28 September 2012

I am able to give seminars around the world

Place Branding
Strategic Planning and Place Branding
Destination Branding
Place Management and Development
Tourism Planning

email me your ideas


Eduardo OliveiraPhD Researcher
  Department of Planning & Environment
  Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen
  PO Box 800 | +31 50 36 38 868 | RUG WEB Blog I Blog II 
  9700 AV Groningen,The Netherlands

The EU 2020 Strategy and its implications on the practice of place branding

The EU 2020 Strategy and its implications on the practice of place branding

Posted by:  on Jul 9, 2012 | No Comments

A little background discussion

Some time ago, I approached a group of participants in a regional place branding conference and asked their point of view regarding the European Union (EU) strategy for the coming 20 years and how the strategy will create opportunities for us as place branding researchers. A mix of opinions came to the table. Some believe the document is just another set of economic and financial guidelines for the EU Member States, which does not touch on or relate to the practice of place branding. Other comments followed our way of thinking, by interpreting that the Europe 2020 Strategy could be an opportunity to bolster future branding strategies in the EU.
What leads me to believe that the EU strategy will have implications on the place branding profession is its clear definition about where the European Union should stand in the coming years, in terms of these core subjects:
  1. Economic development
  2. Territorial competitiveness
  3. Territorial cohesion
  4. Sustainability
Considering that place branding is an attempt to form a unique selling proposition that will secure visibility to the outside world and reinforce local identity, these EU goals integrate perfectly with the building process for a place branding strategy.

A brief overview of The Europe 2020 Strategy

The Europe 2020 Strategy (EU 2020) – “A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”, together with the recent Country-specific Recommendations from the European Commission– takes a step forward to resolve long-term challenges, such as globalisation and pressure on natural resources, by promoting a more efficient, greener and more competitive economy. In this moment of transformation, the three priorities are:
  1. Smart growth, to develop an economy based on knowledge and innovation
  2. Sustainable growth, by promoting a more resource-efficient, green and competitive economy
  3. Inclusive growth, by fostering a high-employment economy delivering social and territorial cohesion
The three reinforcing priorities should help the EU and Member States deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. The implementation of these targets – smart, sustainable and inclusive growth will be applied on the national level and guide the necessary transformation. The correlation with place branding research emerges from the flagship initiative that looks to the economic, social and territorial cohesion. This cohesion promotes regional development and makes sure that the benefits of growth will be equally distributed around the EU. A place branding strategy of this calibre needs a decision-making support system, and the EU 2020 could be seen as a base for that practice.

The Europe 2020 and place branding

As a place branding researcher, I have been exploring hot topics about place branding. We argue that the application of the concept of place branding for countries, regions and cities is a perfect link with the Europe 2020 Strategy that will raise:
  1. Economic development and territorial competitiveness
  2. Contribution towards a more cohesive territory
  3. Environmental noise concerns
A place in particular a region in a Member State of the EU must follow the guidelines of the European Commission as well as an adapted place branding strategy in order to attempt to achieve the EU 2020 goals.
Eduardo Oliveira is a PhD researcher at the Department of Spatial Planning & Environment of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He holds an MSc in Marketing and Strategic Management and a degree in Geography from the University of Minho and he is doing research in place and destination branding as spatial planning instruments.

26 September 2012

Student Forum of the ASEM Rector's Conference at the University of Groni...

Have a glimpse into the activities in the last few days: The 1st Asia-Europe Students' Forum brought together more than 40 students to talk about being fit for a lifetime of employability, and what they want universities to do! 

