Governance, participation and branding: place branding and the inclusion of citizens emotions into spatial planning processes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


With society becoming a network society, governments have become less able to impose plans on other actors. It has become crucial in governance to gain support from multiple actors and arrive at plans which are supported by them. An important aspect of governance has become the ability to tempt actors to engage and invest in the development and implementation of plans. Branding is a strategy that is increasingly used to realize this. It is a form of governance which is not aimed particularly at managing perceptions through the rational, but through the emotional and psychological. This paper explores the application of branding in governance processes and how it is related to participation of citizens and the inclusion of their emotions. The paper theoretically distinguishes two approaches to branding and connects these to different levels of participation. On basis of branding theory, the paper argues that theoretically, branding can be a strategy to connect citizens with places and plans by drawing upon the emotional and psychological. We empirically research how branding was applied in two communities in the Netherlands. The cases show how branding brought feelings and emotions into the governance process. The cases show large differences when it comes to participation of citizens. Branding can be used as a participatory strategy, but it can also be employed in less participatory ways.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2009
EventAESOP conference - Liverpool, England
Duration: 15 Jul 200918 Jul 2009


ConferenceAESOP conference
CityLiverpool, England

Research programs

  • EUR ESSB 26

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