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Prof. Martin de Jong - city branding in the face of ecological modernization


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It has become common practice among urban governments around the world to brand their cities in flattering terms, especially when it comes to their green, clean and environmentally friendly profile. This enhances their attractiveness to investors, companies, residents and visitors in times when air, water and soil pollution are rife. But if this branding is not followed up by visible policy action, the likelihood of such practices risks being perceived as green-washing and is eventually self-defeating. In this presentation, Martin de Jong will demonstrate how cities in a few regions around the world engage in city branding and what makes some of these branding strategies credible and others not.

Martin de Jong is Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Professor (AvL) in Urban and Infrastructure Development in China at TPM, TU Delft, and Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, Shanghai. Martin has specialized in urban and infrastructure development in China, with special strength in transport infrastructures and eco city/low carbon city development.

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Prof. Martin de Jong - city branding in the face of ecological modernization

  1. 1. Sustainable-Smart-Resilient-Low Carbon-Eco-Knowledge Cities Making sense of a multitude of concepts promoting sustainable urbanization Martin de Jong Antoni van Leeuwenhoek professor at Delft University of Technology 1000 Talent Programme professor at Fudan University
  2. 2. June 28, 2018 940 - 2 “I think Xiamen is one of the most attractive cities for foreigners who work in China. The city is very nice and wonderful, and this place is a very safe place for foreigners and their families.” ---South Korean engineer Won Ho Moon
  3. 3. “Qingdao City possesses a very good, quick-developing infrastructure, which combine with a beautiful architecture landscape ensemble and nature color. I can see Qingdao City as a fine place for realization of creative projects, business, rest.” ---Russian expert Vladimir Kabanov June 28, 2018 940 - 3
  4. 4. A great many new terms for attractive cities § Grenoble Eco Quartier § Tianjin Eco City § Melbourne Knowledge City § Amsterdam Smart City § Guangzhou Knowledge City § Songdo Ubiquitous Eco City § Ningbo Smart City § Smart growth and ecological modernization § A plethora of new terms § All the same or all different? June 28, 2018 940 - 4
  5. 5. What is a: Sustainable city Eco city Low carbon city Green city Liveable city Resilient city Knowledge city Ubiquitous city Smart city Intelligent city Information city Digital city? Categories of urban regenerativesustainability Number of articles retrieved Sustainablecity 546 Smart city 222 Digital city 166 Ecocity 133 Greencity 105 Lowcarboncity 93 Knowledgecity 82 Resilient city 47 Intelligent city 33 Ubiquitouscity 29 Liveablecity 26 Informationcity 23 940 - 5
  6. 6. Evolution in frequency of 12 urban categories June 28, 2018 940 - 6 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 199 6 199 7 199 8 199 9 200 0 200 1 200 2 200 3 200 4 200 5 200 6 200 7 200 8 200 9 201 0 201 1 201 2 201 3 Eco ci ty Sm ar t ci t y Kn owl edg eci t y Sust ai nabl e cit y Resi l ien t cit y Low Car bon ci ty G re en cit y U biq uit ou sci t y I nt ell i gent ci t y Di gi t al cit y I nf or m at ion ci t y Li veabl e cit y
  7. 7. Co-occurrence of 12 categories June 28, 2018 940 - 7
  8. 8. Conceptual networks around 12 categories categoriescategoriesriesegortiesurban categories categories June 28, 2018 940 - 8
  9. 9. High frequency and high distinctness Category of urban regenerative sustainability Frequency > 100 Frequency < 100 High distinctness (high visibility in Figure 4) Sustainable city (quite central) Smart city Digital city (quite peripheral) Eco city Low carbon city Resilient city Knowledge city Low distinctness (low visibility in Figure 4) Green city Intelligent city Information city Ubiquitous city Liveable city June 28, 2018 940 - 9
