Rebranding Strategies

How can places rebrand themselves?

(These are notes I have taken out a textbook)

– Renaming a place usually happens for political reasons e.g. Bombay became Mumbai

– Authorities can take different routes into regeneration. In this post I want to look at 6.


Engineering changes around sports venues and sports events are a popular method adopted for rebranding especially in poorer areas. It attracts much private investment. The Olympic Games in London Docklands 2012 is being used to help regenerate the poorer areas of London e.g. Newham, whilst building the City of Manchester Stadium for the Commonwealth Games was the keystone in the redevelopment of this old industrial area.


The development of art galleries, museums and cultural ‘events’ has been central to the regeneration of many inner city areas in the UK including Liverpool, Glasgow, Bristol etc. In the past we have seen this type of regeneration for inner cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds etc. Margaret Thatcher created ‘garden festivals’ which aimed to create a green image of inner cities and attract private investors. Today these sorts of events still exist in regeneration. For instance, Cornwall holds Du Maurier festivals in May to attract tourists.


A specific ‘hub’ of scientific activity is sometimes created to act as a catalyst, speeding up the arrival of new high tech industries. These can be combined with leisure and fun activities. For instance, the area around GreenPark Business Park in Reading has come up.


The term ‘food desert’ was created a years ago to describe urban areas that lacked adequate shopping facilities. After years of out-of-town shopping developments, planners have frequently used in-town retail developments as key elements in urban regeneration schemes. Manchester for instance has seen an economic injection since Trafford Centre (shopping mall) was opened. ‘Stratford City’ was a shopping mall that was going to be constructed in Newham but since we won the Olympic bid, plans have been diminished. That area of land is now used for the Olympics venue.


This route is closely linked with using technology and science but it is different. Money is spent here in developments in universities and their departments. We have seen a successful example of this in California. ‘Silicon Valley’ for instance has a close relationship with Stanford University. The more the university is funded the better it gets and more ‘hi-tech’, quaternary sector businesses are attracted to the area. In rural Cornwall, something of a similar nature has happened. University College Falmouth and Exeter University have joined forces to create the Combined Universities of Cornwall (CUC). This has been done to improve the quality of education hence stop the brain drain and attract private investors. 


In Blackpool, they created a £500 million multi-themed entertainment complex called ‘Storm City’ and a controversial flagship development, a new casino! To ensure perennial tourism and attract other private investors of a similar nature.

HDI: Human Development Index

HDI – Putting people before markets

What is HDI?
It is a measure of economic development. It compromises of three equally weighted components. It gives a single numerical value between 0-1 and the higher the value the more developed the nation.

What are the components of HDI?

  1. Education – years if schooling and literacy 
  2. Health – Mortality rates
  3. Real GDP per capita at PPP – i.e. real GDP person at PPP (taking into account different costs of living)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of HDI?

Political competitiveness
Does not take into account poverty or other measures of deprivation 
More factors and reliable ones 
PPP values change very quickly and are likely to be inaccurate or misleading.
easy and cheap to collect data
Still very little sense of income distribution with this measure.
Sign of welfare in the future because improving health and education are both supply-side policies which can indicate the long-term patterns of AS curve 
Quality of life does not seem to be that closely linked with it and we don’t get to taken into account things like war or political oppression.
The success of government policy can also be seen
Human development altogether is difficult to measure and is based on normative economics. Other measures such as access to internet might be more important.
As it is one value it allows statistical analysis and other modeling to be done and is altogether a practical measure.
Changes over time – ceteris paribus