Overblog
Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog

The role of design in place branding

9 Mai 2019, 15:45pm

Publié par citybrandproject.over-blog.com

I was recently invited by the international editor City Nation Place to write an article about design and place branding. The article deals with the use of design as a key driver of change for place brands, mostly when it comes to the urban experience. 

You can read it here : https://www.citynationplace.com/rethinking-placebranding-through-the-lens-of-design

Voir les commentaires

City Nation Place 2016, back from the conference

17 Novembre 2016, 00:03am

Publié par citybrandproject.over-blog.com

Presentation of Inspiring Luxembourg nation brand at the City Nation Place conference (photo taken from the website www.citynationplace.com)

Presentation of Inspiring Luxembourg nation brand at the City Nation Place conference (photo taken from the website www.citynationplace.com)

The undeniable appeal of this conference is to offer in a convivial setting a fruitful meeting between academics and professionals working for cities, regions and countries all over the world, interested in the implementation of place branding and marketing concepts, in order to attract and retain wealth : residents, visitors, investors, companies, talents, events etc.

 

This strong international dimension of CNP16 manifests itself by the presence of consultants, leaders from economic promotion agencies, tourism offices, local governments as well as institutions representing a whole range of place brands, with respect to their size and nature : Costa Rica, Israel, Tatarstan (Republic of Russia with a population slightly under 4 million), Great Britain, Slovenia, Morocco, Estonia, Poland, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bahrain, Qatar, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, New York, Maastricht, Oslo, Edmonton, Amsterdam, etc. Like last year, cities and countries are the predominant place brands represented (see who attended).

 

Meeting delegates there, you realize that behind each place brand, there’re dedicated individuals, men and women from various parts of the world, who strive (but also compete !) to mobilize all the energies and resources available to value their place and its people. What a tough but rewarding vocation !

 

Here are some of the key ideas (not exhaustive list) that were raised during the CNP 2016 conference :

 

The high-performance destination syndrome : New York and Amsterdam have outlined the rocketing, nearly out-of-control growth of their visitor attractiveness in recent years, evidencing the undeniable success of their marketing strategies. Nevertheless, this situation has entailed some undesirable effects : overcrowded city hearts due to mass tourism, nurturing tensions between visitors and locals (ref. photo showing a wall in Amsterdam where one can read : "refugees welcome, tourists go home!" and this video). To tackle these rising hostilities, the two cities have undertaken approaches fairly similar in terms of branding and marketing : the New York city inhabitant is strongly encouraged to get involved in the tourism development of his neighborhood through training and a dedicated program #Seeyourcity, an app developed in partnership with American Express. Amsterdam, wants to focus on preserving the 'soul of the city', cornerstone of its strategy targeting key stakeholder groups (residents, tourists, and business circles). With "Discover Your Amsterdam", the Amsterdam marketing board wants to turn more peripheral neighborhoods into destinations, following a logic of sub-brand development. This includes new media and visual content showcasing the unique character of each of Amsterdam's districts (shopping, cultural festival, restaurants, architecture etc.).

Discover Your Amsterdam (photo taken from http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting

Discover Your Amsterdam (photo taken from http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting

Managing place brand reputation crises : a truly hot topic which was discussed through the cases of Iceland and mostly Nepal, two countries that have managed to reshape their image, turning a natural catastrophe, such as a volcanic eruption or a earthquake, into an event forging the character of the place. For crises are seen as unexpected opportunities for some places to demonstrate their resilience, sense of anticipation, but also their creativity, their ability to tell a story that arouses curiosity and sympathy, especially for the media. Nepal, following the earthquake, deployed an effective strategy of influence on social media (success of the I am in Nepal Now campaign), highlighting the tremendous dynamism of local cultural life In the aftermath of the disaster. As a result of its efforts, Nepal was voted "World Best Value Destination 2017". The presentation of the Digital Country Index by Bloom Consulting, a powerful monitoring tool of online country brand appeal, also stressed the importance of a place's reputation as an essential asset particularly vulnerable to external events : How brand USA has been affected by the electoral successes of D. Trump and at the same time benefited the brand Canada ? how the image of Brazil was affected by the social disorders that punctuated the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.

 

The power of language : it might be relevant to distinguish between soft and hard place branding narratives. Some places, mostly countries, have sought to make their branding message as audible as possible, to maximize stakeholder support. Luxembourg's, whose nation-branding approach was met with strong local support, made the case for the idea of co-creating a collective "signature" rather than a "logo". Britain, which annually wins a best branding award for its Britain is Great campaign, demonstrated the virtues of its umbrella country brand model (smart use of the word GREAT). Never mind the Brexit, the successful communication apparatus has become the spearhead of Great Britain's promotion abroad (direct and indirect benefits valued at nearly € 2.2 billion, support of nearly € 94 million and patronage of influent people such as the royal family , David Beckham, etc.). It has served as a major international gateway for UK cities and regions, and has generated coherence across various communication channels for activities and sectors that embody British excellence. For the campaign's manager, the choice of the right words matters : "we do not talk about Place Branding or Nation Branding, we talk about a program to create jobs and economic growth". More on a city-level, Berlin's systemic approach of place branding was presented. Behind Berlin's undeniable city brand success, the leadership of Berlin Partner, a remarkable public-private partnership (membership of more than 270 companies and scientific institutions) which manages the be Berlin flagship brand and coordinates the overall marketing strategy of the German capital  (recent example : the pop up lab Berlin). More than ever Berlin is mobilizing its efforts to position itself as "the place to be" for startupers.

 

Unburied treasure, leveraging a place’s hidden branding opportunities : this phrase coined by the iconoclast Jeremy Hildreth sums up well all the complexity but also relevance of place branding as an approach aimed at uncovering and leveraging, rather than merely « manufacturing », the distinctive assets, the "genius loci" of a place. Take the city of Edmonton, rather than opting for a costly advertising strategy, it has developed an offline and online place-makiing platform to engage the local civil society, encourage it to take risks, and "take their idea into reality", to deliver the new city’s rooted ambition "Make Something Edmonton".

The director of Colliers International, gives a workshop on the link between place branding and place making (photo taken from the website www.citynationplace.com)

The director of Colliers International, gives a workshop on the link between place branding and place making (photo taken from the website www.citynationplace.com)

The CNP 2016 awards focused on 4 place branding items (see the award list) :

  • best expression of place brand identity awarded to Make Something Edmonton program
  • best communication strategy awarded to GREAT Britain promotion campaign
  • best use of social media awarded  to Finland Emojis
  • Place brand strategy award to The Hague

We can only regret that the quick pace of the conference, despite the numerous workshop sessions, did not always allow delegates to take a step back on the cases presented, to draw useful lessons for their practice. Then, the very expected intervention of Charles Landry, renowned speaker who coined the "creative city" concept, though very inspiring and instructive about the upheaval effect of digitalization on society and urban living, appeared somewhat disconnected from the rest. France and its territories, which normally have a lot to say on place marketing, shined again by their absence. That's unfortunate because French cases would have provided the opportunity to address the crucial issue of institutional transformations and its effects over place branding policies (merger of regions, new regional entities, brand reshaping etc.).