3rd ASEM Rectors' Conference

I´m attending the

Meet and Greet Lunch ARC3


25 September 2012

15 of the world's most bike-friendly cities

Amsterdam, Netherlands
The " bicycling capital of Europe" tops many lists -- including this one, it seems -- as the most bike-friendly city anywhere. Safe and extensive route networks, serious governmental promotion, and a bike culture that transcends class boundaries are all reasons why 40 percent of the city's traffic moves on two wheels.
Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona's Bicing program, one of many mass bike rental systems that have popped up recently in Europe and beyond, debuted in 2007 in the Catalonian capital. An annual Bike Week is held in late May to spread the word.
Berlin, Germany
Commuting Berliners are never lonely -- 400,000 of them pedal to work each day. City leaders still aren't satisfied with this figure, and millions of euros have been allocated to encourage more cyclists to get on the streets. One result is a mapping website that helps you plot bike-specific routes.
Copenhagen, Denmark
In the Danish capital, around a third of the workforce gets to the office by bike. By some estimates, that's more than a million kilometers pedaled every day.
For an alternative and truly bike-friendly urban experience, check out Christiania, a neighborhood of 850 that, in addition to setting up a semi-independent government and decriminalizing trade in cannabis, has banned cars.
Paris, France
Paris gets a nod here for its creation ofVélib', one of the world's largest public bicycle rental programs. Twenty thousand stylish three-speeds are distributed among 1,450 rental stations throughout the city, available to subscribers at variable rates (rides under 30 minutes are free).
Boulder, Colorado
Denver's little hippy neighbor to the north dedicates 15% of its transportation budget to improving and promoting bicycle travel. Nearly every major roadway has a designated cycling area, and they've even instituted a pilot program to get kids biking to school.This guy has created a very cool color-coded route map, complete with local attractions.
Chicago, Illinois
Late during his 22-year tenure, Mayor Richard Daley became set on turning Chicago into "the most bicycle-friendly city in the United States." It doesn't appear to be all talk, either, as more bike lanes pop up all the time, and more laws that protect cyclists' safety are passed.
The City of Chicago website has all you could ever want to know about the city's bicycle initiatives.
Davis, California
It's said there are more bikes than cars in this small, northern California city of 65,000. Not only that, but its official motto is "Most bicycle friendly town in the world." The city marks Bike Monththroughout May.
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada's capital claims the highest percentage of bike commuters in the country, if not the continent. Its 170 km of paths make it easy to get from point A to B, though two-wheeled traffic is sure to drop between December and March. Visit the City of Ottawa website for more.
Portland, Oregon
You were worried there for a second, weren't you? No, we haven't forgotten what most people consider the bike capital of the U.S. The only thing as impressive as Portland's bicycle infrastructure (including a 260-mile network) and commuter stats (almost 10%, the highest in the country) is the camaraderie of its cyclist community.
San Francisco, California
The founding city of Critical Mass -- mass bike rides that take place in cities around the world -- can't be overlooked. Over the past decade, bicycle collisions have declined while the number of bike commuters has nearly doubled.
Add city initiatives like removing car parking to make room for bike parking, distributing "Watch for Bikes" stickers (to be placed on driver's side rearview mirrors), and its fledgling bike share program, and you get one of the world's bike-friendliest cities.
Beijing, China
Debatable? Sure. But I wouldn't call the city with probably the most bicycles of any in the world to be bike unfriendly.
The sheer number of cyclists necessitates some pretty sophisticated infrastructure for the travel, storage and repair of two-wheeled vehicles.
Cape Town, South Africa
African cities aren't the first that spring to mind for bike friendliness, but Cape Town is doing its best to change that.
The South African hub is committed to creating cycling lanes, dedicated bike parking and public commuter showers.
Bogotá, Colombia
Bogotá's transportation initiatives have been a model for change throughout Latin America, and its treatment of bicycles is no exception. Miles of safe, segregated bike paths and Sunday Ciclovía events (where main thoroughfares are closed to cars) make Colombian cyclists very happy.
Perth, Australia
With more than 700 km of bike routes and plenty to see along them, Australia's fourth largest city takes it for Down Under. Find maps, recommended rides and other cycling resources on the Perth Bike Maps webpage.
See full story on MatadorNetwork.com
© 2011 Matador Network, Matador Ventures, LLC.

18 September 2012

12 September 2012

Portugal: More sacrifices?

Portugal: More sacrifices?

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey
Portugal: More sacrifices?. 47965.jpeg
The Portuguese Government has announced that next year, the burden of contributions to Social Security will increase from 11 to 18 percent, an increase of seven per cent per person, in addition to other taxes and soaring, unbearable prices of public utilities. In theequation of Portuguese politics, a PSD government is synonymous with social disruption.

Never in the history of politics has there appeared a man so ill-prepared to govern a country in crisis, never has a team appeared that is so inept or which has implemented such blind, laboratory policies such as the PSD (Social Democrats) government of Prime Minister Pedro Coelho and his illustrious ministers. Already in the nineties, the same party sported a Minister of Finance who was labeled "the mentally advanced one"; for the one that is there today, there are no labels, no words and no patience for him, the Prime Minister and that bunch of charlatans that has dried up the country to breaking point.

