31 July 2014

Place branding as a strategic spatial planning instrument

Original Article


Place Branding and Public Diplomacy , (30 July 2014) | doi:10.1057/pb.2014.12

Place branding as a strategic spatial planning instrument

Eduardo Oliveira
Places are facing major challenges at the environmental, financial and economic levels. These crucial issues demand structural changes and emphasise the need for robust strategic thinking and active instruments that shape and frame what a place is and what it aims to become. As traditional planning instruments become markedly less effective, spatial planners are required to develop new instruments that cope more effectively with the challenges they face in an unbalanced, dynamic and complex environment, while at the same time addressing the social, spatial and economic needs of a place. Place branding has been used to foster economic restructuring, social inclusion and cohesion, political engagement and participation, place identification, and the general well-being of citizens. This article aims to contribute to the academic debate by discussing why and how place branding can be used as an instrument in strategic spatial planning to support a structural change in places. This conceptual article emphasises that place branding as a strategic spatial planning instrument can contribute to improvement of economic and social structure of places and reshape responses to contemporary challenges faced by places.