Containing ‘places’?

Hatch, Oxford Road, Manchester

By Prof Gary Warnaby

Parts of many town and city centres have almost begun to resemble docklands in the sense that shipping containers – sometimes singly, sometimes stacked in different permutations – have appeared in urban space. By transplanting these metal boxes into a different context their use has changed – from shipping to, primarily, shopping.  This repurposing has led to a neologism – ‘cargotecture’ – to describe the resulting architectural adaptations into shopping venues (and in many cases, peoples’ homes). It is one manifestation of a broader concept of ‘container urbanism’, where repurposed shipping containers become, among other things, part of broader place-making initiatives.

“This standardisation enables a far greater flexibility, both in its original use, through incorporation into intermodal supply chains, and also through adaptive architectural re-use.”

Using shipping containers in this way is explained in part by their flexibility and design. In one way, their design is standardised and inflexible – Martin describes the shipping container very simply as a ‘box’ for transporting stuff: “its size, shape and form were agreed upon, made standard, and applied on a near universal basis”[1]. However, this standardisation – now widely captured in the baseline ‘twenty-foot equivalent’ (or TEU) shipping container – enables a far greater flexibility, both in its original use, through incorporation into intermodal supply chains (being equally part of road-based and sea-borne transportation), and also through adaptive architectural re-use. Indeed, a search through Google Images reveals the ingenuity and effort expended in modifying these structures to create new spaces in which to live and work. 

Continue reading “Containing ‘places’?”

A new role for maps in urban place marketing?

The Bünting Clover Leaf Map, also known as The World in a Cloverleaf, (German title: “Die ganze Welt in einem Kleberblat/Welches ist der Stadt Hannover meines lieben Vaterlandes Wapen”) is an historic mappa mundi drawn by the German Protestant pastor, theologist, and cartographer Heinrich Bünting. The map was published in his book Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae (Travel through Holy Scripture) in 1581

by Prof Gary Warnaby

In the first volume of the Journal of Place Management and Development in 2008, I wrote an article about why place marketers should understand cartography. In it, I argued that maps – as frameworks for spatial communication and representation – could be an important aspect of place marketing activity.[1]  The process of mapping can “symbolize, depict, portray, describe, present clearly to the mind” a particular milieu[2] and can, thus, arguably be part of a place marketer’s ‘toolkit’. Indeed, maps have been a long-standing element of place marketing ‘representation work’.[3]  The use of maps in this particular context is evident at two spatial scales: the inter-urban (where maps are used to emphasise location in relation to other places), and the intra-urban (where the purpose of the map is primarily to facilitate navigation around a particular locale)[4], and it is the latter that is the focus of this discussion.

In the past, perhaps the most obvious example of urban place promotion which incorporated cartography at the intra-urban scale was the town guide – a well-established staple of urban place marketing activity, which according to Burgess, had to “serve many functions at the same time – residential guide, tourist guide, commercial and industrial directory and planning handbook”.[5]  Narrowing the spatial focus further, a more contemporary cartographic manifestation is the town centre guide, which is one of the most commonly used promotional activities employed by (especially retail oriented) urban place marketing actors. In the past, I have analysed the content of how town/city centres are represented cartographically in such guides, in relation to graphic interface features of scale, projection and symbolisation, to assess their effectiveness as aids to navigation for place users.[6] 

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Place Management and the Victorian arcade?

Galerie Colbert, Paris. Image by Benh LIEU SONG – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3813548

by Prof Gary Warnaby

An arcade is “a glass covered passageway which connects two busy streets and is lined on both sides with shops”[1].  First developed in Paris in the late eighteenth century, arcades were a key element of the European retail and urban environment by the mid-nineteenth century. They were regarded as symbols of modernity and vitality because of their innovative use of architectural design, building materials and techniques, and they contributed to a wider process of civic boosterism of the Victorian city[2]. However, according to MacKeith, by the start of the twentieth century, the arcade’s heyday was already passing, with those constructed in the early twentieth century being smaller and less architecturally ambitious than their nineteenth century predecessors, and furthermore, arcades were often marginalised in new post-war shopping development schemes[3]

Continue reading “Place Management and the Victorian arcade?”

