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Cecilia Cassinger

Place branding, brand communication, communication geography, sustainability, activism, cities

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Place brand communication for sustainable urban development

Författare

  • Cecilia Cassinger

Summary, in English

Place branding strategy and practice focus on making places attractive to draw the right type of people, ideas and capital to cities, countries, and regions (Dinnie, 2011; Kavaratzis, 2004). Recently, however, the commodification of urban space has caused a number of problems in cities linked to masstourism, gentrification, pollution, declining city centres, segregation, and social tensions due to economic inequity (Ek and Tesfahuney 2016; Brenner and Theodore, 2005). In 2015, the United
Nation adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the urban goal (11) entitled ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities: make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ (Watson, 2016). Existing research does not yet fully engage with the question of how place branding may support sustainable development and what sustainable place branding entails.
The research aim in this paper is to propose a conceptual framework for understanding sustainable place branding. The conceptualisation is anchored in a close reading of the extant literature on sustainable place marketing and branding, especially focusing on the concept of place demarketing, which predominately involves decreasing consumption by means of adjusting the marketing mix, e.g. price and promotional campaigns (see e.g. Medway, Warnaby and Dharni, 2010). Thereafter, an
alternative communicative approach to sustainable place branding is outlined.
It is suggested that place branding is a form of aspirational communication (Christensen Morsing and Thyssen, 2013). The notion of aspirational communication belongs to the practice oriented tradition within organisational communication, which views language as performative of social reality. Aspirational place brand communication does not primarily reflect the city as it is for those living and working in it, but a vision of what city government want it to be in the future. The relation between the city as a brand and the city as it is, is often defined in critical research as
antagonistic (Krupar and Al, 2012). The present study identifies conditions under which this antagonism activates productive forms of resistance and reaction, which can be leveraged by place branding to provoke and drive transformation. As a form of aspirational communication, place branding discourse could potentially play a key role in creating the conditions for social change processes necessary for sustainable urban development.

References
Brenner, N. and Theodore, N. (2005) ‘Neoliberalism and the urban condition’, City, 9(1), pp. 101-107.
Christensen, L. T., Morsing, M. and Thyssen, O. (2013) ‘CSR as aspirational
Talk’, Organization, 20(3), pp. 372-393.
Dinnie, K. (2011) City Branding. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Medway, D., Gary Warnaby, G. and Sheetal Dharni, S. (2010) ‘Demarketing
places: Rationales and strategies’, Journal of Marketing Management, 27(1-2), pp. 124-142.
Kavaratzis, M. (2004) ’From city marketing to city branding: Towards a theoretical
framework for developing city brands’, Place branding, 1(1), pp. 58-73.
Krupar, S. and Al, S. J. (2012) ’Notes on the society of the spectacle’ in Crysler, G., Cairns, S. and Heynen, H. (eds.) The Sage handbook of architectural theory. London:
Sage, pp. 247-263.
Tesfahuney, M. and Ek, R. (2016) Den postpolitiska staden. Boras: Recito.
Watson, V. (2016) ‘Locating planning in the New Urban Agenda of the urban sustainable development goal’, Planning Theory, 15(4), pp. 435-448.

Avdelning/ar

  • Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

Publiceringsår

2019

Språk

Engelska

Dokumenttyp

Konferensbidrag: abstract

Ämne

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Nyckelord

  • Place branding, communication, social sustainability, urban development

Conference name

The 4th Annual Conference of the International Place Branding Association

Conference date

2019-11-27 - 2019-11-29

Conference place

Volos, Greece

Status

Published

Projekt

  • Rethinking urban tourism development: Dealing with sustainability in the age of over-tourism