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Title: Place branding and urban development : a comparative international study
Authors: Wilbraham, Rebecca
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The place branding field is typified by limited theoretical development, to ensure a robust theoretical basis for this study a discursive institutionalist approach has been employed leading to an investigation of place branding defined by the relationship between institutions and narrative. NewcastleGateshead was the core case for this study enabling a close investigation of the construction of a place branding campaign as it happened. This city also formed the basis for the selection of four subsidiary case studies: Leipzig, Malmö, Manchester and Torino. This comparative analysis can claim three key contributions to the field. First, place branding is inherently geographical and dependent on the institutional context of its location. The institutional environment in terms of leadership, cooperation and culture and the institutional arrangements in relation to scale and organisational forms; the strategic, narrating and animating organisations in a location, have an impact on the place branding activity that takes place. Second, place branding can be understood as an embedded historical process. The evolutionary concepts of path dependence, path creation and particularly path plasticity add to the analysis of the development of place branding activities in the cities. Finally, place branding’s main contribution to urban development lies in its ability to enhance the strategic development and management of the city in three key ways. First, by increasing the self-awareness of actors in the city; second, by aiding in the coordination of actors in the city; and finally, through the opportunity to determine a brand geography, enabling city actors to construct the most advantageous geography to further urban development aims. These findings indicate the need for the field to more accurately explore place branding’s potential contribution and to recognise place branding as historical and place specific in order to move beyond accounts which reduce it to a homogenous activity.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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