Contents

Transformative city branding for policy change: The case of Seoul's participatory branding

Joo, Yu-Min / Seo, Bokyong

Abstract

City branding has been widely adopted by entrepreneurial local governments to strengthen city identities and to attract global attention amid intensified intercity competition. Asian global cities, in particular, have competitively branded themselves to signal that they belong to the group of advanced global cities. This paper illustrates the transformative role of city branding in the making of a global city's local identity, which has been hitherto underexplored in the literature. Specifically, it examines Seoul's branding exercises, focusing on its unconventional projects that reflect the city's recent efforts to become a human-centered, progressive city. We suggest adding a transformative-enhancing dimension to the existing external-internal city-branding framework, and argue that Seoul's transformative city branding is, in fact, communicating the mayor's new signature policies with citizens. When combined with a strong mayor's efforts to cater to changing societal pressures, city branding is no longer solely a neoliberal marketing exercise, but a political project of policy change.

Issue Date
2018-03
Keywords Plus
PLACE; IMAGE
Keywords(Author)
Asian global city; city branding; policy change; public participation; Seoul
DOI
10.1177/2399654417707526
Journal Title
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING C-POLITICS AND SPACE
Start Page
239
End Page
257
ISSN
2399-6544
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