In a special issue for European Planning Studies we intend to bring together experts on spatial planning and place branding to think explicitly on the relation between the two fields and the potential of theories and practices in which the two are integrated.
We believe exploring the relation between spatial planning and place branding is useful and important because, on the one hand, the relation is still under- explored, while planning could use the insights in place-based value creation stemming from place branding, and place branding often lacks insight in how places might actually be changed or preserved through coordinated intervention. On the other hand, much of the literature on place branding in our view either under- estimates or over- estimates what branding can do, partly because of underlying ideological assumptions, partly because of simply a lack of insight in the functioning of governance, including spatial governance.
Bringing planning and branding closer together in theory and practice means seeing their relation in the context of governance. Planning in this view is spatial governance, the coordination of policies and practices affecting the organization of space. Place branding refers to the creation of value in space by reinforcing and representing the assets of the place in a cohesive manner, in an image and a narrative of the place itself.
Given this context various topics could be explored in this special issue:
- planning and branding and participatory governance
- planning and branding and sustainable development
- planning/branding and the balance preservation/innovation
- spatial planning as part of place branding
- place branding as part of spatial planning?
- planning/branding as core of a development strategy?
- nature and environmental assets in planning/branding
- cultural landscapes as meta- assets for planning/branding
- planning/branding and policy integration
- innovation and branding
- design in planning/branding
- power/knowledge in planning/branding
- scales in governance/ multi- level governance
- combining planning/branding for places with deep history
- agriculture and new food cultures as drivers of planning/branding
- planning/branding and the balance between collaboration and competition
- models of branding or planning: caution with best practices
If you are interested in making a contribution to the special issue, please send an abstract of 300-500 words to the guest editors by Feb 15, 2018; for those invited to submit a full paper, please submit this to the guest editors by August 1, 2018; after an internal review and revision, the usual external review for the journal will take place.
Kristof Van Assche, Raoul Beunen and Eduardo Oliveira