3rd IPM Research Seminar on 18th May, 2016


IPM research seminars are regular events, where members meet to exchange information on their current research.  Below you can find short summaries of the projects presented during the IPM research seminar on 18th May 2016. If you want to know more about the research undertaken by IPM members simply contact us at info@placemanagement.org or visit our research pages:

Chris Stone: “Tourist Taxes & Sustainability in Place Management”

Graffiti in Barcelona that reads tourist go home
Image of graffiti in Barcelona by Ithmus (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/66944824@N05/32159024237

The tourist has been unloved throughout history, but the rapidly-escalating phenomenon of overcrowding at world-class destinations is posing increasingly serious difficulties for place managers. Venice, Barcelona, London’s Oxford Street in summer and even the Cinque Terre villages of the Italian Riviera are just a few examples of places being ‘loved to death’. Success in conventional visitor industry terms may bring over-busy streets, visual and noise pollution, and degradation of cultural heritage and the environment more generally, even at subcentral locations. There is growing potential for conflicts with local sensibilities over certain tourist behaviours – some more normally confined to resort locations – which often spark anti-tourism protests by residents’ groups. While popular urban centres exist typically as the ‘public realm’ or ‘common goods’, and EU agreements mandate free movement for all citizens, global demand for international leisure travel is increasing inexorably as newly-wealthy populations seek to experience the world’s best-known destinations. This research will examine options for mass urban tourism management strategies and develop sustainable place management models and best-practice guidelines which will acknowledge destination carrying capacity limits while also addressing key equity and futurity considerations, aiming to make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.

Adrian Morley: “Sustainable Food Communities”

MorleyAdrian Morley spoke about his new research project ‘Propagating Success? The Incredible Edible Model’, which is a collaboration between Manchester Met and UCLAN. The Incredible Edible (IE) model of using food to help communities rethink their lifestyles has been applied in the town of Todmorden over the past eight years. Through creating edible landscapes, passing on skills and supporting local food businesses, the IE model has inspired over 100 copycat groups across the UK and overseas. The research will evaluate IE as a model for community development, develop a toolkit for other groups and draw up policy recommendations attuned to public funding austerity.

Gary Warnaby: “Poping up everywhere”

4414-nemona-pop-up-shop-berlinPop-up retailing – which can be considered in terms of a temporary retail-oriented setting designed to foster a direct customer-brand interaction for a limited period – is becoming an increasingly important aspect of the contemporary retail landscape. Conceptualising this phenomenon can be considered in terms of 4 interrelated dimensions: (1)Temporality, which is an inherent characteristic of pop-up retailing; (2) Spatiality, with a fundamental distinction between nomadic pop-up stores that travel from location to location, and stores that move into an existing vacant space and colonise it for a specific period; (3) Materiality, or the creation of the ‘territory’ of the pop-up store; and (4)Associability, the extent to which a pop-up store is able to communicate organisational/brand values, and how those values are subsequently perceived by customers. This last aspect is consistent with the fact that pop-up activities can equally be used for promotional purposes and for facilitating customer/brand engagement as much as they can be for actually selling products.  Academic research into pop-up retailing is currently quite limited, but there is much scope for further investigation.

Ed Dargan: “Place Clusters”

EdThis research provides the opportunity to analyse 9 years of footfall data (captured via Springboard street based remote sensors) for 93 locations around the UK. The study will include: an assessment of the data reliability and accuracy; the classification of footfall patterns to identify similarities between locations and, the retrospective matching of known theories to the classifications identified. The classifications will include monthly, daily and hourly footfall patterns common between places and include geographical, historical, events, retail composition and weather influences. Footfall is a direct measure of place attractiveness so this analysis aims to help places identify effective place marketing strategies.

Hannah Neate: “Modernist Architecture”

Hallfield Estate
Hallfield Estate

Hannah Neate: “As a cultural and historical geographer with interests in historical and contemporary urban issues it was great to be able to introduce myself at the IPM seminar and discuss some of my recent projects, all of which are focused on the histories and heritage of modernist architecture. Many buildings dating from the post-war period in the UK are often classed as ‘ugly concrete’ though my research has been examining the contested nature of modern heritage, looking at organisations and volunteers who champion and lobby for these buildings asking: Who is it that cares about these buildings? How do they go about their work? What influence do they have? These questions are becoming all the more important as many examples of post-war modernism are demolished as part of regeneration schemes. You can find out more about my projects on the Conserving the Twentieth Century Blog and Modern Futures. A recently published article on managing enthusiasm in architectural conservation is also available as a free download here.