Still a young conference in the place branding game, City Nation Place has the full potential to establish itself as the world reference in the field (an edition is planned in 2017 in New York and then a second in London). 

 

David Aboulkheir

City Brand Explorer editor

Voir les commentaires

City Nation Place 2016, what's on the menu

28 Octobre 2016, 14:46pm

Publié par citybrandproject.over-blog.com

The main international meeting for place branding practitioners 

For those passionated for the practice of place branding, we are now approaching the 2nd edition of the highly-expected City Nation Place 2016 conference. City Nation Place has established itself over the last years as a major think-thank and hub, especially for professionals responsible for building, developing and communicating place brands to attract talent, tourism, trade and investment.

Last year's edition was a great opportunity to share and learn valuable knowledge from high-level delegates (read my feedback) : interactive workshop, high-class organization and speakers, relevant topics discussed, stimulating debates, and mostly a truly international and vibrant community of place branding thinkers and doers (see the attendees for 2016). But, the format of this coming edition sounds even more promising. Above all, It provides much more room for workshop sessions, allowing place brand practitioners to concentrate on their priority challenges :  inspirational ideas for using social media, leveraging a place's hidden branding opportunities (hosted by Jeremy Hildreth, the "Indiana Jones" of place branding ! ), best practice location marketing for FDI and economic development, hands-on place brand management for cities and regions, user experience in tourism, engaging the locals, joined up thinking for place making and place branding (Malcom Allan will present the Experience Masterplan approach).

Other interesting plenary sessions include : Amsterdam and New York jointly sharing their insights on their successful marketing strategies, how to deal with place branding in challenging times (think of the impact of recent geopolitical earthquakes), the showcasing of the inspiring Nation brand Luxembourg, setting up the right KPIs to assess and drive place brands, and a panel on the issue of coo-petition among various place brand layers (cities, regions, nations).

The preconference afternoon working session, hosted by Keith Dinnie, key author on place branding, will address some major challenges regularly faced by practitioners such as sound multi-stakeholder management and the process of deciding when the time is right to evolve a place brand.

On top of that, Charles Laundry, an international authority on urban development as well as one of the first having conceptualized the Creative City, will host the closing keynote, on the Digitized City and the Future of Place.

Without going into further details, you can have a look at the dense agenda and the impressive list of speakers.

I will be there as a critical observer and contributor to the paramount issues, last trends and practices in the place branding area, that will be debated over these two days.

The CNP 2016 conference takes place in London on the 9th and 10th of November.

 

 

Last year's edition, photo taken from the website citynationplace.org

Last year's edition, photo taken from the website citynationplace.org

Voir les commentaires

PMF 2016 / Back from the conference (2)

20 Mars 2016, 10:43am

Publié par citybrandproject.over-blog.com

Last round table on the new models of place marketing (photo taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/127046433@N07/25804838555/in/album-72157665897498656/)

Last round table on the new models of place marketing (photo taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/127046433@N07/25804838555/in/album-72157665897498656/)

After summig up some of the main ideas and cases debated during the Place Marketing Forum 2016, which took place from the 9th to 11th of October (see previous article), time has come to share some critical and constructive thoughts on regards to the conference format :

 

Why do place marketing researchers and practitioners need each other ? Reconcile further research and practice around place marketing still stands as one of the most problematic issues in the structuring of the discipline. Following the presentation of an explosive mixture of trends, innovative and efficient operations launched worldwide in the place marketing area, it was tricky to step back and introduce some conceptual and theoretical guidelines. The newly appointed director of the organizing Chair, Christophe Allaux, did attempt to question the scientific nature of marketing and especially place marketing, and Mihalis Kavaratzis (of the University of Leicester) also brought out some methodological tips on rethinking place branding. Yet, the conference overall showed a somehow unclear contribution of researchers side by side with practitioners in the debate, despite their visible presence in the various panels. 

 

What about place-making and place story-telling ? The cases of Detroit, Barcelona or French urban regeneration projects in deprived neighborhoods, were timely occasions to address the topics of place-making and place story-telling, put into perspective with place branding and marketing. However, contrasting with the intense discussions around co-opetition, governance, digitization, sharing economy and customer relationship, too little was said on the importance of understanding and harnessing sense of place, place identity and history. Still, these notions, often referring to the « DNA of places », are key drivers of place uniqueness, belonging, attachment and development. 

 

A French-centered conference with international input. The event needs a clearer positioning. While having all the ingredients to stand out as an international meeting, at least referring to its title, its ambition, best practices and speakers from various continents, the PMF still remains overwhelmingly francophone (which is not a problem in itself but needs to be clarified). Despite the simultaneous translation going on through the event, the animation and discussions were largely French-speaking. Mihalis Kavaratzis in his speech, pointed out this language barrier, not without a touch of sarcasm, as one of the reasons on French researchers and practitioners’ inability to showcase worldwide, except maybe for Onlylyon, their indisputable know-how in place marketing.

 

The conference needs a new momentumFor a third edition, the almost identically repeated format of the conference (presentation of remarkable achievements, debates and awards) reached its limit : panels with more than five speakers tend to dilute debates with the risk of loosing sight with the main topic discussed. Dedicating more time to deepen some major issues through real workshop sessions should be further considered.

 

The uneven quality of main speakers. The cases shortlisted were awarded for iconic new ways of managing, promoting and enhancing places. Yet, the key strengths of these initiatives were not always made clear at the end of sometimes too monoteneous presentations.

 

Renewing emphasis on interactionThere was much talk about « building lasting relationships » during the conference. In this respect, the PMF16 managed well to gather a community of around 400 skilled and passionated place marketing professionals. However, overall interaction with the audience was relatively poor. It appears crucial in this type of conference, to set up a real-time interaction tool to engage dialogue with the audience in every debate and to avoid one-way communication (see the exemple of the City Nation Place conference). The management of breaks and networking opportunities, is another aspect that can still be significantly improved.

 

Be that as it may, the Place Marketing Forum is establishing itself as a conference not to be missed in the place marketing/branding area, at least in France. Provided it addesses its main flaws, it is likely to ramp up further thanks to an already well-functioning organisation. The decision to change the hosting city for the next edition is a good step towards impulsing a new momentum for the PMF.

 

You may not totally agree with this summary, other thoughts are welcome !

 

Link to the Place Marketing Forum.

