Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Place Management and Development, Volume 4, Issue 3
Welcome to the 12th issue of the Journal of Place Management and Development (JPMD). The journal was launched in 2008 with place management being defined as “a coordinated, area-based, multi-stakeholder approach, harnessing the skills, experience and resources of those in the public, private and voluntary sectors” (Parker et al., 2008, p. 237). The JPMD provides a central international repository for research into this expanding topic, pulling together theory and practice in the field. So far, it has published 69 papers, written by 134 authors from 22 different countries. The JPMD has an Editorial Team which is predominantly UK-based (Editor-In-Chief, Practitioner Editor, Editorial Assistant and Managing Editor) although the Academic Editor is based at The University of Tasmania. The Editorial Advisory Board has representatives from 16 different countries, with the majority (60 per cent) being non-UK.
Despite being published in the UK, the majority of authors (68 per cent) are international including 20 per cent from Northern Europe (Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Austria); 16 per cent from Southern Europe (Italy, Spain and Portugal); 12 per cent from the USA and Canada; 10 per cent from Australia and New Zealand; and 10 per cent from other countries (China, Poland, Nigeria, Mexico, South Africa, UAE and Malaysia).
Analysis of the major discipline areas of the published papers shows that it is an interdisciplinary journal. About 39 per cent would be classified as “Business and Management”; 35 per cent as “Human Sciences”; 20 per cent as “Built Environment, Planning and Design” and 6 per cent as “Law and Economics”. It is interesting to see that the journal is becoming more interdisciplinary over time. Nevertheless, whilst this meets our editorial objectives, being interdisciplinary is not without its challenges. Many countries, including the UK, are now carrying out more standardised ways of assessing research output and these methods do not always reflect the interdisciplinary nature of journals such as our own.
We are also pleased to report that the methodological diversity of the papers is improving. To begin with we had an over-reliance on case study methodologies, hardly surprising for a journal that has “place” as its central theme. However, the methodological/philosophical approaches are now far more balanced with 25 per cent being case studies, 21 per cent other qualitative approaches, 20 per cent quantitative, 19 per cent conceptual and 15 per cent literature or other types of review.
Our recent download figures show that the JPMD is a valuable resource for academics, practitioners and policy makers in the field. This is something we are especially proud of, as it was always our intention to have an international, interdisciplinary journal which brought the academic, practitioner and policy community together.
This issue continues to reflect the needs of our different research user communities. The first academic paper, by Chung Yim Yui, is a quantitative study which establishes the impact on retail rent which results in an area after it has been pedestrianised. “The impact of a pedestrianisation scheme on retail rent: an empirical study in Hong Kong” is particularly useful as it compares two areas (one pedestrianised one not) within a very localised area, over time, through the use of a “two street, two period regression model”. As a result of the analysis of secondary data the author concludes that the net impact of pedestrianisation on retail rent yield is 17 per cent. It is papers such as this that provide evidence of the impact of various place interventions, which will help future place decision making.
Our next academic paper, by Deborah Levy and Christina K.C. Lee, entitled “Neighbourhood identities and household location choice: estate agents’ perspectives” explores why people choose to live where they do by interviewing estate agents in the Auckland area of New Zealand. The paper examines place identity and issues relating to place marketing; popular topics within this journal, but from a hitherto unexplored perspective. Estate agents are key intermediaries in the place marketing process, therefore they are key informants as regards the “clients” of certain neighbourhoods and their decision-making process. The study helps classify the key determinants of location choice (personal, location and property specific); offers a conceptual model, based on the qualitative study combined with a review of the literature; and demonstrates how important residents are in the creation of place identity.
The third paper, and the first of the practitioner-oriented papers, is by Brídín McAteer and Simon Stephens. Entitled “Town centre management: a solution to the challenges facing urban centres in Ireland?”, this paper offers a macro perspective on the role of place management within Ireland. As in the UK, town centre management (TCM) is one of the most common forms of place management and by interviewing the people responsible for the schemes (in this case all public servants) the paper concludes that despite the relative maturity of TCM there is no established way of measuring its effectiveness. Nevertheless, it is seen as a way of regenerating an urban area, and in many locations the only way of improving an area, as other investment has dried-up. Finally, the study reinforces another central theme of place management, the importance of place partnerships, but also recognises the challenges inherent in multi-stakeholder decision-making processes.
The fourth paper, “Leeds shopping week: a case study”, by Brian Jones and John Temperley, provides an example of how an event (a shopping week) can deliver economic growth and improve a specific city centre, without the type of major investment associated with, for example, physical regeneration. Although the event is successful, by conducting interviews with shoppers, the study reinforces another of the central themes of place management, the lack of direct control place managers have over the constituent parts of the “place product”. In this case, even though the activity is a city centre wide initiative, not all retailers take part. As the authors suggest, more “hard” evidence may be needed to encourage some of the smaller retailers to engage. Their paper gives some more practical recommendations for improving future events, suggestions that could also be adopted by other locations, such as a better use of social networking platforms and to adopt more of a “theme” for these events than just shopping.
Our final practitioner paper is by Ares Kalandides. Entitled “City marketing for Bogotá: a case study in integrated place branding”, the paper is based around a case study outlining the creation of a place marketing strategy for Bogota, a project which Kalandides and his colleagues have led on. Kalandides eschews the more commonplace approach to place marketing – that of the “design a logo and you’re done” brigade – in favour of a more informed and strategic methodology, based around citizen engagement, which recognises the inherent pitfalls and contradictions of the one-size fits all approach to the creation of place image. Kalandides argues that places should be understood as “interrelated loci of open-end trajectories”, in a state of continuous flux, and therefore any attempts at place branding must seek to communicate the ever-changing individual aspects of the city, as opposed to the city as whole. Of particular interest in the paper is the acknowledgement that whilst marketing/branding is a valid route to repositioning Bogota internationally; “economic, political, cultural and other instruments could play a more prominent role.” Kalandides seeks to anchor this assertion by introducing the term “integrated place branding” to describe the many place management-related processes that must work in conjunction in order for real image change to occur.
We would like to end this editorial by thanking our reviewers, who, once again, have improved the quality of the papers and, therefore, the contribution of this journal, through their detailed and constructive feedback. To maintain the double-blind review policy of the journal it is not, of course, possible to thank you individually in a public forum such as this – but you know who you are so, on behalf of the Editorial Team and the authors, thank you very much indeed!
Cathy Parker, John Byrom, Gareth Roberts, Simon Quin
Parker, C., Byrom, J., Quin, S. and Roberts, G. (2008), “Editorial”, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 237–9