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In 1843, the British colonial government in Hong Kong designated the northern coast of Hong Kong Island as the City of Victoria. Hindered by natural resource shortages and a poor natural environment, the government had to make use of new construction techniques and infrastructure to solve daily life problems, which included housing, transport facilities, water supply, law and order and public hygiene. The city was managed with two completely differently strategies. The Central District was mainly modelled on what was practised in the West. Commercial activities and trade were conducted in a systematic manner, and the enactment and strict enforcement of laws were key to the implementation of policies. However, the densely populated area of Sheung Wan, located in the western part of the city and inhabited by the Chinese community, was blighted by poor housing and hygiene conditions as well as high crime rates.
This chapter examines the origins of branding places and the evolution of brands in terms of geographic locations and purposes. Place branding finds roots in country-of-origin theory and tourism destination image. Types of geographic brands include destination branding, nation branding, city branding and regional branding. The geographic brands adopt particular strategies depending upon motivations and goals. In common, national, regional and city brands have the need of collaboration and the challenge of reconciling many stakeholders. Albeit marketing techniques may vary from one type of geographic branding to another, the underlying aim remains to reach some kind of social and economic development. Place branding comes together with other initiatives of public management such as infrastructure, education, safeness, positive business environment, public–private partnerships and local population involvement.