 

David Aboulkheir

Chief editor of City Brand Explorer

Voir les commentaires

PMF 2016 / back from the conference (1)

11 Mars 2016, 16:12pm

Publié par citybrandproject.over-blog.com

Following three days of intensive exchanges and encounters, the French main conference on territorial marketing, the Place Marketing Forum 2016 ended last Friday. For this third edition of the event, expectations were high with respect to the appetizing program (see previous article) including the presentation of outstanding territorial achievements worldwide and the participation of a range of experts in the discipline. Among the countless ideas to remember, here are some insights and personal views on what took place during these three days :

The Place Marketing Trend Report 2016

Joël Gayet, French marketing expert and acute observer of place marketing trends, opened the event on a frantic pace, listing the latest innovations, disruptive models and practices identified worldwide. Although the trend inventory may have ben exiting, it legitimately raised some societal challenges : we are not just experiencing one global revolution, but an unprecedented multiplication of significant changes, amid rising citizen and customer empowerment, technological breakthroughs, but also, and more worryingly, hyper-competition, saturation of information, immediacy and a loss of bearings. I would add as well a global climate crisis. Technological advances were particularly stressed, highlighted for instance, by the trend towards the full integration of robotics, as in the Japanese hospitality industry (and the financial gains it leads to), or the capability of datas along with smart information systems, to transform as well as upgrade place management and promotion.

Joël Gayet sums up the Place Marketing Trends 2016

Joël Gayet sums up the Place Marketing Trends 2016

Anchorage, consolidation and scaling-up of trends

The main trends analyzed, updating those already pinpointed in the previous editions, highlighted a process of anchorage, consolidation and scaling-up : more place marketing integration framed around the corporate marketing pattern, greater collaboration, partnering (use of crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, sharing plateforms) and especially the rise of business oragnizations in ever more cross-sectoral modes of governance. This is being followed by the increasing setting up of global and shared place brands, following the models of Onlylyon or Iamsterdam, where local citizens and mostly the private sector are to play a key role. These brands, along with their vision and strategy, are expected to better resonate with local identity and interfere in the very development of places' values ​; For instance the Be Berlin city brand and slogan (be openbe free etc.), originally business centered, are increasingly and opportunistically associated with political or symbolic events such as the historical anniversary of the Berlin Wall fall.

Beyond these trends that overwhelmingly emphasize the declination of the "co" and "hyper" terms in all aspects of territorial development (co-branding, co-creating, co-innovating, hyper-segmentation, hyper-customization etc.), the focus was also put on the need to prioritize « people » and « relationship » in tomorrow’s place marketing. With digital technology having a predominant role and hailed for its virtues of being a great means of disseminating information and managing the place quality offer, it was necessary to recall that technology must always be placed in the service of humankind.

 

Some of the cases and topics discussed

 

Destiination relationship management

The presentations made by the tourist offices of Picardy (former administrative region in Northern France) or the Val Thorens ski resort, put emphasis on the concept of customer experience as an optimization tool and value driver for the entire hospitality chain. Offline and online, customer experience is thought as the core framework guiding the place’s strategy and the actions implemented to meet the expectations of an even more demanding visitor base. As also recalled by Gayet, experience customization is paramount because it involves the creation of strong and lasting relationships between service providers and beneficiaries of the place offer, built up around trust. This is supposed to radically transform the traditional relation between supply and demand in the destination industry, with the advent of a destination relationship management system.

 

 

Anchorage, consolidation and scaling-up of trends

 

The main trends analyzed, updating those already identified in the previous editions, highlighted a process of anchorage, consolidation and scaling-up : more place marketing integration framed around the corporate marketing pattern, always more collaboration, partnering (use of crowd-funding, crowdsourcing, sharing plateforms) and especially the rise of business oragnizations in ever more cross-sectoral modes of governance. This is being followed by the increasing setting up of sometimes successful global and shared place brands, where local citizens and the private sector are to play a key role. These brands, along with their vision and strategy are willing to better match the local culture and interfere in the very development of place values ​; For instance the Be Berlin city brand and slogan (be openbe free etc.), originally business centered, are increasingly and opportunistically, associated with symbolic events such as the historical anniversary of the Berlin Wall fall.

 

Beyond these trends that overwhelmingly emphasize the declination of the "co" and « hyper" terms (co-branding, co-creating, co-innovating, hyper-segmentation, hyper-customization etc.) in all aspects of territorial development, the focus was also put on the need to prioritize « the human being » and « relationship » in tomorrow’s place marketing. With digital technology having a predominant role and hailed for its virtues of being a great means of disseminating information and managing the place quality offer, it was necessary to recall that technology must always be placed in the service of the humankind.

 

Some of the cases and topics discussed

 

Destiination relationship management

 

The presentations made by the tourist offices of Picardy (former administrative region in Northern France) or the Val Thorens ski resort, put emphasis on the concept of customer experience, as an optimization tool for the entire hospitality chain and as a core framework guiding the place’s strategy and the actions implemented to meet the expectations of an even more demanding visitor base. As also recalled by Gayet, experience customization is paramount because it involves the creation of strong and lasting relationships between service providers and beneficiaries of the place offer, built up around trust. This is supposed to radically transform the traditional relation between supply and demand in the destination industry, with the advent of a destination relationship management system.

 

Endogeneous marketing, sharing and public management

 

No doubt, Place marketing is no longer just a matter of attractiveness to exogenous targets (visitors, high-income residents and foreign direct investors), it now revolves strongly around endogenous dynamics. This involves the urgent necessity to meet the needs, expectations and dreams of local stakeholders (residents, entrepreneurs, associations, local businesses) seeking to realize their projects and thrive, and who are likely otherwise to choose another place option when they can. The Detroit Home Coming campaign, led by an independent local PR organization, achieved to encourage celebrity and influencers with emotional ties to Detroit to celebrate their original city few days and consider it as an opportunity for future investment. Like the well-known initiative of The Gathering Ireland, DHC underlined the role of ambassadors as an untapped source for revitalizing places in crisis. The virtues of bottom-up dynamics in a knowledge-based economy, were also highlighted by Bordeaux’s Darwin project, consisting in the conversion of former military barracks about to be destroyed, into a small business and cultural hub (6 500 m2). The Darwin ecosystem epitomizes a process of hybridization of urban uses and social practices in the heart of a city (incubator, largest co-working space and organic canteen in France, a skatepark, art, conference and concert venues etc.). Beyond all these revitalization movements, the issue of the social groups that benefit from them remained rarely addressed. With regard to that, the discussions also focused on the relevance of adopting place marketing thoughts at the neighborhood scale, including the most disadvantaged ones. This is what the French national urban renewal agency (ANRU) has been trying to do, with a new investment program of 5 billion € to bring back to life and light overlooked neighborhoods.

 

The idea of supporting co-building at all levels was abundantly raised during the debates, particularly with the city of Turin, recognized for having launched a major call for ideas to its 10,000 municipal employees, aiming the designing of disruptive public services. Another aspect of this phenomenon is the the Smart City concept being progressively replaced by the Sharing City mantra, namely the city capable of balancing the collaborative (peer-to-peer lucrative exchange) and the sharing (peer-to-peer barter exchange) economy. This was illustrated by the presentation of Seoul’s global sharing city vision and Share Hub. The latter aims to turn a metropolis of 20 million inhabitants into a high-scale laboratory for disseminating the principles of the sharing economy. 

