In the shadow of Bangalore – place branding and identity for Chennai

Little, Stephen (2010). In the shadow of Bangalore – place branding and identity for Chennai. In: Go, Frank and Govers, Robert eds. International Place Branding Yearbook 2010: Place Branding in the New Age of Innovation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Abstract

Across the world, individual cities are striving for visibility at the first tier of their nation’s urban regions. In the high-growth economies, new competitors are emerging to challenge the existing first tier of cities for a place in the global economy. Such dynamic metropolitan areas have been identified as the nodes in an economy of flows (Castells 1987) and the location of creative and artistic sectors that enhance inward migration and economic development (Florida 2002; Markusen and King 2003).

For urban and regional governments, the economic downturn current at the time of writing raises the question of what drivers will trigger a sustainable recovery. With the growing appreciation of the emerging economic power of both China and India (Winters and Yusuf 2007) there is also a growing consensus that these countries will deliver one route out of recession for the global economy through the development of their domestic demand for goods and services. To sustain the previous record growth rates as the leading cities of the first wave of globalization become increasingly congested and lose their absolute cost advantages, the economic engagement of second- and third-tier cities in this global system is essential. This means foreign and national direct investment, which in turn requires a presence and appropriate image in the national and intentional consciousness of potential inward investors and migrants. This implies a key role for tourism in developing a cultural footprint to support the necessary image development and place branding projects. Tourism infrastructure can support developments in other sectors directly; however, it can also enhance the attractiveness and identity of a location by providing the direct exposure to that location that is needed to dispel stereotypes. Nevertheless, stereotypes are powerful and persistent.

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