Branding Chinese Mega-Cities
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Branding Chinese Mega-Cities

Policies, Practices and Positioning

Edited by Per Olof Berg and Emma Björner

This interdisciplinary book details the economic, cultural and social background of the development of Chinese mega-cities, as well as presenting the mechanisms of governance and urban growth strategies. Therein, the main discussion centres on the contemporary practice of city branding and development in China in relation to the rest of the world. This includes the way stakeholders and actors are engaged in city branding; the ‘societal forces’ that impact the city branding process; the way cities compete internationally; and how mega-cities build brands to strategically position themselves globally.
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Chapter 10: (Failed) mega-events and city transformation: the green vision for the 2004 Olympic village in Stockholm

Paul T. Levin and Sofie Pandis Iveroth

Extract

Successful mega-events like the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 or the Shanghai World Expo 2010 can do much to transform the physical landscape of a city and enhance its image or distinctive 'brand'. But how about mega-events that fail to materialize? On 5 September 1997, the right to host the 2004 Summer Olympic Games was awarded to the city of Athens. The high expectations of the confident Swedish delegation were crushed as Stockholm emerged in last place among the four finalists. Ambitious plans for an Olympic Village in Stockholm with sports venues, 3,000 dwellings, a media village, and a massive highway infrastructure project were far advanced. What was the city leadership to do with these plans and the broad political consensus around them now that the Olympic bid had been lost? In the end, the policymakers and city planners in Stockholm did not back down from the proposed development project despite the failure of the Olympic bid. Building on the Olympic candidacy's 'green' profile, they moved on to attempt to construct what was billed as the most environmentally friendly urban district ever, and even expanded the residential component. The area in question, Hammarby Sjöstad, is now an internationally recognized model of sustainable urban planning that has arguably contributed to enhancing the Stockholm and Sweden 'brands,' and it is also an interesting example of mega-event-led large-scale city planning.

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