 

Flagship marketing and city-making

 

Place flagships are still considered strategic place marketing elements. The District Museum in Vienna is the great iconic urban project - of which you can also be very critical for its massive look - that has helped position Vienna as a top art and cultural destination. The case of Barcelona was largely on the spotlight, not only for the Barcelona Global non-profiit think-thank, which has achieved to commit the local civil society and influence policy makers in the branding of the city, but also for the specificity of its regional marketing model. Barcelona appears as an anti-model : without relying on a verbal and visual formal brand, the city has managed to strategically capitalize on major events, such as the Olympics back in 1992 and today the Mobile World Congress, as well as more informal city-making policies, to engage a profound transformation of its territory and position itself as a world leading tourist and cultural destination. But other side of the coin, this worlwdide fame and success has been questioned by the growing discontent from local residents who increasingly see mass tourism as a threat to the identity and quality of local life.

 

Digital marketing and content strategy

 

The trend towards digital marketing requires communities to undertake at least partial if not complete digitization of their communication material and media. Though the image, video, and experiential contents have been prevailing over the textual one, what seems to matter most is the content strategy. The case for digital marketing efficiency was highlighted through the 123Subsidie.nl initiative launched by an alliance of three Northern Dutch provinces. It involves a single web portal set up to match local and supra-local businesses with the support and funding they need. In another area, an academic institution, the University of Saint Joseph, showed how it cleverly redesigned its web portal and launched an engaging communication campaign called I will, to boost its enrollment rate of international students, benefitting overall the State of Connecticut.

 

The PMF 2016 was hosted by the Chaire Attractivité et Nouveau Marketing Territorial of Aix University. 

All information is available on the website.

Anchorage, consolidation and scaling-up of trends

 

The main trends analyzed, updating those already identified in the previous editions, highlighted a process of anchorage, consolidation and scaling-up : more place marketing integration framed around the corporate marketing pattern, always more collaboration, partnering (use of crowd-funding, crowdsourcing, sharing plateforms) and especially the rise of business oragnizations in ever more cross-sectoral modes of governance. This is being followed by the increasing setting up of sometimes successful global and shared place brands, where local citizens and the private sector are to play a key role. These brands, along with their vision and strategy are willing to better match the local culture and interfere in the very development of place values ​; For instance the Be Berlin city brand and slogan (be openbe free etc.), originally business centered, are increasingly and opportunistically, associated with symbolic events such as the historical anniversary of the Berlin Wall fall.

 

Beyond these trends that overwhelmingly emphasize the declination of the "co" and « hyper" terms (co-branding, co-creating, co-innovating, hyper-segmentation, hyper-customization etc.) in all aspects of territorial development, the focus was also put on the need to prioritize « the human being » and « relationship » in tomorrow’s place marketing. With digital technology having a predominant role and hailed for its virtues of being a great means of disseminating information and managing the place quality offer, it was necessary to recall that technology must always be placed in the service of the humankind.

 

Some of the cases and topics discussed

 

Destiination relationship management

 

The presentations made by the tourist offices of Picardy (former administrative region in Northern France) or the Val Thorens ski resort, put emphasis on the concept of customer experience, as an optimization tool for the entire hospitality chain and as a core framework guiding the place’s strategy and the actions implemented to meet the expectations of an even more demanding visitor base. As also recalled by Gayet, experience customization is paramount because it involves the creation of strong and lasting relationships between service providers and beneficiaries of the place offer, built up around trust. This is supposed to radically transform the traditional relation between supply and demand in the destination industry, with the advent of a destination relationship management system.

 

Endogeneous marketing, sharing and public management

 

No doubt, Place marketing is no longer just a matter of attractiveness to exogenous targets (visitors, high-income residents and foreign direct investors), it now revolves strongly around endogenous dynamics. This involves the urgent necessity to meet the needs, expectations and dreams of local stakeholders (residents, entrepreneurs, associations, local businesses) seeking to realize their projects and thrive, and who are likely otherwise to choose another place option when they can. The Detroit Home Coming campaign, led by an independent local PR organization, achieved to encourage celebrity and influencers with emotional ties to Detroit to celebrate their original city few days and consider it as an opportunity for future investment. Like the well-known initiative of The Gathering Ireland, DHC underlined the role of ambassadors as an untapped source for revitalizing places in crisis. The virtues of bottom-up dynamics in a knowledge-based economy, were also highlighted by Bordeaux’s Darwin project, consisting in the conversion of former military barracks about to be destroyed, into a small business and cultural hub (6 500 m2). The Darwin ecosystem epitomizes a process of hybridization of urban uses and social practices in the heart of a city (incubator, largest co-working space and organic canteen in France, a skatepark, art, conference and concert venues etc.). Beyond all these revitalization movements, the issue of the social groups that benefit from them remained rarely addressed. With regard to that, the discussions also focused on the relevance of adopting place marketing thoughts at the neighborhood scale, including the most disadvantaged ones. This is what the French national urban renewal agency (ANRU) has been trying to do, with a new investment program of 5 billion € to bring back to life and light overlooked neighborhoods.

 

The idea of supporting co-building at all levels was abundantly raised during the debates, particularly with the city of Turin, recognized for having launched a major call for ideas to its 10,000 municipal employees, aiming the designing of disruptive public services. Another aspect of this phenomenon is the the Smart City concept being progressively replaced by the Sharing City mantra, namely the city capable of balancing the collaborative (peer-to-peer lucrative exchange) and the sharing (peer-to-peer barter exchange) economy. This was illustrated by the presentation of Seoul’s global sharing city vision and Share Hub. The latter aims to turn a metropolis of 20 million inhabitants into a high-scale laboratory for disseminating the principles of the sharing economy. 

 

Flagship marketing and city-making

 

Place flagships are still considered strategic place marketing elements. The District Museum in Vienna is the great iconic urban project - of which you can also be very critical for its massive look - that has helped position Vienna as a top art and cultural destination. The case of Barcelona was largely on the spotlight, not only for the Barcelona Global non-profiit think-thank, which has achieved to commit the local civil society and influence policy makers in the branding of the city, but also for the specificity of its regional marketing model. Barcelona appears as an anti-model : without relying on a verbal and visual formal brand, the city has managed to strategically capitalize on major events, such as the Olympics back in 1992 and today the Mobile World Congress, as well as more informal city-making policies, to engage a profound transformation of its territory and position itself as a world leading tourist and cultural destination. But other side of the coin, this worlwdide fame and success has been questioned by the growing discontent from local residents who increasingly see mass tourism as a threat to the identity and quality of local life.

 

Digital marketing and content strategy

 

The trend towards digital marketing requires communities to undertake at least partial if not complete digitization of their communication material and media. Though the image, video, and experiential contents have been prevailing over the textual one, what seems to matter most is the content strategy. The case for digital marketing efficiency was highlighted through the 123Subsidie.nl initiative launched by an alliance of three Northern Dutch provinces. It involves a single web portal set up to match local and supra-local businesses with the support and funding they need. In another area, an academic institution, the University of Saint Joseph, showed how it cleverly redesigned its web portal and launched an engaging communication campaign called I will, to boost its enrollment rate of international students, benefitting overall the State of Connecticut.

