Ordinary Place Making: Special Sessions at the Royal Geographical Society

Bildschirmfoto 2016-08-19 um 13.37.11

2nd September 2016, Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society, 2016

Aim of the sessions

Despite the complex and multi-faceted dimensions of place making and development, critical engagements often focus on large metropolitan centres, whilst practice is informed by predominantly Western, metropolitan and professional experiences, suggesting an implicit tension arising through the privileging of social and cultural positions of both the observers and observed. Overlooked, perhaps, is the ordinary, everyday and banal sites of lived experience – the vernacular realm, neighbourhoods, small towns, the rural and informal settlement (Bell & Jayne, 2006; Edensor et al, 2010; Jones et al, 2012, Lombard, 2014). These three related sessions present inter-disciplinary research that focuses on ordinary place making, to reveal multiple, nuanced and diverse practices emergent through the lived experiences of communities engaged with attempts to inscribe place identity within their localities, exploring interconnections and conflicts arising within the nexus of professional/non-professional practices. In the first session, the tensions and disconnections between place making imaginaries, policy rhetoric and lived experience are explored through place-based case studies. The second session foregrounds critical enquiry and methodology applied to the context of everyday spaces within ordinary places, including adaptations that extend beyond physicality/materiality to generate atmosphere and engagement with multiple sensory experiences of place-making. The third session explores creative place making strategy and tactics to reveal affordances of arts and creativity as a source of inscribing place identity. Continue reading “Ordinary Place Making: Special Sessions at the Royal Geographical Society”

Working together for stronger towns

Oxford_High_Street_shoppersby Prof Cathy Parker

On the 4th July 2016 I was invited to take part in the inaugural Oxfordshire High Streets Conference.  I  am saying inaugural as the delegates found the day very useful so we hope there will be another one! As a place management scholar, there is nothing better than sharing place insight and debating its relevance, in a local context. As a researcher, I get to know a lot about problems and I get to know my data intimately.   But, my work tends to be read by academics and other people who also focus on the data/problem side of things.  This means I don’t always connect with the people who want to put our research findings into practice.  To get the opportunity to present our research on footfall signatures at the event was especially rewarding.  Having the chance to hear directly from representatives of towns that feel their centre’s profile is changing from one of comparison shopping to one that is more focused on community retail and services, for example, was really useful.  I got a chance to take part in the important debate about what this change means ‘on the ground’, in terms of managing the offer, attracting the right type of businesses, changing opening hours and communicating all these changes in the community. Continue reading “Working together for stronger towns”

Best paper award at the Academy of Marketing

AM2016 presentationby Dr Heather Skinner

The Academy of Marketing conference attracts over 350 international marketing academics each year. Last year I was very privileged to be awarding the prize for Best Paper in the Place Marketing and Branding Track to the winners, this year I was even more delighted to win this Best Paper in Track prize myself. I have been attending the Academy of Marketing conference since 2001, and over the years have presented research on a wide range of subjects, but mainly on issues relating to Place Marketing and Branding, with my first ever paper “How Cymru Became Cool: An Examination of Wales’ Culture Production System 1990 – 2000” being based on work arising from my masters’ thesis. In 2008, at the Academy of Marketing Conference held in Aberdeen, I was awarded not only Best Paper in the Reflective Marketing Track, but also Best Paper in Conference overall for my work “The emergence and development of Place Marketing’s confused identity”, a full version of which was then published that year in the Journal of Marketing Management. Continue reading “Best paper award at the Academy of Marketing”

Can bad data be good data? Reflections upon the Consumer Data Research Council Partner Forum

Image from https://www.cdrc.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/sustainability121714.jpg
Image from https://www.cdrc.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/sustainability121714.jpg

by Ed Dargan*

The Consumer Data Research Council (CDRC) (established by the ESRC) held the CDRC Data Partner Forum on the 6th May at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. The key aim of the CDRC is to help organisations maximise the potential of innovation by opening up their data to trusted researchers so that they can provide solutions that drive economic growth and improve our society. During the day, the presentations were based around three themes of missing data, data sources and research design. Continue reading “Can bad data be good data? Reflections upon the Consumer Data Research Council Partner Forum”

