Competition among cities for tourists, investments and other resources has intensified, and city branding is believed to be an effective strategy for cities in this competition. With such stiff competition, champions of city branding argue that neglecting such branding could cause a city to fade into obscurity. On the other hand, those that are successful can achieve or maintain economic well-being.
In this assignment you are to determine and develop a branding strategy for a selected Canadian urban community. Choose one of the following cities: Halifax (Nova Scotia), Hamilton (Ontario), Edmonton (Alberta).
Following Van Gelder and Allan’s model (2006), divide your paper into three sections: 1) describe and assess the status quo; 2) draft a future vision of the city 3) develop a city branding strategy.
In writing up the first section, consider the following questions:
What is the current state of the local economy? Has the city witnessed a loss of manufacturing or other key sources of employment in recent decades? How has the population changed? Has it become more diverse? More or less stratified? What are the main sources of employment? Are there local sports teams of note? Are there any major shopping centers or malls? Is the downtown core thriving or struggling?
What strategies, if any, have city politicians and planners undertaken to protect or revive the local economy?
In writing up the second section, think about the following:
What features or stereotypes have outsiders long associated with the city? Does it make sense for the city to go with this into the future or is it preferable that it re-invent itself? If the latter, what should this re-invention look like? A high technology hub? A heritage city? A city of sports, leisure and entertainment? A creative city? A city of edgy neighborhoods and a lively street life? A cosmopolitan, global metropolis? Are there any cities among those featured in the class lectures or readings that might serve as an inspiration or model for the city that you are profiling?
In writing up the third section, think about the following:
If you were in charge of planning in the city what strategies would you undertake? What distinctive elements of the city’s past (history, culture, core values) can be successfully inserted at the center of a new or refurbished identity/brand? Which of following tools might be utilized to establish and sell this brand: flagship museums and art galleries;
sports teams; spectacular architecture; waterfront redevelopment; music, film, or other festivals; food markets and terminals; ethnic precincts/districts? Should the city commission a distinctive visual representation or logo? If so, what might this look like? If the city is re-imagined in this way, who will be the winners and who will lose out?
**Make a copy of your paper for your own protection. Do not slip papers under my office door or attempt to give them to the office or security staff. If you must hand in your paper late, put it through the slot with my name on it in the drop box on the 2nd floor of the Social Science Building and e-mail me a copy as a Word attachment. Late assignments will be penalized.
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