 

The PMF 2016 was hosted by the Chaire Attractivité et Nouveau Marketing Territorial of Aix University. 

All information is available on the website.

Jean-François Gold explains the strategy of the Picardy regional tourism office

Jean-François Gold explains the strategy of the Picardy regional tourism office

Endogeneous marketing, sharing and public-private management

No doubt, Place marketing is no longer just a matter of attractiveness to exogenous targets (visitors, high-income residents and foreign direct investors), it now revolves strongly around endogenous dynamics. This involves the urgent necessity to address the needs, expectations and dreams of local stakeholders (residents, entrepreneurs, associations, local businesses) seeking to realize their projects and  thrive.

The Detroit Home Coming campaign, led by an independent local PR organization, achieved to encourage celebrity and influencer expats affectively tied to Detroit to reconnect with their city during few days and consider opportunities for future investment. Like the well-known initiative of Connect Ireland, DHC underlines the key role of ambassadors as an untapped source for revitalizing places in crisis. The virtues of bottom-up dynamics in a knowledge-based economy, were also highlighted by Bordeaux’s Darwin project, consisting in the conversion of former military barracks about to be destroyed, into a start-up and cultural hub (6 500 m2). The Darwin ecosystem epitomizes a process of hybridization of urban uses and social practices in the heart of a city (largest co-working space and organic canteen in France, a skatepark, art, conference and concert venues etc.).

Beyond all these revitalization movements, the issue of the social groups that benefit from them was also raised. With regard to that, the discussions also focused on the relevance of adopting place marketing thoughts at the neighborhood scale, including the most disadvantaged ones. This is what the French state urban renewal agency (ANRU) has been trying to do, with a new investment program of 5 billion € to bring back to life and light overlooked neighborhoods.

The idea of harnessing co-building at all levels was abundantly raised during the debates, particularly with the city council of Turin, recognized for having launched a major call for ideas to its 10,000 municipal employees, aiming the designing of innovative public services. Another aspect of this phenomenon is the the Smart City concept being progressively replaced by the Sharing City mantra, namely the city capable of balancing the collaborative (peer-to-peer lucrative exchange) and the sharing (peer-to-peer barter exchange) economy. This was illustrated by the presentation of Seoul’s global sharing city vision and Share Hub. The latter aims to turn a metropolis of 20 million inhabitants into a high-scale laboratory for disseminating the principles of the sharing economy. 

Flagship marketing and city-making

Place flagships are still considered strategic place marketing elements. Take the District Museum in Vienna (MQW), the great iconic urban project - of which you can also be very critical for its massive look - that has helped position Vienna as a top art and cultural destination. The case of Barcelona was largely on the spotlight, not only for the Barcelona Global non-profiit think-thank, which has achieved to involve the local civil society and influence policy makers in the long-term branding of the city, but also for the specificity of its regional marketing model. Barcelona appears as an anti-model : without relying on a verbal and visual formal brand, the city has managed to strategically capitalize on major events, such as the Olympics back in 1992 and today the Mobile World Congress, as well as more informal city-making policies, to engage a profound transformation of its urbanscape and position itself as a world leading tourist and cultural destination. Other side of the coin, this worlwdide success has been questioned by the growing discontent expressed by local residents who increasingly see mass tourism as a threat to the identity and quality of local life.

Digital marketing and content strategy

The digital marketing era requires communities to undertake at least partial if not complete digitization of their communication material and media. Though image, video, and experiential contents have been prevailing over the textual one, what seems to matter most is the content strategy. The case for digital marketing efficiency was highlighted again through the 123Subsidie.nl initiative launched by an alliance of three Northern Dutch provinces. The program involves a single web portal set up to match local and supra-local businesses with the tailor-made support and funding they need. In another area, an academic institution, the University of Saint Joseph, showed how it cleverly redesigned its web portal and launched an engaging communication campaign called I will, to boost its enrollment rate of international students, benefitting overall the State of Connecticut.

 

The PMF 2016 was hosted by the Chaire Attractivité et Nouveau Marketing Territorial of Aix University. 

All information is available on the website.

 

 

David Aboulkheir

Voir les commentaires

Place Marketing Forum 2016 - Save the date!

24 Février 2016, 15:37pm

Publié par citybrandproject.over-blog.com

Place Marketing Forum 2016 - Save the date!

On the next 9th and 10th of March, I will be attending the Place Marketing Forum 2016, in Aix-en-Provence, France, event I had the opportunity to co-host in 2013 and 2014. Speaking to a French but also to an international audience (content translated), the forum is worth attending for any place marketing practitioner, researcher or simply enthusiast, for several reasons:

 

- The diversity of participants and the relevance of topics as well as task areas discussed ; the PMF stands for the (bi)-annual lighthouse event dedicated to place marketing in France, bringing together nearly 400 participants with the contribution of dozens of high-profile experts. Its program dares to cover with consistency, one of the most prevalent sectors of regional attractiveness such as economic and social development, tourism, culture, higher education or citizen participation. Task areas include : qualifying the place offer, designing virtuous communication and event ecosystems, digital marketing, place-making, experiential marketing, governance, place management or place branding. Though only city, province and regional scales are represented, lessons learned are likely to be relevant whatever the territory scale.

 

- The event also allows to draw up a much needed inventory, on place marketing research, trends and new models worldwide. It will do so, not only through the sound highlights provided by international guests of honor such as Juan Carlos Belloso (Barcelona Global), Mihalis Kavaratzis (author of the book "Rethinking Place Branding" ) or Lionel Flasseur (Director of the OnlyLyon program), but also through the showcasing of a range of outstanding initiatives, though not necessarily well-known, set up by pragmatic, innovative, risk-taker and visionary place stakeholders.

 

- The excellence of the cases presented, scrutinized and then debated in round tables :

  • The Seoul Sharing-city program which shows how Seoul, already considered for many "the world's most wired city", has undertaken to spread and implement on a large scale the principles of the sharing economy, to tackle the impeding challenges of quality of life, sustainable development and attractiveness.
  • Barcelona Global, the global and strategic marketing platform developed by Barcelona’s stakeholders, ​​to ensure lasting regional attractiveness, wealth and influence.
  • The Picardy regional tourism committee determined  to revolutionize institutional practices in tourism, through the implementation of a quality management system, experiential as well as personalized marketing, embodied in a place brand, Esprit de Picardie.
  • The Detroit Homecoming program, a case of endogenous place marketing that illustrates the way a declining city can reinvent itself and rise from its ashes, by leveraging together the senses of belonging, of initiative and innovation of its inhabitants.
  • The digital marketing strategy successfully implemented by a higher-education institution, the University of St. Joseph (Connecticut), to boost its brand recognition and lure new talents.
  • The MuseumsQuartier, an impressive art and cultural cluster within the heart of Vienna. The Austrian capital was recently ranked first among European cities in terms of quality of life (article).
  • The program Innova.To, led by the he city of Turin, aimed at encouraging its 10,000 municipal employees to become innovators, submitting their ideas to upgrade public services. This practice will give the opportunity to embrace from a different angle, the smart city issue.
  • 123Subsidie.NL, a very effective business support, facilitator and funding system, targeting small and medium companies, and led by an alliance of three Dutch northern provinces.

