19 April 2013

Urban Studies Online Table of Contents Alert

A new issue of Urban Studies is available online:
Special Issue: Cities, Urbanisation and Climate Change:
May 2013; Vol. 50, No. 7 

The below Table of Contents is available online at: http://usj.sagepub.com/content/vol50/issue7/?etoc

Special Issue Introduction
Cities, Urbanisation and Climate Change
Aidan While and Mark Whitehead
Urban Stud 2013;50 1325-1331

Special Issue Articles
Cities and Climate Change: The Precedents and Why They Matter
Michael Hebbert and Vladimir Jankovic
Urban Stud 2013;50 1332-1347

Neoliberal Urban Environmentalism and the Adaptive City: Towards a Critical Urban Theory and Climate Change
Mark Whitehead
Urban Stud 2013;50 1348-1367

The Uneven Localisation of Climate Action in Metropolitan Seattle
Yonn Dierwechter and Anne Taufen Wessells
Urban Stud 2013;50 1368-1385

The Socio-institutional Dynamics of Urban Climate Governance: A Comparative Analysis of Innovation and Change in Durban (KZN, South Africa) and Portland (OR, USA)
Alex Aylett
Urban Stud 2013;50 1386-1402

The Intermediary Organisation of Low Carbon Cities: A Comparative Analysis of Transitions in Greater London and Greater Manchester
Michael Hodson, Simon Marvin, and Harriet Bulkeley
Urban Stud 2013;50 1403-1422

Grassroots Localisation? The Scalar Potential of and Limits of the ‘Transition’ Approach to Climate Change and Resource Constraint
Peter North and Noel Longhurst
Urban Stud 2013;50 1423-1438

Discursive Framings of Low Carbon Urban Transitions: The Contested Geographies of ‘Satellite Settlements’ in the Czech Republic
Saska Petrova, Darina Posová, Adam House, and Ludek Sykora
Urban Stud 2013;50 1439-1455

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18 April 2013

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City Branding Symposium 2013

City Branding Symposium 2013

Conference Call for the 2nd City Branding Symposium to be held at  Tsinghua University, Beijing, October 23-25, 2013. The conference theme is "Positioning Cities: Innovative and Sustainable Strategies for City Development and Transformation".
We are pleased to inform you that the 2nd City Branding Symposium is going to take place at Tsinghua Unversity, Beijing on October 23-25, 2013. The theme is "Positioning Cities: Innovative and Sustainable Strategies for City Development and Transformation". Following the success of the 1st Symposium held in Stockholm in August 2012, the aim of the 2nd Symposium is to continue the academic conversation on the strategic positioning and development of cities.
The symposium is hosted by Tsinghua University, School of Journalism and Communication and City Branding Studio, and sponsored by the School of Business and the Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University, Peking University, the National Academy of Economic Strategy at CASS as well as the School of Management and the Nordic Centre at Fudan University.
The scope of the symposium covers the following six themes:
  1. Strategic communications: Strategy and planning
  2. Sensory positioning: Atmospheres and attractiveness
  3. Identity and heritage in relation to positioning
  4. Innovative social branding and inclusiveness
  5. Branding and innovative urban planning
  6. Governance and city branding
If you are interested in attending the symposium please send an abstract before May 15th tocbs@tsinghua.edu.cn. All symposium participants are expected to submit a paper related to one of the areas mentioned above, according to the dates below. Further information and guidelines will be provided upon the acceptance of your abstract. In the meantime, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Important dates

  • May 15, 2013: Submission of abstract
  • August 15, 2013: Submission of full paper

Conference fee

The conference fee is RMB 2000 (€240). Information regarding accommodation, transport, etc. will be sent upon confirmation of attendance, or you may contact cbs@tsinghua.edu.cn

Contact persons

China, Tsinghua University
Daniel Charvat & Heidi Choi
Tel: +86-18618419132
Sweden, Stockholm University
Emma Björner & Anna Ehnhage
Tel: +46-709455988

4 April 2013

International Conference on Business Tourism and Applied Sciences


8th   to  10th August 2013 
London, United Kingdom 

Website: http://www.icbtsconference.com 
Contact person: Dr.Chayanan Kerdpitak 

ICBTS2013 Academic International Conference at:The University of London, Auguest 7-10,2013 Tracks : Business,Accounting, Marketing, Tourism,Hospitality, Hotel, Education, Technology,Logistics, Supply Chain, Economics, Health Sciences, Human Resource 

Organized by: IJBTSjournal (Thailand), University of London, Le Harve University (France), Wismar University of Germany 
Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 30th April 2013 

Check the event website for more details. 

