Exploring theoretical trends in placemaking

Placemakingby Wessel Strydom, Karen Puren and Ernst Drewes

Our contribution to the recent special issue of the Journal of Place Management and Development on Participatory Placemaking, is an exploration of the theoretical trends in placemaking literature. Our paper “Exploring theoretical trends in placemaking: Towards new perspectives in spatial planning” follows Prof. Kalandides’ lead article, which proposes a disambiguation of the term ‘participation’. The two papers together constitute the theoretical framework of the special issue.

The paper aims to understand and describe the development of placemaking in spatial planning. Placemaking is a multi-disciplinary concept including Architecture, Spatial Planning, Geography, Ecology, Tourism, Art, Education and Nursing. Exploring the term “placemaking” from a multitude of viewpoints will allow developing an in-depth understanding of the concept in order to conceptualise global trends with regard to the topic. This exploration is informed by conducting an Integrative Literature Review (ILR). ILR aims at providing an exhaustive description of available research contributions. This exhaustive description includes both theoretical and empirical studies. Appropriate contributions are further explored by following a thematic content analysis and thematic synthesis method. From the thematic content analysis and synthesis, themes and sub-themes can be constructed. These themes and sub-themes are utilised to uncover global trends in research literature. By conceptualising trends, the construction of a comprehensive definition regarding the search-term is possible. Continue reading “Exploring theoretical trends in placemaking”

Place branding in strategic spatial planning in Portugal, 2014-2020


Photo by Ares Kalandides
Photo by Ares Kalandides

by Eduardo Oliveira*

Portugal has often been promoted and communicated as a tourist destination without a clear and consistent strategy. It is only recently that other purposes, such as investment and talent attraction, have emerged from the multiple place promotion campaigns, although these mostly remain unclear in their objectives. We can identify many different place promotions initiatives. They are often very colourful and shining, they solely focus on tourism, but none of them qualify as place branding. In this brief post I will take the readers in a journey from 1906 to 2016. I will tell the story of how Portuguese authorities have been promoting the country and its regions and how they have been using (or not) place branding for that purpose. The evolution of events might surprise you. Continue reading “Place branding in strategic spatial planning in Portugal, 2014-2020”