Who really creates the place brand?

Easter in Corfu

by Dr. Heather Skinner

Skinner, H. (2018) ‘Who really creates the place brand? Considering the role of user generated content in creating and communicating a place identity’

Communication & Society, 31(4), pp. 9-24.

Some definitions the key concepts of Place Marketing and Place Branding are still unclear, and these concepts are still conceptualised variously in the extant literature as shown below:

1:         Place Marketing and Place Branding as separate and distinct constructs

2:         Place Marketing is part of Place Branding

3:         Place Branding is part of Place Marketing

4:         Place Marketing and Place Branding are separate constructs but can overlap

5:         Place Marketing = Place Branding

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How a Task Force might help English town and city centres


Dover Town Centre. Photo taken from Cannon Street.
Photo by Eluveitie – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18829651

by Simon Quin

The UK Government has announced that it is to fund the establishment of a High Street Task Force for five years to support the transformation of town centres in England.

During 2018, the Institute also worked closely with UK Government to tease out some of the underlying issues affecting town centre vitality and viability. There is a long history of policy-led responses to the challenges of town centres in the UK, from adaptations to planning policy in the mid-1990s  (“Town centres first” and the Sequential Test), through support for Town Centre Management and the bringing forward of legislation to permit Business Improvement Districts (2003 in England), then a government-supported review led by retail consultant Mary Portas (2011) to the establishment of Future High Street Forum chaired by a government Minister (2013).

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Eleusis2021 – Planning a European Capital of Culture

Eleusis as seen from the Archaeological Museum. Ancient ruins, chimneys and the harbour mark its landscape. Photo by the author.

by Prof Ares Kalandides

When Eleusis, a small industrial town in the vicinity of Athens, was appointed European Capital of Culture for 2021, people received the decision both with joy and surprise: Joy, because this town, once one of the most important ritual sites in ancient Greece and home to the goddess Demeter, was back on the map; Surprise, because industrialization has clearly left its mark on the town, whose landscape is marked by factory chimneys, large industrial complexes and a commercial harbour. However, the choice of the European Commission is not based on what the city is, but on what it can become according to the bid book. And it was the bid, with its promise of a “passage to EUphoria” that managed to convince the jury.

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Decision-making in place

Macclesfield

by Frank Olaniyi Fafiyebi

DECISION MAKING IN PLACE: GUT FEELING OR EVIDENCE?

When making decisions most managers look up and look around, relying on their support structures i.e. people close to them, not because of lack of experience but for the fear of not getting their decisions right. This act of looking up and looking around is important and it is the use of “Gut-feeling” when managers are faced with making decisions that (1) involve large capital, (2) have significant impact on the long-term plan of their organisations and (3) involves public exposure. Place managers like their counterparts in other managerial areas make decisions daily.  In place management, managers make decisions about places, particularly the public realm such as town and city centres, ensuring effective collaboration with all stakeholders, policing the centres and improving infrastructural outlook of the places they manage. Place managers by their decisions make a critical contribution to the thriving of places, and those decision impacts on people’s everyday lives in places.

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Short-term holiday flat rental in Athens

Athens. Image by Iason Athanassiadis via Apartment in Athens

By Prof Ares Kalandides

Finding an affordable flat to rent in Athens has recently turned into an almost impossible affair. In the past five years, rents in the Greek capital have risen sharply, whilst at the same time period real wages have collapsed. One of the many possible causes behind the scarcity of rental space is the transformation of dwellings into short-term holiday flats. Airbnb is not the only provider, but definitely the largest and most iconic one.

Indeed, in the centre of Athens alone, the number of listings on the platform rose from 1,500 in 2014 to 7,500 two years later, and up to 16,000 by June 2018[1]. These flats are not distributed evenly in the city, but affect certain areas more heavily (Plaka, Thisio, Koukaki, Exarcheia). In 2016, Koukaki featured as number 5 of Airbnb’s sixteen recommended neighbourhoods worldwide[2] causing residents to form an association in order to stop their displacement. A recent law has made attempts to regulate the development: limits to the rental period (max. 90 days a year); the prohibition to rent out more than one flat under the same tax number (and thus avoid businesses with multi-site rentals); and a progressive tax system for income from short-term rentals.

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Shrewsbury Big Town Plan

Guest article by Aleks Vladimirov*

SHREWSBURY – The Birthplace of Charles Darwin

What does Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and adaptability to the outer environment have to do with place management? With uncertainty being the new normal, an evolutionary perspective on place management can help move from static and isolated plans to a process mindset. What better place to test such a perspective than Darwin’s home town – Shrewsbury in the United Kingdom.


Opening Pages of the BIG TOWN PLAN document produced to share its intentions
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All the world’s a stage: are international expos relevant today?


Guest article by Dan Nicholls

Back in 2015, I was lucky enough to attend Expo 2015 in the elegant city of Milan alongside an Indonesian Investment Forum I was in town for. It was the first international expo I had attended, and it didn’t disappoint. I spent the best part of a day wondering the expansive site, visiting the pavilions of countries from all around the world, taking in a wonderous array of art, music, dance, design and food.

As I left the site that evening, my stomach and soul were more than content: I’d feasted on everything from Malaysian satays and Spanish cheeses, to Lebanese wine and Italian gelato. Elsewhere in the expo, I’d been treated to a unique rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody on a set of angklung (an Indonesian bamboo instrument) and a surprise appearance by U2’s Bono. But the same questions kept going around in my mind – what’s the purpose of these expos, and are they worth it?

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Corfu Announced as the Best European Film and TV Location

Photo by Ian Southerin, Location Photography

by Dr Heather Skinner

Corfu is a small Greek island in the Ionian Sea. Its location is just to the East of the heel of Italy, and to the West of the Greek mainland and the coast of Albania.

Corfu gathered popularity as an island tourism destination during the 1970s and 80s, particularly with visitors from the UK, although tourism to the island had started much earlier than that.


If you would like to enjoy this beautiful island in person there is still time. The deadline for submission of 1000 word abstracts has been extended to 7th January 2019.

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How social landlords could hold the key to transforming places


View of One Manchester properties on the edge of the city centre

Guest article by Tom Bassford*

I work in a sector that’s committed to making places better; we own 3.9 million properties across England and provide homes to 17% of all households[1].  We built 26% of all new homes across the country last year[2]. And we reinvest all our profits in homes and communities.

Despite having many shared objectives, the social housing sector has had little to do with the Institute of Place Management – until now.

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Principles of citizen participation in urban development in Athens

National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Photo by Lucretius – Skyscrapercity.com, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8007254

By Prof Ares Kalandides

In this blog article I explore the opportunities of creating an institutional framework for citizen participation in the new public company Athens Urban Renewal SA.

The consequences of eight years of austerity can be seen everywhere in Athens. The past years have left deep scars in the fabric of the Greek capital: unemployment and homelessness, poverty and public disinvestment, growing social rifts and street riots – paired with a threatening growth of extreme right-wing ideology permeating many aspects of public life (e.g. media, police, justice, church – even schools). At the same time, the number of tourists visiting the capital has risen exponentially, creating tensions in the housing market, as more and more flats turn into holiday rentals, making prices soar. While the art scene is flourishing, youth unemployment remains above 40%. Abandoned buildings and deteriorating public space on the one hand; AirBnBs, vibrant street life, cafés and entertainment venues on the other. I can’t remember Athens so fascinating and so depressing at the same time.

The Municipality of Athens has undertaken a series of measures to tackle those issues, including the renewal of central neighbourhoods and the rehabilitation of municipal buildings among others (s. Vaiou 2018 for a critical assessment of the reuse of the former municipal market). Additionally, a new public organization with the telling name of Athens Urban Renewal S.A. (Athens Anaplasis SA.) was founded, complementing the actions of the Municipality. I was asked by its President, Prof Nikos Belavilas, to join the advisory scientific committee of this new state agent, an invitation which I gladly accepted, as I see here the opportunity to institutionalize citizen participation in urban development. Continue reading “Principles of citizen participation in urban development in Athens”