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Shifting the tide: city branding in today’s urban ...

  A recent tweet from Malcolm Allan, director of Place Matters, said that place branding should ‘infuse town planning with new energy, insight and purpose’. This inspired me to put together some thoughts about major urban trends and the role place branding can play in boosting urban planning practices. Today’s cities have become places of abundance, underpinned by large, and often uncontrolled, amounts of...

Changing the world, one good country at a time

Hot on the heels of the Good Country Index comes another novel idea from Simon Anholt – the Good Country Party. In this in-depth Guardian interview, Anholt outlines his plan to change the world, which he admits is still a work in progress. He talks about his Good Country Party’s ‘natural constituency’, which potentially consists of around 700 million ‘new cosmopolitans’ (global citizens...

City Nation Place – New Place Branding Surve...

PlacesBrands is excited to announce our collaboration with City Nation Place for a new research survey of the place branding industry.  The goal is to benchmark best practice within the industry, and bring together a diverse range of people and organisations involved in place branding, placemaking, tourism marketing, inward investment, and events management.  While there are numerous indices published each year for the...

Rebel county, smart city

The smart city concept has been greatly overused and it’s all getting rather dull. But one Irish city is reinterpreting the whole idea of ‘smart’ to draw on its own set of strengths and assets. Check out my latest piece for CityMetric...

Introducing the Place Brand Observer

100 days in the life of The Place Brand Observer: Lessons learned 100 days are a long time, one should think. Truth is, time flies when building up a web portal and business. So let’s pause for a moment and reflect on place branding – this broad, interdisciplinary, emerging research field and increasingly popular activity.  Here are 4 lessons learned during the first 100 days of PlaceBrandObserver.com, our new info...

Overland to Sofia

Exhausted, I arrived in Sofia after a fraught overnight and overland journey from Istanbul. What used to be part of the fabled Orient Express route was now a motley combination of creaky buses and chilly trains. The Bulgarian morning was cold and I had no local currency to buy even a coffee. But my fellow travellers, surprisingly numerous for such an uncomfortable route, were friendly and a sense of camaraderie quickly...

Turkey and the Kobane question

Istanbul’s protestors are out in force once more. Last night, the streets erupted, with cars blazing, windows smashed, and volleys of the usual tear gas unleashed by Turkish police. But this was not just another anti-government protest. This time, much more is at stake, mainly the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The world is angry about their impending fate, and wants to make sure the powers that be know about it....

Scandinavian sojourn

Today is my first ever morning in Scandinavia. It’s a completely new part of the world for me.  I’m in Stockholm sitting in a trendy coffee shop on the imposing Kungsgatan street, with a strong Americano making my head buzz. I’m considering my first impressions of Sweden, which, along with the other Nordic nations, is widely considered to be some kind of modern day utopia.  Of course one day is too soon to form anything more...

Why do most city branding campaigns fail?

  86% of them to be precise. That’s pretty high. PlacesBrands founder and editor Samantha North explores the matter further in this guest article for the New Statesman’s brand new city blog:...

Finally, it’s OK to like Germany

Even a diehard football ‘non-fan’ such as myself couldn’t fail to be impressed by Germany’s stellar performance in this year’s World Cup. The national team powered their way through the tournament beating hopefuls such as Brazil and finally Argentina to emerge victorious in the final’s dying minutes. And what a gripping match that was! The resulting media adulation for the German team got...

Creating Place Advantage

New training programme: Creating Place Advantage Coming up this October in Toronto, PlacesBrands is excited to announce Canada’s first ever training programme for place branding and destination management professionals – Creating Place Advantage.  Taught by Malcolm Allan, one of the industry’s biggest names, the programme will show you how to build a ‘Brand Masterplan’ for  your city, event,...