The PMF 2016 is hosted by the Chaire Attractivité et Nouveau Marketing Territorial of Aix University. 

All information is available on the website.

 

David Aboulkheir

 

 

 

 

Voir les commentaires

City Nation Place, back from the conference

6 Novembre 2015, 18:20pm

Publié par citybrandproject.over-blog.com

City Nation Place, back from the conferenceCity Nation Place, back from the conference

As the former co-organizer of the 2013 and 2014 editions of the first major conference dedicated to place marketing in France, the Place Marketing Forum, it seemed logical to me to share my thoughts on the equivalent event in Britain, which I had the great pleasure to attend, the highly anticipated conference City Nation Place, held on the 4th and 5th November 2015 in London.

Symposiums, meetings and conferences dedicated to the attractiveness and marketing of cities, regions and countries, although still not very frequent, have been spreading in recent years. This trend, which is particularly visible in some developed and developing countries, if not on a transnational perspective, clearly shows growing interest for the discipline. This phenomenon illustrates the bold attempts, though not always successful, to gather around the sharing of inspiring ideas and practices, for one or two days, influential representatives of the scientific and professional community of place marketing.

For its first edition, City Nation Place fits well with this trend, yet mostly targeted at place branding professionals. The conference raised many hopes, while leaving some room for improvement, basically summarized here :

- Clarifying some key concepts and addressing the multi-scalar nature of place : The first issue relates to the confusion that might stem from the conference title, City Nation Place, rightly pointed out by Hila Oren, CEO of Global Tel Aviv early on her speech. Putting side by side the two terms "Nation" and "City" does not reflect the very specific marketing handling each place scale requires. The possibility of branding a city, region, country or even a continent, is totally relevant, but requires at least, a brief conceptual and methodological justification. No doubt this lack has something to do with the relatively low scientific and academic representation during the conference. Only the round table dedicated to the measurement of efficient place branding, involving brilliant thinkers such as Mihalis Kavartzis, Robert Govers and Martin Boisen, allowed to provide, though succinctly, a necessary methodological cropping.

- Conviviality and networking : A fact highly appreciated by many, was the great importance given to the opportunities of informal exchanges among cross-sectoral marketing professionals from tourism, real estate, economic development, urban planning, media and communication sectors. During more than 2 hours and a half, the afternoon workshop taking place on the eve of the conference, rather than feeding the participants with new knowledge or coming across solving-problem proposals, raised major concerns shared by place practitioners in a friendly participatory mode. Working groups, arbitrarily selected by participants, were each assigned a key place branding theme : definition of Place Branding, public consultation, managing inputs of politicians, evaluation of brand strategy, securing funds, effective brand partnerships, the contribution of place-making, media involvement, using the brand to attract inward investments.

Although the seminar only scratched the surface of these proposed topics, high-level participants from around the world played the trick of sharing anecdotes about their practical challenges encountered in their various place marketing activities. The intensity of the exchanges, aroused by the main host Malcolm Allan (place brand specialist and founder of Place Matters ltd), along with the other facilitators appointed for each thematic group, helped to set the tone of the conference. They managed to engage a friendly and constructive discussion among participants on key issues. The conference that followed the day after, kept the exchange and convivial momentum, thanks to the many pauses that punctuated the day.

- Some very inspiring but also sterile interventions : the marketing efforts and initiatives led by large geographical areas took over top billing during the conference, often with some generosity in the sharing of stories : Great Britain, with its impressive communication campaign Britain is Great, the continent Africa, with a notable intervention from Thebe Ikalafeng, charismatic manager of Brand Africa, or Ireland with Connect Ireland, now regarded as one of the best cases worldwide in economic attraction trough ambassador involvement. Cities such as London, Tel Aviv or Eindhoven also unashamedly displayed their incontestable strengths and successes while remaining discreet on the implementation challenges of their strategy. The case of Paris, which echoed that of Tel Aviv, in the session entitled Reinventing the city from inside out, was supposed to illustrate a competitive and attractive model of regional development and planning for a metropolis. Unfortunately, Paris's case rather shed light on the intricate administrative complexity of its region, and did not find its place among the more marketing oriented interventions.

- Stimulating debates : despite the overarching "promotional" style of most presentations, backed by entertaining video clips, a rather predictable thing in an event dedicated to the marketing development of places, some high-quality debates emerged. The use of an interactive online tool, Sli.do with interposed screen, to gauge opinion and directly raise the inquiries of the audience, forced the speakers to consider the more technical, if not troublesome challenges raised by the public : Can we evaluate place marketing without measurement ? How to value in a differentiating way, a place's DNA ? How to manage the reputation relation between a city and a country ? etc. The appointment of expert facilitators to each sessions also contributed to ease the round tables discussions and keep the conference's lively pace.

- Place Branding & Place Making : Though the workshop afternoon gave an opportunity to briefly address the relationship between the two concepts, the conference did not sufficiently highlight their articulation, yet a crucial place branding challenge. Tel Aviv’s energic presentation underlined the strong idea of city-making as a core principle driving the city's marketing strategy, and which primarily consists in helping to create high-quality and vibrant urban spaces for its users, particularly for its start-uppers, beyond promotion campaigns. The section devoted to the role of real estate operators in the place branding process, led by the Director of Colliers International destination consulting, also stressed the need to develop architectural and urban products that resonate with the story-telling of the place.

- Selection and award ceremony : The well organized awards ceremony, seemed inspired by the famous competitions commonplace in the audiovisual industry : official jury made up of high-calibre experts, a catchy video clip recalling facts and figures associated with each practice, the suspense of the award result ! Given the limited number of place applications for a first edition, about fifty, the range of choice was necessarily limited, with an overrepresentation of cities and countries. The utter absence of France could not be overlooked (except Lyon who won nothing). Yet, France can boast with remarkable place branding professionals, evidenced by the outstanding achievement of regions such as Alsace, Auvergne, Bretagne and Picardie, or cities such as Bordeaux, Marseille or Nantes. The best cases were selected according to three broad criterions : creativity, intelligence, and effective strategic planning to deliver results. The award categories (Best Citizen engagement, Best Communication strategy, Best use of social media, Place Brand of the year) on which Ireland, London, Oslo and Croatia stood out, could have been further explained with respect to their content (read more about the awards ceremony).

City Nation Place, back from the conference

Conclusion : In short, for its first edition, City Place Nation stands out as a promising event on place marketing, thanks to the professionalism of its organization (managed by the London event agency Hubbub Ltd), its location at the heart of London, its media exposure with renowned sponsors such as the BBC and the New York Times, its expertly managed staging, numerous networking opportunities within a community of passionate place thinkers and doers, from diverse professional and geographical backgrounds.

