008, a particularly interesting tendency can be noted. In the beginning, the discussion had focused on the general discrepancies in place branding conceptualisations and approaches to its practical implementation. While, of course, these issues remain important and not entirely clarified, it seems that we are now ready to move towards a more elaborate discussion of partial issues. A certain amount of clarity and agreement has indeed been achieved. In this special issue a set of significant issues that affect the whole place branding endeavour are examined. The papers elaborate all of the conference’s themes: the roots and politics of place branding, analytical and assessment methodology as well as the relationship between culture and place branding….
Utrecht. Photo by Marinda Scaramanga
by Valentin Schipfer
What does Place Branding actually mean? Is the theoretic fundament clear or is it questionable? Can already more clarity be provided in its definitions and methods? Is there some progress made in this field by the scientific community? Into which directions has this field developed? Are there any new influences to this interdisciplinary discourse? All these self-reflecting questions were asked by the community during the International Place Branding Conference Special Edition in Utrecht from 20th to 21st of January 2012. Of course not all of them could be answered at once. Continue reading
Street Art in Lausanne
by Ares Kalandides
Marketing places, as an activity that seeks to position places in a globalized market environment, is a phenomenon that has existed for centuries, albeit probably in very different forms (Ashworth and Voogd 1990, Ashworth and Κavaratzis 2010). Yet, the last decade or more has seen an important shift from place marketing to place branding, at different scales (neighbourhood, city, nation etc.) and with different scopes (destinations, investment, talent etc.) (Kavaratzis 2007, Lucarelli and Berg 2011). Is place branding simply another term for place marketing or are we dealing with an altogether new practice? (Kavaratzis 2004, Kalandides and Kavaratzis 2009) It is worth considering the concepts together with others: what is place identity and place image? How do these differ, let’s say, from place reputation? How is it all related to place management or spatial planning? (Kalandides and Kavaratzis 2011)? The present article is a – highly subjective – attempt to throw light onto some of these issues, using eclectic examples from around the world, mostly from my own professional experience. Continue reading
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in:polis | urbanism in cooperation with the Department of Human Geography & Planning, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University are happy to announce that the second Call for Papers for the special edition of the International Place Branding Conference from 20th to 21st January in Utrecht, Netherlands, has been issued.
In:polis | urbanism in cooperation with the Department of Human Geography & Planning, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University are happy to announce that the Journal of Place Management and Development will be publishing a special issue with a selection of papers presented at the International Place Branding Conference (Utrecht, January 2012) with Ares Kalandides and Mihalis Kavaratzis as guest editors. This issue (Volume 5, Issue 1) will be published in March 2012.
Monuments are often used to promote the uniqueness of places. Here the Acropolis of Athens
by Ares Kalandides
The other day Mihalis Kavaratzis made a very interesting point about the uniqueness of places (read Mihalis’ article here). He observed that while city promotion campaigns try to create difference, what they actually do is produce homogeneity. Cities are thus easily perceived as interchangeable. But how are we supposed to catch the unique city? His answer is twofold: On the one hand that ‘the whole is larger than the sum of its elements’, i.e. that it is not enough to look at the different characteristics, sum them up and promote them. On the other hand, that the city is an atmosphere more than materiality, and that this atmosphere is created in everyday practices. I want to take these arguments a step further and think both of ways to conceptualize them and to approach them methodologically. Continue reading
Zaragoza tourism promotion of the Holy Week
By Mihalis Kavaratzis
It is a common feature of city promotion to attempt a presentation of the city as unique. We see so many advertisements that describe the distinctive characteristics of the city in terms of the city’s unique history, its unique people, its unique cultural/entertainment offerings, its unique business opportunities, its unique function as a hub in a regional or world-wide network etc. As has been noted many times in relevant literature this attempt leads to a homogenisation of cities as re-presented in promotional material. What the audience finally encounters through this material is yet another city that is the perfect shopping destination, the perfect cultural centre in the region, the perfect entertainment (infotainment, artetainment, edutainment etc.) ‘playground’ for young and old. These are all understandable but desperate attempts. The problem is that they lead nowhere. There is no doubt that all cities are different; that all cities are unique. How does this uniqueness come about, though? Continue reading
Published: March 2011
Special Issue: Selected Papers from the 2nd Place Branding Conference Bogota, Colombia, January 2011
Guest editors: Ares Kalandides and Mihalis Kavaratzis
Two years ago, in 2009, we dedicated a special issue of the Journal of Place Management and Development (Vol. 2 No. 1) to the re-evaluation of the discussion on city marketing and place branding. We reviewed and collected a number of papers that, we believed, contributed to a better understanding of the terms, but also identified several open questions for further research: how do we conceptualise place branding/marketing and what is this thing so easily labelled place identity? How are these linked to place management and development or, in a different context, how are they related to product marketing, promotion and branding? The seven articles included in this special issue, dedicated to the 2nd International Place Branding Conference in Bogota, Colombia, 20-22 January 2011, take one step further towards clarifying the above… (From the Guest Editorial by Ares Kalandides and Mihalis Kavaratzis)
By Mihalis Kavaratzis
The 2nd International Place Branding Conference attracted both academics and practitioners from all over the world. Intense discussions took place during the three days in Bogota. Although at first glance the discussions might not seem to lead to concrete conclusions, in my view, their value lies in the process and not the end result. Here are the three reasons why I think that the conference was a success or the three inspirations that this conference has generated: Continue reading