Strategic design to foster City-Citizen Interactions

Shalini Bisani, Youngok Choi

Abstract


Just as people are crucial to places’ existence, they are also essential to their brand. Motivated by the curiosity to explore the role of citizens in city branding, this research was undertaken by investigating extant theories, practices and – most importantly – citizens’ opinions on participating in the city branding process. The key research finding was that citizens’ perceptions of the city are formed by their experiences: in the city, including the physical and virtual space of the city, and with the city, through their interactions with its other inhabitants. This presented an opportunity to provide pragmatic guidelines to city marketers and governments to assist the development of citizen-centric branding initiatives led by strategic design. An Interactions framework was developed, placing citizens’ perceptions at its core and mobilising interactions across three levels: where the interactions can take place, who can aid the interactions and how designers can facilitate interactions to invoke participation. It became evident that design-led interactions can generate innovative ways of city branding.

Keywords: city branding, city brand management, City-Citizen Interactions, strategic design.


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