In fact, those who think about voting for PSD, CDS/PP or PS should do an MRI scan of their brain because they were the three parties that have governed (?) Portugal since the Carnation Revolution in 1974. So they have no excuse against the charge that they took the country to the situation it is in, sometimes governing alone, sometimes collectively, over nearly four decades.

If they were directors of any company, they would have been fired for incompetence, but because they belong to the class that rules in Portugal, the worst that can happen to them is that they return to where they came from behind the bars of a university or some institute doing Christ alone knows what ... organizing costing 50.000 Euros, maybe. I jest not.

There are situations where the truth must be said, however much it hurts and in Portugal there is a tendency to let things be, to pretend that all is well, and hope that maybe someday there will come a King Sebastian to put everything in order. Sorry, but that will not happen. The laissez-faire died in September 2012. Turn the page, time for a new mentality, a new country.

The Father of this situation was the President himself, Aníbal Silva, who likes to cultivate an air of great wisdom, protecting himself by hiding behind cryptic phrases, fonts of wisdom like "I have a certain vision for Portugal", or "The Progress of the Portuguese people in the European Economic Area".

Aníbal Silva was Prime Minister between 1985 and 1995, precisely in the years after Portugal joined the European Community (later the European Union). Did he or his governments prepare the country for the challenge? No, he spent ten years riding around in motorcades with police motorcycle outriders, giving speeches and playing politics. During those years, rivers of money poured across Portugal's borders, supposedly to be well invested creating the conditions for Portugal to prosper in the Euro club.

Although the country was totally unprepared at the time and in my opinion its accession owed more to the friendship of Mario Soares with "son ami" Mitterrand and although Aníbal Silva in terms of honesty and integrity ranks among the untouchables in Portuguese politics, being honest and looking "serious" is not enough. And the decade of Cavaquism was a stinking, fetid abortion that polluted every sector of Portuguese Government for 30 years.

The money was badly misused, negotiations with the Union saw Portugal's industry, agriculture and fisheries disappear. Losing these industries, how could Portugal be prepared for the challenge? What follows, since the mid-nineties, has been a consequence of this, it is the tail of Cavaquism, a sort of a slimy evil-smelling gunge that covers everything, hiding holes and fooling everyone.

Since the mid nineties, we witnessed a constant slide, witnessed further years of abominable political management by incompetents who have squandered the taxpayers' money, who left Portugal with the worst wages, with prices of food and utilities increasing year after year; no government protected the people when the country entered the Euro (without asking if anyone wanted to), when prices doubled or tripled and the Portuguese have been left with one of the highest tax rates in Europe (for the poor, of course, not the rich).

Now we come to 2012, with a government that anywhere else would belong in a lunatic asylum, that of Pedro Coelho, that implements measures without knowing if they will pass in the Constitutional Court, when even an idiot knows not, and that thinks it has the right to loot the country and rob the people by increasing the Social Security contribution by seven percentage points.

When the plant is sick, you prune it and water it. What this government has done was shut off the water, remove all leaves from the stem and pull up the roots. Now that the plant stubbornly refuses to grow, they stamp on it with hobnailed boots and if it does not die, they will continue stomping it into the ground, like maniacs, until it no longer resists.

With a stubbornness and idiocy like that, it is not surprising that young people are leaving. This time, and differently from previous years, they will not come back. When you take money from the economy, you dry it. The answer is not more taxes - any student of public finance knows that this type of policy produces negative results.

The answer is ... I have my ideas, but it is not up to me here in this Russian newspaper to dictate what Portuguese economists and scholars are paid to do: find a solution. Suffice to say that this does not lie in the three parties mentioned above, as it is more than evident.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

11 September 2012

University of Groningen climbs QS ranking list again

University of Groningen climbs QS ranking list again

Date:September 11, 2012
This year, the University of Groningen has climbed to 109th place on the QS World University Rankings, the global ranking list of best universities. Since the QS Rankings started in 2005, the University of Groningen has climbed a few places higher every year; last year the University was 115th, the year before 120th, and before that 138th. The improvement in this year’s position is partly due to the increased international reputation of the University.