Creative Regions Summer School 2013

Posted: 22 Mar 2013 11:48 AM PDT

Dr Roberta Comunian, Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, is co-organising the Creative Regions Summer School 2013, hosted by Cardiff School of Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University during the week of 24 -28 June 2013.
The Creative Regions Summer School is an exciting week of intense learning for postgraduate students, practitioners and policy makers interested in engaging with the current debates and research surrounding the role of the creative economy in local and regional development.
Key themes that will be explored during the Summer School are as follows:
  • - Understanding creative people, creative work and creative skills
  • - Mapping and analysing the creative economy
  • - Innovation and entrepreneurship in the creative industries
  • - Creative clusters and networks
  • - Urban regeneration and the creative economy
  • - Creative class and regional economic development
  • - Policy perspectives: international, national, regional and local
  • - Higher Education, creative graduates and the creative economy
Please see www.creative-regions.org.uk/  for further details and preliminary programme.
Residential, non residential and day rates are available.
Register online at www.creative-regions.org.uk/fees–registration.html

New directions for research on Cities, Spaces and Societies Conference 31 May – 1 June 2013

The Association of Urban Creativity, in association with City, Culture and Society, King’s College London, announce the second annual conference. It will take place on Friday 31 May 31st and Saturday 1 June 2013. The theme is New directions for research on Cities, Spaces and Societies.
The objective of this conference is to look to new and emerging agendas in work on cities, culture and creativity. We welcome work that focuses on any part of the world; we especially welcome work that asks critical questions of normative approaches, and work that deals with cities beyond North American/ European.
We invite papers from a wide disciplinary field; multiple foci on our object of interest is welcomed.
Our aim is to be inclusive as possible, and we are keen to give a platform for younger researchers as well as more established ones. We will have a competitive bursary for a early career research (to cover travel and accommodation costs). More details of this to follow.

Overall the conference will be free registration, due to the generous support of the Osaka University Urban Plaza, and King’s College London.

For planning purposes we would like to propose the following themes:
1. cultural policy and the city
2. creative cities and the Global South
3. art and the city
4. knowledge exchange, intermediaries and the creative process
5. precarious labour, culture and the city
6. scenes and the cultural economy
7. creative clusters, quarters and hubs
However, we would be happy to consider papers that do not fit directly in these themes.
If you interested in submitting an abstract please visit the website http://www.urban-creativity.org/
and use the online form.
For any further information contact auc2013conference@gmail.com

