24 April 2015

Cross-Border Place Branding

And that amazing moment when you open a fresh book and you can smell your own thoughts translated in words #placebranding #strategic #spatialplanning

Find my chapter here: ​
A Strategic Spatial Planning Approach to Cross-Border Place Branding with references to Galicia and Northern Portugal

Find the other insightful and remarkable chapters here:

Caribbean curiosity: Transform Magazine (reblogged)

PlacesBrands editor Samantha North writes a regular bi-monthly column on nation branding for London-based Transform Magazine. Her latest piece, on Cuba, can be viewed below. 
“For years, Cuba’s national brand has been defined by its isolation from its neighbour 90 miles to the north. Now that the US has changed its policies toward the island nation, will Cuba’s brand change too?”


Limburg as a unique border region

Placesbrands - http://placesbrands.com/ with Samantha North is now in Limburg to interview the mayor of Maastricht, the provincial governor, & other interesting folks in collaboration with http://www.limburgcrossborders.com/

That feeling of reading your paper in paper

Oliveira, E. (2015), Place branding as a strategic spatial planning instrument.  
Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 11(1): 18-33 (Download)

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.

20 April 2015

Dear Eduardo:
Our reviewers have now considered your paper - "Constructing regional advantage in branding the cross-border Euroregion Galicia-northern Portugal" and have recommended publication in Regional Studies, Regional Science - http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rsrs20

New online course (MOOC) on the Committee of the Regions' website

New online course (MOOC) on the Committee of the Regions' website: "Regions and cities matter: Institutions and policy-making in the EU".
This 8-weeks course will start on 19 October 2015 and will consist of videos, factsheets, live discussions with experts etc.

17 April 2015

2015 China conference Regional Studies Association

Dear List Members,

The Regional Studies Association is pleased to announce that the registration site has opened for the 2015 China conference at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, 25th – 27th November 2015. Please see below for the call for papers and registration links:

‘Harmonious Development, Common Prosperity and the Transformation of Cities and Regions’

The world in which we live is still riven by the effects of the economic crisis that started in 2007 and by a range of unresolved conflicts. The world has however started to change in many ways with in particular the economic rise and/or social progress in emerging economies. A new international architecture for political and economic cooperation is starting to take shape (not without disagreement and conflict in some cases) as new development banks are established by the BRICs and in East Asia, as the European Union expands eastwards, as regional cooperation arrangements evolve and as the United States embarks on a pivot to Asia.

These trends are underpinned by trends in comparative global regional and urban development, and are themselves changing the context in which urban and regional development occurs, posing a set of challenges to which cities and regions must respond.

The rise of China is one of the main drivers of the reshaping of the world, although it faces challenges as it seeks to reform its model of development by promoting sustainable and more regionally balanced urbanization. This conference will take place in Hangzhou in eastern China which faces challenges of upgrading although it is already one of the leading centres for e-commerce in China.

The aim of this conference is to consider the ways in which (1) cities and regions throughout the world are facing up to and can adapt to these challenges, (2) cities and regions can help create an architecture and construct relationships that can contribute to the development of a world that is more harmonious (people-people and people nature) and capable of promoting common prosperity and (3) the map of economic and social development is consequently changing. Submission themes:

International co-operation, infrastructure investment, finance and cross-border relationships (including the Silk Road Economic Belt' and the '21st Century Maritime Silk Road', internal and external EU borders)
The role of universities, public research and technology diffusion and transfer in economic development

Sustainable urbanization and regional development
Innovation and entrepreneurship
Nature, resource scarcity climate change and regional development
Methods of urban and regional analysis and data including open and big data
Industrial policy, industrial structure, clusters, global value chains and production networks, smart specialization and spatial shift
Regional and urban planning

Trade, E-commerce, intellectual property and regional development
Finance, financialization and regional and urban development
Employment, labour markets and social inclusion
Regional planning and policy
Population dynamics, migration and urban and regional development
Global production networks and international relations
The social, institutional and ethical foundations of global development (including for example western Enlightenment ideas and ways of seeing urban and regional development, Confucian thought and East Asian models, developmental versus liberal states). Mutual respect, national independence, and urban and regional development. Universal theory versus the social and geographical specificity of development.