American universities continue to dominate the ranking list – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is in 1st place, and 6 other US universities are in the top ten. Great Britain is making its presence felt too withCambridge in 2nd place. There are four Dutch universities in the top 100, with the highest notation for the University of Amsterdam.
The method QS uses to compile the ranking list enables universities to earn points on six criteria: Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Faculty/Student, Citations/Faculty, International Faculty and International Students. Compared with last year, the University of Groningen has improved its scores in five of these sixcriteria. President of the Board Sibrand Poppema is delighted that the University is now improving its score on the two reputation criteria. ‘Both Academic Reputation and Employer Reputation have improved.Groningen’s name is becoming better known across the world.’
Given the steadily increasing trend of the past few years, a place in the top 100 is a realistic option for Groningen. Poppema hopes to achieve this in the not too distant future: ‘We are steadily improving and I see no reason why that upward trend should not continue. On other ranking lists we are also maintaining or improving our position. In the “Best Places to Work in Academia” ranking list of The Scientist we are again in the top 25, and in the ARWU ranking list of Fudan University in Shanghai we have climbed to closeby 100th place. It would be fantastic if we were in the top 100 of all the ranking lists in 2014, the year we celebrate our 400th anniversary.’
The QS World University Rankings were published in the Times Higher Education Supplement from 2005 until 2010, when the journal introduced a different method based on data from Thomson Reuters. The QS Rankings (part of the Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd bureau) continued independently and in the meantime has earned a place among the most influential ranking lists. The QS Rankings are published onwww.topuniversities.com.

10 September 2012

Germany and Denmark Top the 2012 Global Green Economy Index

Germany and Denmark Top the 2012 Global Green Economy Index
New Green City Survey Ranks Copenhagen #1

WASHINGTON, September 10, 2012 – Results from the 3rd edition of the Global Green Economy Index
(GGEI) show that expert practitioners in the green economy rank Germany as the top national green
performer while an index defined by 32 datasets scoring country performance places Denmark on top.
The first-ever survey measuring green city reputations ranked Copenhagen #1, followed by Stockholm,
Oslo, Amsterdam and New York. This city survey ranked perceptions of green performance in the main
urban area associated with each of the 27 nations tracked in the GGEI.

“The GGEI demonstrates the robust data and analysis we bring to bear helping our clients improve their
international green branding and communications programs. The new green city rankings expand our
services to urban stakeholders and offer guidance on coordinating national and city efforts promoting
green economic growth,” said Jeremy Tamanini, the founder of Dual Citizen Inc.
Highlights from the four main dimensions making up the GGEI - leadership, policy, cleantech investment
and sustainable tourism – include:
• The leadership performance index shows that South Africa got a big boost after hosting COP17 in
Durban, but its green reputation did not improve commensurately.
• Actively communicating 2020 renewable energy goals drives positive perceptions of national
policy in our survey, but the pace of actual progress is uneven at best.
• Experts continue to view Germany, China, the United States and India as the best targets for
cleantech investment but smaller nations - notably Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Israel - are
gaining recognition.
• The United Kingdom is tied with New Zealand at the top of the sustainable tourism performance
index but remains under-recognized in our expert survey for its merits in this realm.
Washington-based consultancy Dual Citizen publishes the annual GGEI and will host a webinar on
Thursday September 27th at 10am EST to review the results. For more details and an invitation to this
webinar, please email the contact below.

In Washington - Jeremy Tamanini - (917) 680 5899 - Jeremy@dualcitizeninc.com
Download the 2012 Global Green Economy Index here: www.dualcitizeninc.com/ggei2012.pdf

7 September 2012

Sentir o Porto em 24 Horas - PORTUGAL

24 Hours In Porto

24 Hours In Porto: First Impressions

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It’s only been 24 hours since I arrived in Porto, Portugal, and I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite cities.  It has all the charm (and wine!) of Europe without the hustle and stress of bigger metropolitan areas such as Paris or Rome.  There is a certain sense of calm here that’s ideal for relaxation and it’s no wonder to me that Porto was recently named one of the Best European Destinations for vacationing.  I feel so relaxed already and it’s just been one day!
My husband and I checked into the conference hotel, Sheraton Porto, for Travel Bloggers Unite, yesterday afternoon and after a much appreciated shower and a nap, we headed down to The Yeatman with a few other conference speakers to share some drinks and watch the sunset.
I’ll have much more to share about The Yeatman soon (it’s a luxury hotel with a wine theme … right up my alley!),but today we’re off to scout out some locations to take my video workshop students.  In the meantime, enjoy this photo post below. Thanks to my husband, Pete, for snapping all these great shots!



