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From the greenest city in Europe to green heptathlon: place branding and policy tourism in Växjö, Sweden’
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the motivations and practices of cities engaging in policy boosterism, ‘a subset of traditional branding and marketing activities that involves the active promotion of locally developed and/or locally successful policies, programs, or practices across wider geographical fields as well as to broader communities of interested peers' (McCann, 2013: 5). The paper draws together literatures on policy boosterism, policy tourism, and place branding to explore the motivations of cities sharing policies in a competitive policy environment through policy tourism.  Using the case of environmental and urban sustainability policies in Växjö, Sweden, we examine how the rationale for sharing policy has changed over time, and how this both reflects and shapes the organization of policy tourism through technical visits and the branding of Växjö as ‘the greenest city in Europe’. Our study suggests that policy tourism and urban policymaking co-evolve in the context of policy boosterism. In Växjö what began as opportunistic branding now drives local environmental policymaking as the city strives to remain at the cutting edge. We suggest that detailed, longitudinal case studies are required to build a picture of the relationship between policy boosterism, policy tourism and urban policymaking in a variety of contexts. 

Keyword [en]
Policy boosterism, policy tourism, place branding, Sweden, Växjö
National Category
Economic Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115378OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-115378DiVA: diva2:797043
Available from: 2015-03-22 Created: 2015-03-22 Last updated: 2015-03-30
In thesis
1. Geographies of Place Branding: Researching through small and medium sized cities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Geographies of Place Branding: Researching through small and medium sized cities
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Place branding is commonly conceptualized with a focus on big cities, such as London, New York and Singapore, building from concepts and models from mainstream branding theory. In contrast to such conceptualizations, this thesis focuses on place branding in small and medium-sized cities. The present thesis aims to study place branding from a geographical perspective. It starts with debates theoretical and empirical understandings of place branding; what it is and how it is affecting the places where it is introduced. The thesis develops and argues for a perspective of territoriality and relationality to place branding discussing concepts, methods and empirical approaches to carry out place branding research using geographical perspectives. Empirically, this thesis focuses on in-depth studies of place branding in small and medium-sized cities in Sweden. By analyzing the development of place branding over the course of time, nuances and aspects of both territorial and relational origin emerge, situating place branding practices within a wider spatial contextualization. Four individual papers are presented, which taken together contribute to the aim of the thesis. Paper 1 introduces the place branding research field in geography and how it has developed; Paper 2 investigates the phenomena of flagship buildings located in small cities and towns; Paper 3 discusses the relationship between policy tourism and place branding; and Paper 4 analyzes how local environmental policies are affected by green place branding. The thesis demonstrates the complex and continuously interchangeable spatial structures and place contexts that create and re-produce the geographies of place branding. Here, research models and methodological examples are presented to illustrate how place branding can be studied from a geographical perspective and thus improve theoretical understandings of place branding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, 2015. 72 p.
Series
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 148
Keyword
place branding, place marketing, small and medium sized cities, hotels, flagship buildings, policy tourism, policy boosterism, green cities, regional development, economic geography, Sweden, Växjö
National Category
Human Geography Social and Economic Geography Economic Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115638 (URN)978-91-7649-144-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-22, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-04-28 Created: 2015-03-27 Last updated: 2015-04-28Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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