However, to gain momentum, the common thread throughout the conference will have to be redesigned to better highlight the links between each place branding sessions and topics. This could allow to step back and draw more easily cross-sectoral as well as operational lessons from each case. Clarifying the concepts and approaches at one point of the conference would also be welcomed, through maybe a stronger dialogue with the research field, to address, for instance, the interrelation of place scales or the strategic and practical framework for the designing of successful place brand strategies.

David Aboulkheir

Editor at City Brand Explorer, ex-Manager of the "Place Marketing Forum 2014"

Voir les commentaires

Forum City Nation Place

17 Septembre 2015, 14:48pm

Publié par citybrandproject.over-blog.com

Forum City Nation Place

Pour les passionnés de marketing territorial, j'aurai l'occasion de prendre part à une grande conférence sur le "place branding" (approche anglo-saxonne du marketing territorial), le forum City Nation Place, qui se tiendra à Londres, les 4 et 5 Novembres 2015, l'occasion pour moi d'échanger sur la place de l'expérientiel urbain dans le marketing des territoires.

Le forum rassemblera des cadres responsables de l'élaboration et de la promotion de l'image de marque de leur ville, région ou pays - en particulier ceux qui travaillent à l'attraction économique, touristique, résidentielle et cultuelle. Parmi les intervenants internationaux : les directeurs de London Partners, Copenhagen Capacity, l'Institut d'Aménagement d'Ile de France, Connect Ireland, Tel Aviv Global Tourism, mais aussi des experts de renom comme l'ancien responsable du marketing de Barcelone, Juan Carlos Belloso, ou encore Malcolm Allan de Placematters Limited (voir les intervenants).

Dans un contexte de plus en plus concurrentiel, dû à la mondialisation et l'hyperdigitalisation de nos sociétés, les budgets dédiés aux politiques de marketing territorial sont globalement en augmentation, malgré des cas de réussite plutôt rares, preuve qu'il reste d'immenses marges de progrès en la matière. Ainsi, la conférence abordera des défis opérationnels : parvenir à un consensus politique, la construction de la gouvernance de projet, l'engagement des citoyens, la fixation d'objectifs mesurables, la construction et la communication de l'avantage concurrentiel. Enfin, les délégués seront à la recherche de conseils et de solutions - désireux notamment de mieux comprendre comment tirer profit dans leur stratégie de communication, des médias numériques et sociaux. Une remise de prix récompensera de très bonnes pratiques à l'international (le programme).

Les tarifs me semblent élevés pour une première édition, bien que la qualité des intervenants et le programme soient alléchants. On peut noter que les conférences de ce type, plutôt pilotées par des professionnels que des politiques ou académiques, se sont multipliées ces dernières années, témoignant d'un processus en cours de professionnalisation de la discipline.

 

Voir les commentaires

L'autre visage de Lima (fin d'exploration)

28 Juin 2015, 10:29am

Publié par citybrandproject.over-blog.com

Les 480 ans de Lima

A l'occasion du 480e anniversaire de la fondation de Lima par Pizarro en 1535, le centre historique (voir aussi l'article précédent sur le centre historique de Lima), comme à l'ordinaire très animé, devient le théâtre privilégié d'intenses manifestations festives, musicales, artistiques, gastronomiques et culturelles, tant formelles que spontanées. Cette effervescence unique qui s'empare des rues et des places du centre, témoigne de la réelle vitalité de ses espaces publics et de l'énergie créative émanant de ses habitants.

La veille, aux abords du centre historique, on pouvait encore observer la présence ostensible de policiers et d'agents de maintien de l’ordre, déployés près des hauts lieux de pouvoir et de rassemblement, afin de contenir la foule de jeunes manifestants venus exprimer leur colère contre une nouvelle loi gouvernementale menaçant de précariser l'emploi des jeunes (Ley Pulpin). Sur les façades d'édifices anciens, nombreux sont les graffitis et inscriptions sauvages appelant au soulèvement de la jeunesse. Au-delà des problèmes récurrents d’insécurité, largement médiatisés, Lima cristallise les principales luttes sociales et politiques qui agitent le pays.

La présence d'un important dispositif policier aux abords des lieux de rassemblement et de pouvoir, comme ici sur la Plaza Mayor

La présence d'un important dispositif policier aux abords des lieux de rassemblement et de pouvoir, comme ici sur la Plaza Mayor

Le Palais présidentiel (Palacio de Gobierno), sur la Plaza Mayor

Le Palais présidentiel (Palacio de Gobierno), sur la Plaza Mayor

Protestation contre la loi du ministre Pulpin, qui visait à réduire le travail informel des jeunes tout en assouplissant la règlementation sociale enfaveur des employeurs. Photo tirée du site archivo.larepublica.pe

Protestation contre la loi du ministre Pulpin, qui visait à réduire le travail informel des jeunes tout en assouplissant la règlementation sociale enfaveur des employeurs. Photo tirée du site archivo.larepublica.pe

Les autres facettes que dissimule Lima

Malgré certains travers largement reconnus (ref. aux articles précédents sur l'urbanisme, l'archiecture, l'environnement, l'insécurité, le cadre de vie etc.), Lima continue de séduire. Certains arrondissements, en bord de mer, adoucissent ses traits et rehaussent sa réputation, tels Miraflores, Barranco ou encore San Isidro. Miraflores, point de départ de l'exploration, fait figure de vitrine pour la métropole en matière de cadre de vie. Arrondissement rejoignant le front de mer, à la fois branché et touristique, il mêle activités commerciales, financières et résidentielles. Malgré ses hôtels, ses casinos, ses parcs et son élégante église de la Vierge des Miracles construite dans l’Entre-deux-guerres, Mira Flores n’a peut-être plus tout à fait l’âme et le charme du quartier balnéaire qu’il était jadis. Comme constaté dans d'autres zones de la ville (ref. article précédent sur le chaos architectural et urbain de Lima), la dynamisation économique et la mutation accélérée du tissu urbain ont favorisé la multiplication disparate de tours aux formes bigarrées, au détriment d’une esthétique et d’une identité architecturales et paysagères cohérentes. Miraflores n'en reste pas moins l'un des districts les plus vibrants et des plus prisés des classes moyennes supérieures, des élites locales et de la commuanuté d'expatriés.

 

 

L'élégante église de la Vierge des Miracles construite dans l’Entre-deux-guerres, à Mira Flores

L'élégante église de la Vierge des Miracles construite dans l’Entre-deux-guerres, à Mira Flores

Le Parc Kennedy à Miraflores. Photo tirée du site tripomatic.com.

Le Parc Kennedy à Miraflores. Photo tirée du site tripomatic.com.