Successful collective interventions to ‘future-proof’ town and city centres

Urban stakeholders are increasingly realising the importance of collective action in attempts to ‘future proof’ town and city centres, to ensure that ‘their’ centre retains an important role in the economic and social life of associated communities.  Such collective actions, often implemented under the aegis of urban management partnerships (UMPs), raise some key questions for these organisations: what type(s) of collective interventions are the most effective; and how to create sufficient support for them? 

In 2017-18, a research project, led by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and funded by Shopping Tomorrow (a Dutch retail and e-commerce think-tank), which comprised an expert group containing a number of IPM researchers and members, tried to answer these questions.  Specifically, the research – which analysed a variety of different types of interventions in 21 towns and cities across the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK – sought to identify and illustrate the factors that underpin successful collective interventions aimed at ’future-proofing’ town and city centres.

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Reflections on the Inaugural Meeting of the Academy of Marketing Place Marketing & Branding Special Interest Group

 

by Dr. Heather Skinner

Hosted by Staffordshire University, the Inaugural Meeting of the Academy of Marketing Place Marketing & Branding Special Interest Group (SIG) was held on Monday 4th December 2017. The meeting took the form of a workshop on “Researching, Writing, and Publishing in Place Marketing & Branding”, and focused on three key issues of interest:

  • Interdisciplinarity in place marketing and branding research;
  • Understanding what editors and reviewers want from place marketing and branding papers;
  • Setting out the research agenda for the SIG.

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Why place managers should know about pop-up retailing

Nemona pop-upby Prof Gary Warnaby

‘Pop-up’ is an increasingly important aspect of current retail activity, and indeed, it has been argued that the boundaries between pop-up and the more traditional retailing found in fixed store formats is becoming increasingly blurred. Whilst it can essentially be defined in terms of its temporary and ephemeral nature, pop-up retailing can also provide a very effective experiential in-store environment facilitating consumer-brand engagement, and also promote a brand or product line, to create a ‘buzz’ (all of which, it is hoped, conveys a sense of urgency to stimulate consumers’ behaviour). Indeed, the use of pop-up can be motivated by marketing communication imperatives as much as by actually making sales – although, of course, pop-up shops (although not necessarily termed as such) have long been used for selling goods where demand is very seasonal (e.g. Halloween, Christmas), making the occupation of permanent premises uneconomic. Continue reading “Why place managers should know about pop-up retailing”

Our academic books of 2017

by Prof Gary Warnaby and Prof Ares Kalandides*

The year that just ended was full of new and exciting academic publications, saw the reprint of some old classics, but was also the time for us to simply go through the books that had been piling on our desks for a while. Here are our top 10 reads of 2017: 


Prof Gary Warnaby

“This year, I’ve been really interested in some of the temporal issues related to the use of urban space, so for me the two books published this year that I’ve been going back to again and again are: Continue reading “Our academic books of 2017”

The experts are dead: Long live the experts.

Journal of Place Management and Development

by Dominic Medway and Cathy Parker

Journal of Place Management and Development, Issue 9.3: Editorial

On June 24th this year Dominic Medway wrote on his Twitter feed: “@PlaceManagement Places are ultimately made, unmade, defined and redefined by people before institutions. We’ve seen that today”. This was of course referring to the result of the so-called ‘Brexit’ referendum on whether the United Kingdom should leave the EU. The pollsters and the City of London seemed reasonably confident that the outcome of the vote, on June 23rd 2016, would be to ‘remain’, but it seemed both these institutional bodies hugely underestimated the power of the voters to exercise their democratic right to chart an alternative future. Continue reading “The experts are dead: Long live the experts.”

IPM response to draft World Towns Agreement

shrewsbury-pound-hillFollowing the publication of the draft World Towns Agreement for discussion and adoption at the World Towns Leadership Summit on 15th & 16th June in Edinburgh, Professor Gary Warnaby FIPM (Institute of Place Management and University of Manchester) and Professor Cathy Parker SFIPM (Institute of Place Management and Manchester Metropolitan University) have published a response on behalf of the Institute.  Continue reading “IPM response to draft World Towns Agreement”

3rd IPM Research Seminar on 18th May, 2016

panorama

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:

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