26 May 2014

Heritage Tourism and Hospitality, International Conference, Istanbul 6-8 November 2014


The age of the city-state: which cities most dominate their countries?

The age of the city-state: which cities most dominate their countries?

The largest 300 cities are home to a fifth of the world's people but account for nearly half of economic output – get the data
Brookings Global MetroMonitor 1
City-states-in-training? ... a map showing which cities outperform their countries (see below for full details). Image: Brookings
It is frequently cited that more than half of us now live in cities. But it might come as more of a surprise to learn that the largest 300 cities, from New York to Guangzhou, account for nearly half (48%) of world economic output ... yet contain only 19% of world population.
Some cities are so powerful economically that they dwarf the rest of their country. The number of jobs they house and GDP they generate can account for almost half of their nations' output, if not more. They are no longer just cities: they are approaching the status of city-state.
London, for example, produces more than 30% of Britain's entire GDP. Neither is it the most extreme example: it is just 30th on our list of cities that most dominate their countries (see below). 
The ranking is led by the "classic" city-states – Luxembourg, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, places where the city essentially is the country. But look at Brussels (59% of national GDP), Copenhagen (55%) or Tel Aviv (54%). Is it time we start calling them city-states, too?

23 May 2014

Urban Studies Table of Contents for July 2014; Vol. 51, No. 9

Wouter P.C. van Gent, Elmar F. Jansen, and Joost H.F. Smits

John Gyepi-Garbrah, Ryan Walker, and Joseph Garcea

Michael J. Parks

Yuki Kato, Catarina Passidomo, and Daina Harvey

Diane Sicotte

Evelyn Blumenberg and Michael Smart

Scott Orford and Charlotte Leigh

Forrest Stuart

Arild Gjertsen

Mandy Lau

Tanja Buch, Silke Hamann, Annekatrin Niebuhr, and Anja Rossen

Gill Valentine and Joanna Sadgrove
Book reviews
Kevin Stainback

Habibul Khondker

Justin Spinney

Libby Porter
Books received

Regional Studies, Regional Science invites early career papers

Regional Studies, Regional Scienceinvites early career papers.
*Please forward this message on to early career researchers*
Regional Studies, Regional Science, the new open access journal from the Regional Studies Association, has a section specifically devoted to publishing short articles from students and early career researchers to make their research accessible to a wide audience. Authors of accepted abstracts will be assigned an Early Career Papers editor who will mentor them through the submission process and guide them towards the publication of a high-quality article.
All articles published in Regional Studies, Regional Science are published open access, which means that the article is freely available in perpetuity online. Article Publishing Charges (APCs), normally payable for papers published in RSRS, will be waived for those who are accepted by this Early Career Papers mentored route.
Julie Porter (Towson University), Lead Editor of the Early Career Papers Section, has been very pleased with the papers already submitted:

'The editorial team has been impressed by both the quality of the proposals submitted as well as their global span.  The commitment of the RSA to support the publication of PhD students and early career researchers work is evident.  We look forward to working closely with the selected authors to advance their papers and to publish in RSRS shortly.'

The next deadline for submissions is the 15th June.For more information read the Early Career Papers CFPand the RSRS Instructions for Authors.

Early career papers already published in RSRSinclude:

Kind regards,
Mark Robinson
Routledge Journals

22 May 2014

Diverse Regions: Building Resilient Communities and Territories - Izmir, Turkey

Date and location

  •  15th June, 2014 - 18th June, 2014
  •  Dokuz Eylül University, Faculty of Business, Izmir, Turkey

Conference organisers

RSA Organiser:
Elizabeth Mitchell: elizabeth.mitchell@regionalstudies.org
Academic Organiser:
Sedef Akgungor: sedef.akgungor@deu.edu.tr
Pedro Marques: marques@geographie.uni-kiel.de

Conference details

Deadline extended until Sunday 6th AprilRegister Here (abstracts should be no more than 800 words, text only, click here for further information). 
Diversity within regions is often considered one way to achieve sustainability and stability in economic growth and development.  As a region’s social and economic structure becomes more diverse, it becomes less sensitive to external shocks. Variety in economic activities as well as divergent local cultures within the region is a source of regional strength and resilience. The concept of resilience has often been used in regional development to define robustness, strength, flexibility and the ability to respond to external shocks. Building resilient regions is seen as particularly important in the wake of the global economic crisis as a new source of economic growth. This objective is emphasized both by the OECD’s agenda for stronger, cleaner and fairer economies and by EU2020’s call for smart, inclusive, sustainable economies.  The objectives in both agendas are complementary. 
The Regional Studies Association European Conference 2014 on ‘Diverse Regions: Building Resilient Communities and Territories’ presents a timely opportunity to discuss these issues, to establish the need and nature of future research imperatives, and to address the concerns and challenges confronting policymakers and practitioners.
Contributions are invited which fit with the following themes, to collectively explore and discuss these key issues from a multitude of perspectives and with different theoretical stand points and with empirical observations from different parts of the world. Selection of abstracts will be based on originality and interest, subject balance and geographical spread.  Abstracts should not exceed 800 words, and should be in text format only, no tables, graphics or graphs. Please click here for abstract submission guidelines.
Plenary Session 1: Regional Studies vs. Today's Challenges - Monday 16th June 2014
Professor Ron Boschma, CIRCLE at Lund University, Sweden
Professor Betsy Donald, Queens University, Canada

Plenary Session 2: Title to be confirmed - Tuesday 17th June 2014
Nahit Bingöl, Director General, Ministry for Development, Turkey
Professor Rob Kitchin, NUI Maynooth, Ireland
Ronnie Hall, EU Commission, Belgium
Plenary Session 3: Culture, Creativity and Technology - Wednesday 18th June 2014
Professor Philip Cooke, Cardiff University, UK
Professor Henrik Halkier, Aalborg University, Denmark
Professor Yeşim Rabia Kuştepeli, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey  

Conference fees - Please ensure you are a paid up 2014 member of the Regional Studies Association if ou intend to register at the members' rate. Please click here to see which country band you belong to.