Quant au district de Barranco, il redonne à Lima un visage plus humain, à l’écart de l’agitation urbaine. Souvent perçut comme le « Montmartre » de Lima, il a attiré au cours des décennies de nombreux écrivains, poètes, artistes et amateurs d’art, à la recherche d’un cadre de vie à la fois vivant et apaisé, propice à l’épanouissement d’un esprit créatif. Son ambiance bucolique, sa romantique balade piétonne menant à la plage et passant sous le célèbre Pont des Soupirs, le charme de ses édifices bourgeois coloniaux, de ses restaurants et bars, font de Baranco l’un des quartiers les plus appréciés des touristes et des Liméniens.

Photo du célèbre Pont des Soupirs, dans le district historique de Barranco.

Photo du célèbre Pont des Soupirs, dans le district historique de Barranco.

La nuit tombée, sur le littoral de Miraflores, on est pris d’une étrange et agréable sensation à mesure que le brouhaha de la métropole s’amenuise, remplacé par la douceur du bruit des vagues. En se promenant le long de l'Avenue Malécon de la Reserva, au pied des tours face à la mer, on découvre les nombreux espaces d’agrément aménagés jouxtant l'emblématique complexe commercial Larcomar, symbole d'une Lima prospère. Sur près de 45 000 m2, Larcomar comprend boutiques, restaurants branchés, bars, prestigieuses discothèques, hôtels de luxe, un théâtre, un cinéma, et des espaces de promenade, le tout donnant sur l'océan Pacifique. A l'horizon, le long de la côte, on peut admirer les scintillements de la ville, en particulier l'éclat de la monumentale croix de Chorillos, plantée sur le versant des falaises. Semblant faire échos à l’autre grande croix du mont San Cristobal, située à l’autre bout de la ville sur les collines de Rimac, la croix illuminée de Chorillos regarde vers la mer, telle un phare dans l’immensité urbaine. Ainsi s'achève ces deux journées d'exploration urbaine à Lima.

 

 Situé au bout de l'Avenue Larco, à Miraflores, le centre commercial Larcomar a été construit en 1998, il est visité par plus de 450 000 personnes par jour. Son architecture repose sur une intégration forte de ses espaces d'agrément avec l'espaces public. Photo tirée de tripadvisor.co.uk.

Situé au bout de l'Avenue Larco, à Miraflores, le centre commercial Larcomar a été construit en 1998, il est visité par plus de 450 000 personnes par jour. Son architecture repose sur une intégration forte de ses espaces d'agrément avec l'espaces public. Photo tirée de tripadvisor.co.uk.

La croix illuminée de Churillos, à l'horizon. Elle avait été érigée en l'honneur du Pape Jean Paul II, lors de sa visite en 1988. Lien : https://www.flickr.com/photos/13660804@N02/4549925698

La croix illuminée de Churillos, à l'horizon. Elle avait été érigée en l'honneur du Pape Jean Paul II, lors de sa visite en 1988. Lien : https://www.flickr.com/photos/13660804@N02/4549925698

Voir les commentaires

Diving in the historic centre of Lima

23 Juin 2015, 14:59pm

Publié par citybrandexplorer.over-blog.com

Between hope and disenchantment

Although it would seem so, Lima has not completely made a clean slate of the past. Over the last decades, it has been striving to preserve and enhance its historic centre, which the city proudly recalls it was designated as world heritage site by UNESCO in 1991. Bearing invaluable and meaningful symbols for the capital and the country, the historic district testifies to the foundation of the city by the famous conquistador Francisco Pissarro in 1535. The application of a checkerboard street layout, at the time, foreshadowed a conception typical of later centuries’ modern urban planning. The numerous brightly colourful facades, balconies lined with finely carved wood, sumptuous colonial large houses (casonas), churches and monasteries in the Baroque style, revive the memory of the Spanish Viceroyalty era splendour.

Photo taken in the historic core center

Photo taken in the historic core center

Photo taken in the historic inner center

Photo taken in the historic inner center

The San Francisco convent and basilica built in 1673, with a Spanish baroque style.

The San Francisco convent and basilica built in 1673, with a Spanish baroque style.

The monumental and elegant San Martin Square, named after the charismatic Argentine general who liberated Peru in 1821, is one of the most prominent public spaces showcased by the historic centre. It is also one of the most modern, with its neo-colonial architectural design and buildings dating back to the early twentieth century. The square is crossed by two arteries of high traffic; the large Nicolas de Piérolas Avenue, named after the former president of Peru, and Jiron de la Union. The latter encompasses a long pedestrian shopping segment, leading within the oldest parts of the historic centre, to the imposing Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor).

Photo of the San Martin square

Photo of the San Martin square

Photo of the main commercial and pedestrian street, Jiron de la Union. It is one of the busiest of the inner centre.

Photo of the main commercial and pedestrian street, Jiron de la Union. It is one of the busiest of the inner centre.

The Plaza Mayor stands as the original birthplace of the city. It is the seat of the highest political authorities, the sumptuous palace of the government and the municipality, the Archbishop's Palace and lastly the huge cathedral of Lima, several times destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt. Despite its monumentality, the Plaza de Armas, does not arouse admiration as one might expect from such a symbolic place for a capital. The sobriety of the central areas layout and "gardens", the lack of green spaces, the low maintenance of building facades, along with the wide auto lines cordoning off the square, contribute to affect the overall visual experience of the site.

The Cathedral basilica of Lima, built in 1535, on the Plaza de Armas, the birthplace of the city.

The Cathedral basilica of Lima, built in 1535, on the Plaza de Armas, the birthplace of the city.

Overall, the historic centre reveals sharp contrasts. Though the core centre, modest in size but endowed with numerous symbolic landmarks, is relatively well preserved, busier and safer, its edges show a different aspect. Indeed, crossing the Avenue Abancay, a few blocks away in the West, you come across much more helpless and insecure areas of the historic centre. Similarly, not far behind the San Martin Square, further south, towards the Palace of Justice, the urban environment turns more hostile, fostering some insecure feelings. In the north, the inner centre is bounded by the Rimac river. Beyond the river, the Rimac district, accessible by multiple bridges, also has a rich historical heritage, though its exploration requires more vigilance.

Furthermore, although some areas may be fully alive and worthwhile in terms of architectural heritage, they do not seem spared from savage occupation and creeping deterioration. Despite more stringent control form local authorities, informal and itinerant trade has long ago spread within many old buildings, hardly preserved. Arguably, the overall conditions of the urban fabric remain very uneven, raising successively great excitement and disenchantement. Again, while some pedestrian shopping streets, often the most popular, punctuated with their iconic buildings, look renovated and enhanced, you can fall quite rapidly, at a street corner, on tagged and degraded façades. As the sun goes down, my pedestrian exploration soon comes to an end.

 

Example of colonial building deteriorated façades.

Example of colonial building deteriorated façades.

This photo shows a more derelict side of the historic centre.

This photo shows a more derelict side of the historic centre.

Ambulant trade remains very active on the edges of the core historic centre.

Ambulant trade remains very active on the edges of the core historic centre.

Voir les commentaires

1 2 3 4 5 6 > >>