  10. 10. Main findings § The 12 categories are not really conceptually interchangeable § Sustainable city is dominant and appears as an umbrella concept, most closely linked to eco city and green city § More recently, the more narrowly defined smart city and low carbon city are coming up § Smart city seems to be developing its own family with some satellites around it § Knowledge city and resilient city are distinct concepts June 28, 2018 940 - 10
  11. 11. Sustainable city June 28, 2018 940 - 11
  12. 12. Eco city June 28, 2018 940 - 12
  13. 13. Low carbon city June 28, 2018 940 - 13
  14. 14. Green city June 28, 2018 940 - 14
  15. 15. Compact city June 28, 2018 940 - 15
  16. 16. Liveable city June 28, 2018 940 - 16
  17. 17. Resilient city June 28, 2018 940 - 17
  18. 18. Knowledge city June 28, 2018 940 - 18
  19. 19. Creative city June 28, 2018 940 - 19
  20. 20. Information city June 28, 2018 940 - 20
  21. 21. Digital city June 28, 2018 940 - 21
  22. 22. Intelligent city June 28, 2018 940 - 22
  23. 23. Smart city June 28, 2018 940 - 23
  24. 24. Ubiquitous (eco) city June 28, 2018 940 - 24
  25. 25. Brand logos June 28, 2018 940 - 25
  26. 26. The world's first zero-carbon city in the UAE desert June 28, 2018 940 - 26
  27. 27. Features of city branding § Cities wish to attract investors, industry and visitors § Place branding originates from private sector marketing § Cities have multiple and variegated aspects § Branding is more than marketing or advertising: LOYALTY § It should refer to past & present, and reflect future wishes § It should be ambitious, realistic and distinct § Brands should be developed in collaboration with stakeholders and deeply embedded § They are expressed in logos, but are much more June 28, 2018 940 - 27
  28. 28. Layers in city branding 1. City brand identity 2. City brand position 3. City brand image June 28, 2018 940 - 28
  29. 29. City brand identities – Randstad City Profile Amsterdam Economically strong and sustainable. Key city in an internationally competitive and sustainable European metropolitan area. Utrecht Utrecht city of knowledge and culture. Almere Almere is an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable city. Haarlem City with sustainable and good living environment, and cultural and touristic attractiveness. Amersfoort City with heart, a vital, attractive and sustainable city. Rotterdam Attractive European city, intercultural metropolis and international city on the river city. Mainport in the SW. The Hague World city at the Sea. Multicultural international city of law and knowledge economy. Governmental city Leiden Internationally oriented historical university and knowledge city. Zoetermeer Attractive, sustainable and complex city. Delft Creative knowledge city. Dordrecht Historical and modern service city in the SW. City in the Delta. City at the European corridors.
  30. 30. City brand identities – Rhine-Ruhr areaRhine-Ruhr area City Profile Bochum Flourishing and lively city. University City Bottrop Green city, Climate-protection and low-energy city. Dortmund Dynamic economic centre with focus on services and future technologies. Duisburg University city. Sport and health city. Essen Modern and leading economic, trading and service city. Green capital Europe. Gelsenkirchen Solar city. A city in change, a city with potential. Hamm Rising city on the edge of the Ruhr area. Mülheim City at the river. Oberhausen Modern major city in the heart of the Ruhr metropolis. Düsseldorf Management, administration city, finance city, fashion, media and communication city, high- end shopping city, consulting city, sport city. International metropolis on the Rhine. Krefeld City of silk and satins, Lively major city with charm. Mönchengladbach A major green city without big city problems. Wuppertal Green, greener Wuppertal. Greenest city in Germany. Solingen City of blades. Remscheid Small city with flair. Leverkusen Sport city. Cologne Attractive shopping city, sport city, knowledge city, media city, city of literature, photography and film, cultural city. International metropolis and core of an important European region at the Rhine Bonn Federal city, international city, United Nations city, City of Beethoven, bicycle capital.
