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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Place Management and Development, Volume 3, Issue 3
Welcome to the third issue of the third volume of the Journal of Place Management and Development. As usual, our authors are international (from New Zealand, The Netherlands, the USA, Italy and Spain) and from a variety of disciplines (e.g. business/management, economics, urban planning and fashion). Of course, what all the papers in this issue have in common (in keeping with past issues) is their potential to impact on the future management and development of places. Where they differ is in their theoretical underpinning, methodology and style.
Our first paper is from Djavlonbek Kadirov and Arti Triveni. Entitled “Customers of place: exploring interregional migrant collectivities”, their paper draws from the growing place marketing literature, focusing on one segment of place “consumers”, those people that move from one place to another, within the same country. By undertaking a survey amongst residents who had moved to Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand (rather than with those that had lived there all their lives) Djavlonbek Kadirov and Arti Triveni undertook cluster analysis to identify four “types” of internal migrants; material success seekers, community/environment folks, all-rounders and apathetics. Material success seekers represent the biggest cluster – and this mirrors the “dominant logic” of migration (both within or between countries) being rooted in economic and material gain. The opposite of this group are those that migrate for “the good life”; the community/environment folks, and Djavlonbek Kadirov and Arti Triveni’s article identifies the problem of treating “all migrants as one single mass market”.
The practice of place marketing, even to internal migrants, is called into question in the second paper “Making sense of place: from cold to warm city marketing” by Gert-Jan Hospers. By looking at Dutch data migration flows over the past ten years, Gert-Jan Hospers quotes the following statistics; only 10 per cent of the population moves house each year – and only 33 per cent of these move to another town or city. Even in the case of those migrants (either national or international), it is not clear what (if any) influence city centre marketing activities had over their decision making. This leads to Gert-Jan Hospers’ plea “for a shift from cold to warm city marketing, i.e. addressing actors that have emotional of socio-economic with the municipation in particular existing residents and firms”. This “internal investment” and focus for marketing activities is the essence of place management – or the process/activity of making places better and is one of the recommendations of both of the next papers published in this issue.
John P. Blair and James E. Larsen make the case for improving social relations between neighbours. Whilst other studies have investigated the physical and economic characteristics of a neighbourhood, as well as “negative” social characteristics, such as levels of crime, etc. John P. Blair and James E. Larsen explore “Satisfaction with neighbors and neighborhood house prices”. In their paper they operationalise the concept of social capital by asking “how satisfied are you with your neighbours?” and find a positive relationship between neighbour satisfaction and house prices. This finding could encourage private sector developers to invest in the development and/or maintenance of more “public space” – the type that can facilitate social interaction and improve neighbourhood relations.
Integrating the private sector into place management activities is likely to be much easier when there is an economic benefit that accrues from their involvement. Whilst there is a fast-growing literature on place management and widespread evidence of its practice, María Pilar Martínez-Ruiz, Noemí Martínez-Caraballo and Cesare Amatulli’s paper “Tourist destinations and luxury commerce: business opportunities” reminds us that this is “ignored” by some important components of a place in various locations, such as luxury stores in Venice. When questioned “many of the (store) managers said they had such confidence in the appeal of their brands that they had not considered cooperation with other stores/area management systems and implementation of joint publicity activities to improve the promotion of the areas as a whole”. This demonstrates the need for “place management” to be evaluated objectively and the benefits of it to be disseminated more effectively, to engage important agents in the production of the “place product” (such as the Venice retailers). Even on an archipelago, no retail brand is an island – I have visited Venice and I certainly did not go there to visit one particular shop!
The “creeping globalisation” that can come with ignoring the uniqueness of a location is one of the topics addressed by the last paper “Liveability, quality and place identity in the contemporary city: how to monitor and mitigate the impact of globalisation on urban spaces”. In this paper, the author (Marichela Sepe) discusses a method of urban landscape analysis and project design (the PlaceMaker method) utilised in Las Ramblas in Barcelona which has the explicit purpose of “combating the worst effects of globalisation and improving the beneficial effects of place identity”. Whilst it is, of course, beneficial to engage the private sector into place management activities, it is unlikely that private sector operators are the best guardians for safeguarding a place’s identity and sustainability.
Cathy Parker, John Byrom, Gareth Roberts, Simon Quin