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Type: Journal article
Title: City branding and social inclusion in the glocal city
Author: Paganoni, M.
Citation: Mobilities, 2012; 7(1):13-31
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1745-0101
Statement of
Maria Cristina Paganoni
Abstract: This article begins with a re-assessment of city branding that focuses on the marketing strategies routinely employed to promote a competitive identity for the contemporary ‘glocal’ city, before moving on to the issue of social inclusion. Combining a socio-semiotic approach with recent insights from urban studies, it explores a sample of 12 British city council websites to discuss to what extent web-mediated communication, within the modernisation agenda espoused by local authorities, may effectively help to represent and give voice to today’s multicultural and migrant urban communities. The article adopts a critical reading of municipal websites with the aim of understanding how a social inclusion agenda can be incorporated into the authoritative and functional discourse typically used by the sites and proposes that the onset of new interactive technologies, such as blogs and social networks, do have significant democratic potential in this respect, even though their incorporation into the sites is still at a preliminary stage. As such, the article is concerned with how flows of information and people are coming together in the early twenty-first century and transforming what began as a static textual/discursive space into one that is responsive to the flux of the contemporary city. At the time of writing, this is very much a communication revolution in the making, with the new interactive portals sitting somewhat awkwardly alongside information-based web pages and links. In addition, the article investigates the ways in which the sites attempt to present their cities as diasporic, cosmopolitan and ‘glocalized’ spaces, paying particular attention to the subjugated discourse of migration and the way that the cities’ non-white population is fixed and bounded by aesthetic and discursive means.
Keywords: City branding; cosmopolitanism; diasporas, e-governance; migration; new media; social semiotics; urban policy; visual discourse
Rights: © 2012 Taylor & Francis
RMID: 0030047923
DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2012.631809
Appears in Collections:Geography, Environment and Population publications

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