Alfama: Our Lisbon Neighbourhood

We’ve been in Lisbon nearly a month and what we love most is our neighbourhood Alfama, the oldest in the city and one of the only areas that survived the 1755 earthquake. The Moors created a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets that wind their way up a steep hill overlooking the Rio Tejo and it still feels like stepping back in time.
It’s a place to wander and get lost in the maze of alleyways, past intricately tiled houses with wrought iron balconies, magnificent churches, and viewpoints where Lisbon opens up beneath you.

6 September 2012

Abstract accepted

Dear Eduardo,

I am delighted to inform you that your abstract entitled - "Place Branding and Strategic Planning: Towards a conceptual model to brand regions" - has been accepted as an academic submission to the "3rd International Place Branding and 2nd Institute of Place Management Conference", February 2013, Manchester, UK. :)

*What a beautiful day*
 — at University of Groningen.

Poleć na Durex

Barack Obama's Rebranding Plan: Attack, Orate, Repeat by Dorie Clark

Hell hath no fury like a disappointed customer. That's the central "rebranding" challenge facing Barack Obama as he goes into the final campaign sprint, beginning with this week's Democratic National Convention. In politics, the central question you face in devising your campaign strategy is whether you're running as a challenger (a role Obama played to perfection in 2008, promising "hope" and "change") or an incumbent, which is a marvelous position if the country is thriving, and a terrible one if it isn't.
Even though Obama is able to leverage the infrastructure of his successful 2008 campaign, such as an impressive online operation, the message is entirely different this time around. As former New York Governor Mario Cuomo famously said, "You campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose" — a painful truth for Obama, who's now forced to run as an incumbent and defend an economic record that, to be charitable, isn't what his supporters might have hoped.
As a former presidential campaign spokesperson, what's my prescription for Obama?
The first step, if your case to voters isn't airtight, is to put your opponent on the defensive.(And let's face it: It could have been way worse! isn't the most compelling rallying cry.) So far, Obama's team has thrived here, successfully beating the daylights out of Mitt Romney's record, including his work at Bain Capital and his personal finances.
Playing offense is a good defense because, even though the blogosphere has an unlimited appetite for news, most voters are still barely paying attention. If the day's headlines are about your opponent's missteps (self-imposed or otherwise), it's a victory: they're not thrashing you.
He'll also have to give voters a better sense of his overarching agenda and goals for a second term. For all the accolades he's received as an orator, Obama has been far less successful (as progressive critics like Emory professor and political consultant Drew Westen have pointed out) at articulating a positive, proactive vision for the nation. That'll surely be the top priority for his Convention address. Doing so will both help him rebrand himself, and allow him to embrace the full power that incumbency affords.
Indeed, incumbency gives Obama a third technique at his disposal: emphasizing the "switching costs" of electing Mitt Romney. The President's branding predicament echoes that of another fast-moving American icon: Facebook. Both gained attention with a flashy "coming out" in 2004 (Obama with his instantly famous Democratic National Convention address that year, and Facebook with its launch and rapid adoption on college campuses). Both generated enormous excitement and a legion of dedicated fans (in 2008, Obama amassed three million donors, and Facebook catapulted to over100 million users). And both, in recent times, have disappointed the high expectations of their most loyal supporters (Obama with a stagnant economy and accusations that he didn't sufficiently fight for progressive values, and Facebook with its lackluster IPO, tanking stock price, and failure to develop a robust mobile strategy).
So how do you remake the president to endear him to his erstwhile fans? If he wins a second term, aggressive policy moves and a perkier economy will work wonders for his reputation. But in the intervening two months — which will determine whether he gets that opportunity — he may want to embrace the Facebook example. Because, when faced with a credible threat from a well-designed rival (Google+), one of their biggest advantages was the specter of switching costs.
After all, if you've spent years uploading photos, writing witty posts, building your friend list, and curating your life on Facebook, why would you want to go back to square one with another, unproven social network? Similarly, the advantage of political incumbency is that you're a known entity. For voters, switching to Mitt Romney (who has branding challenges of his own), may be a risk they don't want to bear — and that's the "status update" President Obama will be driving home until Election Day.
More blog posts by Dorie Clark
Dorie Clark


Dorie Clark is a strategy consultant who has worked with clients including Google, Yale University, and the National Park Service. She is the author of the forthcoming Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press 2013). You can follow her on Twitter at @dorieclark.

Special issue in European Planning Studies Spatial planning and place branding: rethinking relations and synergies

Introduction:  Kristof Van Assche, Raoul Beunen and Eduardo Oliveira  Rethinking planning-branding relations: an introduction . https:...