The RSA is pleased to announce that there will be a limited number of workshops in Mandarin.  We also encourage the submission of proposals for Special Session to be presented in Mandarin.

Plenary Speakers
Professor George Lin, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong, China
Professor Ivan Turok, Human Science Research Council, South Africa
Professor Henry Yeung, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Attendance fee
The conference is open to RSA members and non-members. Fees for members and non-members are shown in the table below.

Please be aware that we are offering Chinese members living and working (permanently) in China (Band C) a reduced attendance fee, which has been heavily subsidised by sponsorship. Please contact Elizabeth Mitchell onelizabeth.mitchell@regionalstudies.org, if you would like to benefit from the reduced fees.  Proof of residency may be required. You must be a current 2015 member of the RSA of Chinese Division to benefit from reduced fees. 

Those living in Band C countries must pay the price stated below for Band C members. 

Early Career
Corporate Member
Chinese members reduced fee






Submission of papers
Please submit proposals for papers in the form of a 400-500 word abstract (text only, no pictures, graphs or tables) through the Regional Studies Association online portal by 31st July 2015. Registration and submission is available on the Regional Studies Association website at: www.regionalstudies.org/conferences

Conference organisation
Professor Mick Dunford, Chinese Academy of Science, China
Professor Weidong Liu, Chinese Academy of Science, China

RSA Organiser:
Please contact Elizabeth Mitchell at 
elizabeth.mitchell@regionalstudies.org for further details and questions regarding abstract submission. 

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The important matter of Britain’s markets

I remember the local market very well. It was an important part of my early life growing up in rural Devon. It took place every Saturday in the nearest big town, a gloriously messy mingling of delicious smells, bizarre yet useful items and intriguing homegrown veggies. 
To quote VisitBritain, markets are ‘unique, quirky, unusual, and always a bargain.' 
However, in recent years Britain’s town centres have started to suffer from loss of interest as a result of the current spate of out-of-town shopping malls. In both the public and private sector, various initiatives have sprung up to try and combat this trend and save the country’s town centres. 
A new report takes things a step further. Published by the Institute of Place Management and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), this research focuses specifically on the value of markets as significant drivers for the economic, social and political health of Britain’s towns and cities. 
Based on a combination of footfall data analyses and reviews of published evidence, the report offers 25 concrete reasons why markets still matter for our towns and cities. Conclusions drawn from the research also demonstrate that markets can act as vital catalysts for city centre change. Written in a lively and accessible style, the full report is well worth a read. You can find it here on the MMU website. 

13 April 2015

Juggling place assets – Inward investment focus Posted by Samantha North

Here’s the latest guest post by Samantha North for our media partners City Nation Place
The recent survey on ‘The Evolution of Place Branding’ conducted by City Nation Place, discovered that people in charge of place brand strategy for their cities or countries had a recurring problem.
They reported the difficulties often faced when trying to balance vastly different place assets into a consistent ‘umbrella’ brand strategy. To overcome this issue, a core message was needed that would be equally attractive to audiences from both inward investment and tourism, along with other target areas of attraction such as talent and education. But could the assets that appealed to tourists also attract interest from potential inward investors?
To find out more, City Nation Place spoke to three client-side place brand managers, from three very different locations. We aimed to learn more about how they manage to juggle the various elements of their places – with a particular focus on strategies used to attract inward investment.


all credits: Samantha North, editor-in-chief http://placesbrands.com/

9 April 2015

OPEN DAYS 2015 Master Class

If you are a European PhD student or early-career researcher interested in EU Cohesion Policy then you should apply for the OPEN DAYS 2015 Master Class on EU Cohesion Policy. Call for Application is open on our website: http://bit.ly/1BQ60dJ.
Applications must be sent by 5 May 2015.