The Surest Way To Build A Billion-Dollar Internet Company

by James Slavet

Consumer technology VC

As a venture capital investor, I’m focused on identifying and backing high potential consumer technology startups. It’s the small number of hits that drive the investment returns generated by the best VC funds.
I recently met with a talented and driven Internet entrepreneur who is running hard at building his second company. He sold his last startup a few years after founding it for about $50 million, which was a very fine outcome. He told me that his goal this time around is to “go the distance,” to build an independent company that will be a leader in its space and worth a billion dollars or more.
His goal inspired me to go and look at the data and the patterns behind what kinds of Internet companies, specifically consumer Web companies, became billion-dollar entities. The results of my data dive surprised me, and might surprise you.
It’s A Short List
The first observation in looking at billion-dollar consumer Internet companies is that there aren’t a lot of them. We’re approaching the twenty-year mark of the commercial Internet.Amazon and Yahoo were both founded in 1994. Yet from a recent scan of the public markets, there are currently only twenty-four publicly held U.S. based Internet companies that are worth $1 billion or more. That’s about one company per year for the past twenty years.
When you add to this list all of the companies that have been acquired for $1 billion or more over the past two decades, plus the companies that have cleared this valuation threshold but are still private, the total number just about doubles. Still, that’s only two consumer Web firms created per year worth north of $1 billion.
Social Platforms: Home Runs Happen But Odds Are Low
If you’re reaching for a true grand slam, the best way in the past decade has been to build a defining social platform. Facebook and LinkedIn are the only public Internet companies founded in the U.S. after the year 2000 that are currently worth more than $10 billion. If you include in the count the privately held social-platform companies valued at more than a billion, there are only two: Twitter and Pinterest. Tumblr is close, and Instagram appeared to be on its way before Facebook took it out. These businesses have grown virally and they have deep network effects. The utility to participants grows as the scale of the network increases – which makes the network highly defensible.
A social platform can be a beautiful business, but only if it crosses the threshold to dominate a category. The challenge is there are very few of these defining social platforms that break through and sustain. And to be a true winner, you generally have to get a very sizable percentage of the overall population to regularly use your product.
Media, Search, Payments: Not Many Billion-Dollar Plays Here
Since the early days of Yahoo and AOL, the online media sector has given us Youtube, Pandora and Hulu. Search has of course yielded Google, but there aren’t other independent success stories to point to. The only independent advertising network to clear the billion-dollar threshold since Doubleclick and Aquantive is Valueclick. And Square is the only payments company that has cleared the line since Paypal. In communications there was Skype. And in online gaming there’s Zynga.
And The Surest Way To Build A Billion-Dollar Startup Is…
What most people don’t understand is that the best way to create a consumer Internet company worth north of a billion dollars is to build a digital transaction business – a company that connects buyers and sellers so they can more efficiently transact.
A full two-thirds of the 24 publicly traded U.S. Internet companies worth more than $1 billion are digital transaction firms. The billion-dollar club includes a heavy dose of travel, local and real estate businesses. The list includes Priceline, Expedia, TripAdvisor, HomeAway,Groupon, OpenTable, Yelp and Zillow. Other transaction-focused businesses that clear the threshold include AmazonEbay, Netflix, Vistaprint, Shutterfly, Ancestry, Bankrate and IAC/Match.com.
Other than Amazon, very few of these firms deal in physical goods. Almost all are digital information businesses that facilitate commerce. They’ve built platforms that attract and provide value to a critical mass of both consumers and businesses.
The list of transaction businesses that have cleared the billion-dollar threshold through acquisition includes Kayak (bought by Priceline for $1.8 billion), Getty Images and Zappos. Add in still-privately held firms worth more than $1 billion such as Airbnb, Coupons.com and Fanatics. There is also a wave of online marketplaces including Etsy, Kickstarter, oDesk and Uber that haven’t been valued at a billion dollars yet, but are on their way to building a lot of value. And let’s not forget CraigsList, which is still one of the Internet’s most valuable private companies.
Sure, there are other ways to build a billion-dollar Internet company. Companies such as Dropbox, SurveyMonkey and Evernote are very exciting businesses that are emerging at the intersection of consumer and enterprise. But the surprising bottom line is that the digital transactions space has yielded a longer list of billion-dollar outcomes than all other Internet sectors combined.
The Shift To Mobile Will Help, Not Hurt, The Transaction Firm
Many advertising-supported businesses are now struggling as consumer usage shifts to mobile, where advertising rates are dramatically lower. It’s difficult to build sustainable consumer engagement on mobile. Just look at the usage decay curves for most mobile startups. According to Flurry’s analytics, industry-wide only 6% of mobile installs are active users six months later. For even the best mobile applications, thirty to forty percent of installs remain active users.
But the rise of mobile is going to help, not hurt, those entrepreneurs who build essential digital transaction services. The mobile form factor drives a habit-inducing simplicity that will grab and take hold of more spending. Consumers will come to expect that they can research and transact faster and more efficiently than traditional desktop Internet commerce experiences allow.
The mobile-first consumer will plan and buy at the last-second with high confidence, and high expectations of service quality. He’ll get a ride, book a table, get tickets to a show, buy a gift and find a place to crash, each with a couple of clicks on his phone. The best of these digital transaction companies will seamlessly integrate location and context to deliver a hyper-relevant experience. They will occupy permanent real estate on consumers’ phones, and help fulfill high frequency areas of consumer spending. They’ll have credit cards on file, and consumers will book with addictive ease.
There are many factors that go into building a billion-dollar business. A great consumer Internet business typically emanates from the conviction and instincts of an exceptional founder who is on an all-consuming mission. As an entrepreneur, you should pursue a mission that personally inspires you. It can’t just be a clinical analysis of a particular sector or business model.
But if your passion and instincts have led you to start a business in the digital transactions space, that’s a good thing. Perhaps even better than you’d realized. The sector has yielded a large number of successful and lasting companies, and is underappreciated by most people. While advertising-supported models face challenges, many transaction businesses are benefiting from the shift to mobile. Now is the time to build the next generation of great digital transaction businesses.
Disclosure: Greylock Partners has invested in several companies mentioned in this posting, including Airbnb, Coupons.com, Dropbox, Facebook, Groupon, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pandora and Tumblr.
Read more posts from James Slavet on Forbes:
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Texas Tourism pushes country music and cowboys in new ad campaign


When Texas Tourism plans an advertising campaign, it goes all in. Websites are rebranded, mobile apps are created, and the brand lasts for years.
Texas Tourism’s newest campaign launched in January 2013 with a focus on the music scene and cowboy lifestyle that are viewed as critical to the southern state’s culture.
The campaign released 11 print ads depicting shopping, hiking, and theme park and followed up with three TV spots in March. The ads were created by Dallas-based advertising agency Slingshot.
The largest component of the three-fold campaign is digital, which takes up 53 percent of its domestic advertising spend.  Print takes up 32 percent and TV takes up 10 percent of the total budget.
Travel Texas’ website and mobile website were redesigned to  match the themes of the campaign, and a complementary mobile app is planned for March 2013.
In additional to country-wide coverage, the campaign will run in the state’s top five international markets including Mexico, Canada, the UK, Germany and Brazil.
Texas Tourism estimates that advertising resulted in visits that generated $176 million in state tax dollars from out-of-town travelers in 2012.

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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:...