Branding European Cities and Regions
Edited by Gregory Ashworth and Mihalis Kavaratzis
Chapter 9: Mind the Gap: Reputation, Identity and Regeneration in Post-Industrial Cities
Myfanwy Trueman, Nelarine Cornelius, Mirza Mohammed Ali Baig and Joyce Liddle INTRODUCTION A multi-ethnic society in a post-industrial city, that has experienced society meltdown and riots, will face the stark reality of a damaged business community and poor image. Over a decade ago Porter (1995: 57) observed the need for inner cities to take advantage not only of their strategic location, local market demand and integration with regional clusters, but also, and most importantly their human resources; warning of the negative consequences if local communities were not involved in regeneration initiatives. More recently Amin (2006) notes that the challenge for city planners is to ‘negotiate class, gender, and ethnic or racial differences placed in close proximity’. In other words managing the complexity of a city’s human resources is far from easy, but is essential if real progress is to be made in a corporate social responsibility (CSR) context. However re-building reputation, quality of life and business confidence takes time, particularly if it is to address the needs and priorities of local communities (Cheshire, 2006; Price and Brodie, 2001). Moreover effective networks, partnerships and communications strategies may prove difficult to form within a hardto-reach (HTR), multicultural business community (Gospodini, 2006: 312; Henderson et al., 2003). Consequently this exploratory research examines public policy and the stakeholder environment that affects strategy formulation and partnership building in resurgent cities. It takes a marketing communications perspective because a failure to engage proprietors of small businesses in cities appears to be a major stumbling block for...
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