Jill Dickinson: “Exploring law’s manifestations within shopping centre operations”

Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton. Taken by James Armitage, Friday 3rd June 2005.
Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton. Taken by James Armitage, Friday 3rd June 2005.


Jill is part-way through a multi-disciplinary, article-based PhD which focuses on the role that law plays in shopping centre operations. The research interprets the reference to law very broadly to encompass not only more traditional, black-letter statute and case-law, but also more broad references to both policy and cultural elements too. In doing so, it examines some of the challenges faced by the various key stakeholders involved in shopping centre operations and their sometimes conflicting interests.

Thanasis Spyriadis: “Performance Evaluation of Tourist Boards”

visitOrganisational effectiveness has proven an elusive concept in the context of Destination Management Organisations (DMOs). As such, this study critically explored the effectiveness construct in the specific context of DMOs by investigating the principles of organisational effectiveness and business performance management within the general management literature. A number of relevant theories have underpinned the discussion, namely: goal theory; stakeholder theory; competing values theory; strategic management theory. A critical review of each within non-profit, public, and for-profit (private) organisational domains is undertaken to identify synergies and complementarities that can support the conceptualisation of DMO effectiveness.

Heather Skinner: “Cardiff means one thing, Wales means a lot’: International business tourists’ perceptions of national and capital city brands”

Summer_on_Queen_Street_-_Cardiff_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1363923Business tourism accounts for around 14% of all international travel, yet we know less about these tourists’ motivations for travel than about general holidaymakers. Focusing on business travellers to a major international conference, this research aims to contribute to our understanding of the perceptions of business travellers themselves, rather than the event’s organisers. The research also seeks to gather their views about not only the capital city events are held in, but also their views about the wider country they may also be travelling around if they choose to add on a few vacation days either side of the event.

Nikos Ntounis & Jenny Kanellopoulou: “Normalising Heterotopias of Ambiguous Legal Status”

NikosN. Ntounis and J. Kanellopoulou: “In our research we explore the squatted urban areas of Metelkova and Christiania to examine how place branding and place marketing activities can lead to the normalisation of heterotopias of ambiguous legal status, under the prism of legal geography. We introduce the interplay between place marketing and place branding focusing on their social factors, as we seek to re-configure Metelkova and Christiania as places of jurisdictional ‘otherness’,  where mental associations can alter the perceptions of legality or illegality, reaffirming the triadic relationship between the social, the legal, and the spatial.”

Dominic Medway: “Litter, gender and brand: The anticipation of incivilities and perceptions of crime prevalence”

DomProfessor Dominic Medway reported on some research recently published with Professors Cathy Parker (IPM) and Stuart Roper (University of Bradford) in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. This research isolates litter as a physical incivility in a film-based experiment. It demonstrates the impact of litter on participants’ anticipation of a wide range of both physical and social incivilities in a recreational space (a park), and on their perceptions of crime prevalence. The research also tests for possible interaction effects in these relationships involving gender (finding no significant interaction), as well as examining whether there is a difference in the anticipation of incivilities and perceptions of crime prevalence between participants exposed to branded as opposed to unbranded litter (finding no difference between the two groups). Litter is often viewed as a tolerable nuisance; and not always treated as a priority. This study suggests prioritising funds towards more targeted interventions to reduce litter might result in some ‘quick wins’ – most notably, reducing perceptions of crime prevalence.”
The study can be found at: Medway, D., Parker, C., & Roper, S. (2016). Litter, gender and brand: The anticipation of incivilities and perceptions of crime prevalence. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 45, 135-144.

George Chatzinakos: “Mapping the Neighbourhood: Problems, Suggestions and Approaches to Urban Futures”

georgeG. Chatzinakos: “The research I recently undertook in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, tried to establish the foundations for a comprehensive mapping of the ‘Neighbourhood’. I presented the way a top-down creative initiative (namely LABattoir) should operate by engaging urban neighbourhoods as living laboratories and, by extension, the City as an ecosystem. My aim was to shed light on the growing potential of mapping to support the bottom-up participation of citizens in decision-making and problem solving activities. Accordingly, LABattoir can offer alternatives within the context of financial crisis by functioning as a reference point for community-building whilst considering the ‘Neighbourhood’ as the staging ground for an ongoing action-research project.”


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