Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Instruments of Place Branding and Regional Dynamics: Guimarães as European Capital of Culture

Oliveira, Eduardo (2012): Instruments of Place Branding and Regional Dynamics: Guimarães as European Capital of Culture.

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Abstract

Place branding has emerged as a powerful instrument to create some uniqueness, and differentiate places, which could be linked to a general increase in competition between countries, regions and cities in order to draw the attention of stakeholders to invest and host events. Moreover, it has been implemented as a form of spatial planning and place management. The concept is thought to provide valuable tools for places to differentiate themselves, by managing their opportunities and transforming them into competitive advantages, thus gaining brand value and strengthening their global market position. Three following instruments have been explored as a competitive appeal: i) personality association ii)signature building, and iii) event hallmarking. Amongst others, cultural events are used to improve overall reputation and stimulate development by attracting visitors and capital. This paper focuses on the European Capital of Culture-Guimarães as the 2012 city host (ECC-2012). First, it attempts to clarify the contribution of place branding instruments, from the organization of cultural events to a branding strategy capable of enhancing development, and discuss the links between them. Secondly, to what extent the ECC-2012 (short-term intervention) is embedded in a longer-term strategy to create a new regional dynamic of the northwest region of Portugal. Is the ECC creating momentum? Is place branding (i.e. as a spatial planning instrument) used to foster this momentum?

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