The winner takes it all: City brand rankings

Posted by  on May 20, 2014 in City Brand | 11 comments

Despite my academic research on the links between place branding and spatial planning, I’m also an attentive observer of everyday events. Over the last few weeks, I have witnessed the release of a cacophony of city and country brand rankings, brand barometers and nonsensical top 10 lists of something spatially localised.
In my view, it seems that some place promotional campaigns are still selling geographies, instead of communicating ideas of a territory. The latter is substantially different from selling a product or a service ‘ranked’ on Don Jones or Euronext Stock Exchange. The practice of place branding continues this ‘ranking fetish’. People seem to set great stock in rankings or lists such as ‘best of’ or ‘top 10′. But in reality these rankings don’t have as much power as people think. They simply divert focus, resources and effort from what is truly important in place branding.

I must confess that I get mildly stressed whenever I read a business report introducing a country brand index including words such as  (…) “and countries, like companies, are beginning to use branding to help them market themselves for investment, tourism and exports” (…). Places, as countries or cities, are intricate phenomena, involving geographic, economic, social, and cultural components. Places are much more complex than products. Treating a city, a region, or a country as it were a product does not seem logical. The discourse attempting to define “place”has been substantially transformed in the last few decades. This transformation has encompassed both the production and the meaning of place, which have both been largely influenced by commodification, devaluation and the impact of globalisation upon places.

The aim of this post is not to discuss each ranking exhaustively, but instead give a summary and critique of some. These measurement instruments have been created by several consultancies, and are measured on the basis of a well-defined target, such as investors, talents, visitors, and specific objectives including FDI, GDP, and presence on social media. Examples include the following four:

1. FutureBrand Country Brand Index - ranks over 100 countries.
2. Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index - assesses the strengths and weaknesses of 50 cities around the world.
3. Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking for Trade (Investment) and Tourism - analyses the performance of 187 countries and territories worldwide. Recently Bloom Consulting also published thePortugal City Brand Ranking 2014 which ranks the 308 Portuguese municipalities.
4. Saffron European City Brand Barometer by Saffron Brand Consultants – measures how successfully 72 European cities project their assets for their future success.

Newspapers such as The GuardianThe Huffington PosttravelogsLonely PlanetTripAdvisor andBusiness Insider offer questionable ‘The best place to…’,  among other uncountable lists with the best places to swim, to drink red wine, to see the sunset, to be an artist, a dancer or a poet. Even the ability to write a novel or poetry have been correlated with the position of a place in certain rankings.
All these rankings use different methodologies and algorithms. Often the places ranked, either a country or a city, differ from one to another. These rankings work more as a ‘shouting platform’ for screening the place image in order to further design a brand strategy. However, I wonder if that actually happens in practice?

12 May 2014

The 10 worst city tourism videos


Future High Street

"Rapidly changing shopping habits, the growth of online consumerism and the trend of major chains consolidating their portfolios, moving out of secondary towns and focusing on out-of-town shopping centres will continue to hollow out many town centres, leaving them bereft of purpose. For high streets to have a chance of flourishing all over the country, a new post-retail landscape will have to develop. There will always be shops, but high streets won't be solely reliant on commerce; they will have to develop a much stronger community offer."

Retail International Conference

What about Braga in September?
Cathy Parker (MMU Business School) and Erik Braun (Erasmus University Rotterdam – School of Economics) they will be there.
Retail International Conference 
University of Minho, Braga
September 19-20, 2014.
Paper submissions: until June 9th
Communication of selected papers: June 23rd

9 May 2014

RSA Early Career Conference.

We are glad to announce you that the registration has opened for the RSA Early Career Conference.
October 30-31, 2014. University of Sheffield, UK.
Visit the Conference page at http://bit.ly/1pyv8R7
Register now at http://bit.ly/1no2vts
We will be happy to welcome you to Sheffield !

5 May 2014

Global Urban Lectures

The Global Urban Lecture Series is a free online resource for global academia and researchers in their work towards sustainable urban development. 

For the full packages, see http://unhabitat.org/urban-knowledge-2/urban-lectures/. Each lecture comes with a package of associated material: bio of the speaker, synopsis and related links. 

The lecturers have been recruited from UN-Habitat's partners as well as associated experts working on UN-Habitat's focus areas. 


The Regional Studies Blog: Introducing - Eduardo Oliveira - the RSA's new Stu...

The Regional Studies Blog: Introducing - Eduardo Oliveira - the RSA's new Stu...: Dear RSA Blog readers, it is our great pleasure to introduce to you Eduardo Oliveira, who has been appointed as the Regional Studies Associa...

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:...