Journal of Vacation Marketing Table of Contents for April 2015

Raechel Johns, Brian Weir, and Ruth Weir

Hanieh Varasteh, Azizan Marzuki, and S Mostafa Rasoolimanesh

Aaron Tkaczynski, Sharyn R Rundle-Thiele, and Julia Cretchley

Adam Weaver

John F O’Connell and Aurélise Bouquet

Man-U Io

Shaojun Ji and Geoffrey Wall

8 April 2015

6 April 2015

Introduction to Interregional Place Branding

Place branding is an inherently difficult venture, since places are complex systems of geographical abstractions, each one understood in relation and contrast to other geographical entities. Even at the smallest size – a district, town, or city – a place is quite complex, but it becomes even more challenging when the entity exists on a higher level, like a region, two or more joined regions, or a country. When performing place branding, regions often not only differentiate themselves but also cooperate (within one country or between countries), thereby building so-called interregional brandswith a high degree of complexity.
In this chapter, we will define the place brand and examine different concepts to understand branding as they relate to places. In a next step, we will highlight the special character of interregional place branding. Finally, we will apply these concepts to a particular interregional place branding case, namely, the Fehmarnbelt region. In this way, we aim to provide a strong foundation for the cases and concepts detailed by subsequent authors.

4 April 2015

NEW BOOK CHAPTER: A Strategic Spatial Planning Approach to Cross-Border Place Branding with References to Galicia and Northern Portugal

Oliveira, E.
 (2015), A Strategic Spatial Planning Approach to Cross-Border Place Branding with references to Galicia and Northern Portugal 
in S. Zenker and B.P. Jacobsen (Eds.), Inter-regional place branding: best practices, challenges and solutions, pp. 115-137, 
Springer International
​, ​


This chapter adopts a strategic spatial planning approach to think strategically about potential joint place-branding initiatives between cross-border regions. The case study focuses on the extended cross-border European region composed of the NUTS III Alto MinhoCávadoAveÁrea Metropolitina do PortoAlto TâmegaTâmega e SousaDouroTerras de Trás-os-Montes of Northern Portugal and the provinces of A CoruñaLugoOurense and Pontevedra of the autonomous community of Galicia in northwest Spain. Bearing in mind the mismatch of styles of regional government systems, the approval by the European Commission of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Galicia–Northern Portugal, and the current socio-economic environment, this chapter discusses the possibility of joining forces, procedures and strategic tools in order to enhance the reputation and give visibility to this European regional conurbation. In addition, this chapter intends to shed some light on the empirical significance of a cross-border place-branding strategy able to encourage entrepreneurship, job creation, trade and investment. It draws important lessons from the idea of interregional branding and aims to encourage a unique cross-border storyline. The chapter directly addresses the need to develop place branding, independently of the geographical scale of application, through a strategic spatial planning approach. Here the complex interregional branding exercises carried out by the Øresund and the Baltic Sea regions are taken as comparative cases. This chapter also aims to contribute to the academic debate on interregional place branding by discussing the potential development of place-branding initiatives across – administrative – border regions underpinned by knowledge from strategic spatial planning literature.

1 April 2015

REPORT: Place Marketing & Branding 2015+

This report, published under the auspices of the Best Place Institute, is a result of efforts on the part of several international experts from the field of place marketing and branding. This publication offers an analysis of several case studies and interviews with experts. The “Place Marketing Manifesto” is the key part of the report. Work on the Manifesto commenced at the “Poznan Best Place Summit 2014” workshop.


The most popular articles: Journal of Place Management and Development


Eduardo Henrique da Silva Oliveira , (2015) "Place branding in strategic spatial planning: A content analysis of development plans, strategic initiatives and policy documents for Portugal 2014-2020", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 8 Iss: 1, pp.23 - 50

Gas-rich Mozambique may be headed for a disaster

The extractive gas industry in Mozambique has done more damage than  good for Mozambicans. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/gas-...