  31. 31. City brand positions - Randstad Category City Smart Sustainable Eco Low-carbon Knowledge Green Resilient Livable Amsterdam +++ +++ + +++ ++ Utrecht + +++ + +++ + + Almere +++ +++ + + Haarlem +++ +++ Amersfoort +++ +++ + +++ +++ + Rotterdam + +++ +++ ++ ++ +++ ++ The Hague + + +++ ++ + Leiden +++ +++ + + + Zoetermeer +++ + ++ + Delft +++ +++ ++ ++ + Dordrecht +++ + + + ++
  32. 32. City brand positions – Rhine-Ruhr Category City Smart Sustainable Eco Low-carbon Knowledge Green Resilient Livable Bochum +++ +++ Dortmund + +++ + +++ Essen +++ + ++ +++ + + Duisburg + + +++ +++ Oberhausen + +++ Mülheim + + ++ ++ Gelsen- kirchen ++ + Herne Hamm + Hagen + Bottrop ++ +++ +++ + +++ Krefeld ++ Mönchen- gladbach +++ Düsseldorf +++ + + + Solingen + Wuppertal +++ +++ Remscheid + ++ Leverkusen + Cologne +++ + + + +++ Bonn ++ +++
  33. 33. City brand identities – Yangtze River Delta City Brand identity Shanghai Comprehensive global city, international economic, financial, trade, shipping and technological innovation center, and an international cultural metropolis by 2040 Nanjing Famous ancient capital, Jiangsu provincial capital, important regional center city. National historical and cultural famous city, national comprehensive transport hub, national innovation base, regional modern service center, YRD advanced manufacturing base, eco liveable city Yangzhou National historical and cultural city, scenic tourist city with traditional characteristics, regional central city, a historical and livable city, through the development of advanced manufacturing industry. Changzhou An economically strong city with an advanced manufacturing industry, cultural city, regional hub city, and ecological city. It aims to be an innovative and entrepreneurial city Suzhou National historical and cultural city, scenic tourist city, national high-tech industrial base, and important central city in the YRD. It is an advanced manufacturing base. Nantong Modern international port city in the China's eastern coast, economic center and gateway city in the north wing of Shanghai, and a liveable entrepreneurial city, historical and cultural city in China Wuxi One of the most important central cities in the YRD, and also an important scenic tourist city. It aims to be an international manufacturing base, worldwide tourist resort and ecological city Hangzhou Oriental city of quality. Central city in YRD, national historical and cultural famous city, and scenic tourist city. It has the following functions: YRD Regional Financial Services Center, modern logistics center and transport hub, national high tech industrial base, economic information center and innovation center, International e- Commerce Center and Tourism Leisure Center. Ningbo Important port city in China's southeast. Coastal, economic center in the south wing of the YRD, national historical and cultural city. It has following functions: International Trade Logistics Port, advanced manufacturing industry base in East China, an important foreign trade port in the YRD south wing (UMP). It strives to be a smart city Huzhou Central city on the South Bank of Taihu Lake, a provincial historical and cultural city, an industry and trade city, as well as the ecological tourism city in the YRD. It has the functions as the advanced manufacturing base in the YRD, modern service industry base, urban agriculture base …. It aims to be an eco-city Jiaxing YRD innovative strong economic city, eco-cultural Jiangnan water city, Hangzhou Bay liveable coastal city, modern network type; garden city
  34. 34. Primary sector dominates Secondary sector dominates Tertiary sector dominates Regional orientation PATHWAY 1 Eco-tourism (accommodating manufacturing) PATHWAY 2 Advanced, low carbon manufacturing PATHWAY 4 Knowledge and culture-oriented services National orientation n.a. PATHWAY 2 PATHWAY 4 International orientation n.a. PATHWAY 3 High-tech innovation PATHWAY 5 Global advanced producer services
  35. 35. Pathways and expected city labels Pathway Expected city labels Pathway 1: Eco tourism Eco city, Tourism city, Modern agricultural city, Liveable/green city. Pathway 2: Advanced low carbon manufacturing Advanced manufacturing city, Low carbon city, Smart city Pathway 3: High tech innovation Innovation city, Smart city, Advanced manufacturing city Pathway 4: Knowledge and culture-oriented services Service city, Innovation city, Liveable/green city, Tourism city Pathway 5: Global advanced producer services Service city, Liveable/green city, Sustainable city, Tourism city
  36. 36. § City branding is a promising entry point for ecological modernization; smart city is a particular entry § It is practiced increasingly, and quite professionally by some § Connecting with developmental pathway is key § But it is not city advertising without policy commitment § Brands/visions require translation into strategies and implementation § Municipal organization should be aligned with the brand § Identity, policy action and public image may converge over time § Uniqueness of each city can be preserved