Power of Place: Carlisle

Carlisle Town Hall
Carlisle Town Hall

by Prof Cathy Parker*

On 11th May 2016 I was invited by Cumbria Business Interaction Centre, part of the University of Cumbria, to talk about local distinctiveness and growth for Carlisle to a small group of 10 local business owners, council officers and university staff. My evidence credentials were our ESRC-funded High Street UK 2020 project findings and new initial footfall research from the InnovateUK-funded place data science project, “Bringing Big Data to Small Users“. Continue reading “Power of Place: Carlisle”

Maintaining a vibrant Harrogate town centre

Betty's Tea Rooms Harrogate
Betty’s Tea Rooms Harrogate

by Prof Cathy Parker*

9th May 2016 I was invited to share the findings of our ESRC-funded High Street UK2020research at the 120th AGM of the Harrogate Chamber of Commerce.

Also presenting the future of transport for Harrogate was Cllr Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council and Cllr Rebecca Burnett, Harrogate Borough Council, provided an update on the Harrogate town centre strategy & masterplan.

About 130 people gave up an hour and half of their evening to hear how retail centres across the UK are changing and how Harrogate is planning to adapt. Continue reading “Maintaining a vibrant Harrogate town centre”

Place, Image and Identity – from UK canals to fridge magnets

Photo by Ian Southerin
Photo by Ian Southerin

by Heather Skinner*

Day 4, the final day of our 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places saw a very eclectic mix of research, but all on the topics of Place, Image and Identity. Dr Julia Fallon presented research into how to gather and use the stories of the many users of Britain’ canal networks; Dr Heather Skinner, Chair of the Symposium, presented the findings of her research into business tourists’ perceptions of conference destinations; Professor Eli Avraham informed delegates of the ways special events can be used to alter destination images. After lunch, Dr Amos S. Ron talked to delegates about the way travel itineraries, a rather underexplored source of travel writing, can provide insights into the way destinations are perceived by various organising groups; Dr Guenther Botschen, who had spent the previous afternoon in Arillas, presented delegates with the theoretical underpinnings of a really practical brand-driven identity exercise that can aid both the design and the development of places. Our final paper was presented by Professor Cathy Parker, on the topics of fridge magnets, a rather ubiquitous souvenir, and what a semiotic analysis of these can tell us about the way place images are chosen, promoted and consumed. Continue reading “Place, Image and Identity – from UK canals to fridge magnets”

How to meet the challenges facing heritage sites

Photo by Ian Southerin
Photo by Ian Southerin

by Heather Skinner*

A very thought-provoking session took place on Day 3 of the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places. This session focused on the way we present heritage sites to visitors. The first paper, Presented by Professor Audrey Gilmore focused on management of sites that managers prefer to describe as ‘sensitive’ rather than as sites of Dark Tourism. Our 2nd paper by Dr Timothy Jung focused on the way Heritage sites can integrate both Augmented and Virtual Reality pre and post visit to engage with and enhance the visitor experience. Continue reading “How to meet the challenges facing heritage sites”

What key issues affect tourism on Greek Islands?

Photographer: Ian Southerin
Photographer: Ian Southerin

by Dr Heather Skinner*

In this session focusing on Island Tourism Issues, delegates attending Day 1 of the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places heard about the contemporary issues facing the islands of Kefalonia, Corfu, and Rhodes.

Continue reading “What key issues affect tourism on Greek Islands?”

The latest in thinking and re-thinking about places

Photography: Ian Southerin
Photography: Ian Southerin

by Dr Heather Skinner*

Read about the cutting edge research presented on Day 2 into the conceptual and strategic aspects of thinking and re-thinking about places – the overarching theme of the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places. Continue reading “The latest in thinking and re-thinking about places”