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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 09/2018
  • 9789082826517 B07HKG39CY
  • 158 pages
  • $10
Hardcover Details
  • 09/2018
  • 9789082826500
  • 158 pages
  • $35
Paperback Book Details
  • 09/2018
  • 9789082826524 9082826526
  • 158 pages
  • $20
Imaginative Communities: Admired Cities, Regions and Countries

Adult; Political & Social Sciences; (Market)

Many of us feel uneasy with the lack of recognition that our community, city, region or country receives internationally and with the stereotypes and outdated clichés by which "outsiders" define us. This has probably been the case for as long as man exists, but in today's world with its global connections and social media, it is becoming more apparent, more relevant and more frustrating; to citizens generally, but in particular to policy makers, public administrators, leaders and representatives in public, private and civil society sectors. Why this is so and what to do about it is the topic of this book. It is the first book to discuss the issue of community reputation in a manner that is accessible to all; free from any use of jargon, management terminology or unnecessary complexity. It argues that for communities to be admired, they need a sense of belonging and purpose in order to do amazing imaginative things befitting their character while captivating others. Imaginative initiatives are recognisably from somewhere and hence cut through the clutter in order to create community profile. The book contains examples from Austin, Barcelona, Bhutan, Den Bosch, Dubai, Egypt, Eindhoven, Estonia, Finland, Firenze (Florence), Kazakhstan, Lanzarote, Limburg (Maastricht Region), Oslo, Rome, The Hague, the United States of America and other communities. The book primarily aims to inspire readers and offer them a broad overview of an issue in modern society that is of interest and relevance to all of us: the reputation of our communities.
Reviews
Govers (Place Branding) uses clear, readable language to construct this brief, insightful, and optimistic guide for physical communities looking to construct identities and boost their reputations. Paris is known for romance and Rio de Janeiro for partying; now, Govers writes, globalization is creating an economic need for other cities and communities around the world to foster proud global images—particularly those that embrace geography, history, and “moral virtue” over “nationalism, religion, or power.” He advises communities to create a sense of belonging and accomplishment for both residents and visitors by being bold and innovative rather than copying what other communities do or relying on stereotypes.

Blending social anthropology and psychology into this analysis of urban branding, Govers touts dramatic ideas that he feels are worth the cost and challenges of implementation. He asserts that communities must reject traditional media campaigns and instead use modern technological tools, citing augmented-reality phone apps that create projections of the Berlin Wall and Rome’s Coliseum in its heyday. He also advises thinking in terms of time as well as space, highlighting Oslo’s Future Library, a century-spanning literary project.

Govers shines when providing examples of imaginative initiatives, including Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Commission, Estonia’s invention of Skype and declaration that internet access is a human right, and Dubai’s palm-shaped artificial islands. Examples from South America and Africa are conspicuously lacking, and minimally useful tables and graphs intrude on the otherwise gripping descriptions of communities engaging with international audiences by communicating their values across different cultures and lifestyles. But this book will thrill municipal leaders, city planners, globalists, and sociologists with practical steps for implementing creative ideas that will invigorate community spirit and bring in tourist dollars.

Takeaway: Community leaders, city planners, and policy makers will appreciate these practical guidelines for implementing projects that build and communicate community identity.

Great for fans of Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, