Places – not Destinations

Screenshot from an article in a mainstream UK newspaper

by Prof Ares Kalandides

Forest fires devastate large areas on the Mediterranean every year, some of them – such as the 2018 fire in Mati, Greece which cost 100 people their lives – with numerous casualties. These are places, built over decades or centuries, where people live the year round, with or without visitors. It is with growing horror that I read – year after year – media outlets referring to these places as “holiday islands” (or “Ferieninsel” in German). Admittedly, for many Brits and Germans, this is what most of these islands are, and the local population is just a folklore backdrop for their holiday spending. But, even if we see it just from the journalist’s viewpoint: what exactly would the article (s. screenshot above) miss in terms of information if its title were “Wildfires hit Greek island” omitting the attribute “holiday”? Continue reading “Places – not Destinations”

Big city BIDs and their role in regional economies

Source: Office for National Statistics

by Prof Cathy Parker

I was recently invited to give a keynote speech at the Annual General Meeting of Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) which is a business-led, not-for-profit, non political organisation that networks over nearly 1,000 business and organisations and raises over £2.4m per year of additional income to invest in the city. And Leeds is doing very well. Footfall is up, investment is up, the local economy is buoyant.

But cities have always been agglomerators of key industries, infrastructure and jobs. They accommodate important services and facilities in a spatially-efficient manner.  Not every town or city can have its own banking sector or its own airport etc. It makes sense to strengthen our cities because they need to serve a wide geographical catchment.  Continue reading “Big city BIDs and their role in regional economies”

Mobility and immobility: the unequal politics of transportation

Treacle Market Macclesfied
Treacle Market Macclesfield

By Prof Ares Kalandides

A version of this blog post has been submitted as written evidence to the ‘Health of the bus market’ inquiry currently being run by UK Parliament’s Transport Committee https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/health-of-bus-market-17-19/

The Treacle Market takes place on the last Sunday of each month in the Cheshire town of Macclesfield, UK. Over 160 stalls sell local delicacies, vintage clothes, antiques and handicrafts. The streets of Macclesfield bustle with life, attracting people from towns and villages in the area. However, this regionally important event recently received a serious blow: in April 2018 the partly subsided bus services in Cheshire East – run by Arriva, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn (German Rail), the latter property of the German state[1] – were reorganized, with the result that villages were left without connecting buses on week-day evenings and all day on Sunday.

“As IPM research has shown, accessibility is the number 1 factor affecting town centre vitality and viability. For many communities, the local bus service is imperative. Especially for people with mobility issues. What may be considered as edge of town to someone who is able-bodied is not walkable for others.”

Continue reading “Mobility and immobility: the unequal politics of transportation”

Soup festival, commensality and rurality

Charroux (Allier) 2012 (photo by Hélène Ducros)

By Hélène B. Ducros

In my article “Fête de la Soupe”: Rural identity, self-representation, and the (re)-making of the village in France, I report on the time I spent during my dissertation fieldwork in a village in Auvergne. While working on understanding local heritage management strategies and the ways in which villagers get attached to the place they inhabit and perceive changes in their everyday rural landscape, I had the chance to follow the planning of various local activities and take part in community events. Considered from the outside, winter in Auvergne might seem like an inhospitable time, when nature is at rest, the atmosphere humid and muffled, and the horizon often shortened by heavy fog. But Charroux proved that assumption to be wrong. The annual Fête de la Soupe -or soup festival- gave me an opportunity to watch a community in action as it promoted itself and displayed its idea of what it means to be a rural locality in today’s France. The present study aims at understanding how the communal preparation and consumption of soup once a year has affected festival participants, they relationship with each other and their relationship with the place they inhabit.

Hélène B. Ducros, (2018) ““Fête de la Soupe”: rural identity, self-representation, and the(re)-making of the village in France”, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 11 Issue: 3, pp.296-314, https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-07-2017-0068

Continue reading “Soup festival, commensality and rurality”

Grassroots fringe festivals add innovation and authenticity to major events.

By Andrew Mason and Rebecca Scollen[1]

Festivals are traditionally community events, expressions local culture celebrating a successful harvest or aspects of a region and its people. Festivals are powerful engines of place-making.  As major events, modern festivals are promoted widely and make potent contributions to place branding, tourism and place identity. As such, large festivals must be professionally managed to ensure success and minimise risks.  In managing such large events there is a possibility that local authenticity can be lost if festival organisers apply a dominant ‘top-down’ approach. The top-down event management can create a same-ness amongst festivals, diluting the brand and limiting local participation and engagement.  This tension between professionally managing a major event, such as a festival, and the desirable authenticity of bottom-up community involvement can be managed with the inclusion of fringe-festivals.  Fringe festivals allow for experimentation and innovation, which are necessary for the long term sustainability of a major festival. With experimentation comes risk, but by allowing experimentation in the form of a fringe festival the risk is managed and largely mitigated. Fringe festivals can also allow bottom-up community involvement, reflecting wider aspects of the local community and adding authenticity and diversity to the festival proper.

Andrew MasonRebecca Scollen, (2018) “Grassroots festival keeps city alive during severe drought”, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 11 Issue: 3, pp.266-276, https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-06-2017-0059

Continue reading “Grassroots fringe festivals add innovation and authenticity to major events.”

Labour’s 5-point plan to save the high street scores 2 points

by Prof Cathy Parker

Last Wednesday, 26th September, at the Labour Party Conference, Rebecca Long Bailey, Shadow Business Secretary announced Labour’s emergency 5-point plan “to save Britain’s high streets”.

In this blog article I look at each part of the plan, and evaluate its likely impact on the high street. Where I think something can really help transform the high street, I award it a point. If I don’t think it will make a difference, then I don’t award any points. Continue reading “Labour’s 5-point plan to save the high street scores 2 points”

CounterCoin and Cultural Squatters in Newcastle-Under-Lyme

The weekly CounterCoin meeting at Cultural Squatters (photo credit: Jeremy Cliffe)

by Nikos Ntounis and James Scott Vandeventer

Alternative currencies have been around for many years, to the point that they can be seen as a rather old technology for dealing with societal, economic, and developmental changes. Indeed, the first forms of alternative currencies were presented during the cash-poor interwar era in Europe and the US as an attempt to incentivise spending, discourage saving, and keep local economies afloat in a time of severe unemployment, poverty, and uncertainty (NEF, 2015). Fast forward almost 90 years, and similar issues pertain to the vast majority of our cities and towns, not only in the UK, but around the world. Unsurprisingly, alternative currencies are on the rise in various forms: timebanks, time-credit systems, local exchange trading systems, complementary currencies, convertible local currencies that are backed by the national currency, etc. More recently, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have risen to prominence and gained immense political and monetary value as decentralised transactional networks that injected a huge influx of money into a new marketplace that was ready to dismiss the old system of fiat money (Matchett, 2017).

CounterCoin, a new alternative currency developed by a team of economic and social development practitioners, while still in its infancy, is already helping people make a change to the town centre of Newcastle-under-Lyme. We were recently invited to a meeting in the “headquarters” of CounterCoin, the Cultural Squatters community café in York Place shopping centre, in order to join the team spearheading the creation of this new alternative currency. Continue reading “CounterCoin and Cultural Squatters in Newcastle-Under-Lyme”

Gamification in tourism through geocaching

https://www.geocaching.com/play

Skinner, H., Sarpong, D., and White, G.R.T. (2018), ‘Meeting the needs of the Millennials and Generation Z: gamification in tourism through geocaching’, Journal of Tourism Futures, 4(1), pp.93-104.

By Dr Heather Skinner

Have you heard of the location-based sport of ‘geocaching’? No, I hadn’t either until a chance conversation with a colleague at the University of Glamorgan back when I was working full-time in the UK. This led to a really interesting (if long) research journey that resulted in the publication of this paper in the Journal of Tourism Futures. But, like all good stories it must have a beginning, so if you’re sitting comfortably, I will begin. Continue reading “Gamification in tourism through geocaching”

Back to school – with the Institute of Place Management

Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University

Free of charge: A one-day introduction to postgraduate study in place management and leadership -28th September, 2018

Working for a BID, as a Town Centre Manager, in some other form of place management or looking to go into this field? Do you want to further your knowledge about this complex and challenging role? Would you like to understand how place management is developing and ensure you can be most effective in your role? Why not join us for a one day introductory session that explores place reputation management, introduces the content of our post-graduate courses in Place Management and Leadership and develops your skills.

The Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University offers a suite of postgraduate programmes to support place managers develop their strategic insight and leadership skills, to enable them to improve the places that they work in.

Continue reading “Back to school – with the Institute of Place Management”

JPMD Editorial: Grassroots festivals and place making

By Usien – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28526546

By Luise Platt and Jane Ali-Knight

Introduction

The papers in this special issue are another valuable contribution to the examination of festivals and events beyond their economic and business application and benefits. The issue further explores the close link festivals have with the communities that support and engage with them and further emphasize the value and importance of the places where they are delivered. This sense of place and community involvement is a key driver in critical event studies (Lamond and Platt, 2016). The role that events and festivals (from sporting mega-events to annual arts festivals) play in place branding has been well documented (Herstein and Berger, 2014Lee and Arcodia, 2011Derrett, 2004Jago et al., 2003). Further, the role of event-led policy in shaping urban regeneration strategy making has also received widespread attention (Foley et al., 2012Richards and Palmer, 2010Smith, 2012). However, as Richards (2017) suggests, we are seeing a shift in the understanding of the value of events from a branding function to a more holistic placemaking function. Indeed, de Brito and Richards (2017) acknowledge the tensions between bottom-up placemaking process that originates in communities and, more top-down, state-led interventions using major events.

Louise PlattJane Ali-Knight, (2018) “Guest editorial”, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 11 Issue: 3, pp.262-265, https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-08-2018-131

Continue reading “JPMD Editorial: Grassroots festivals and place making”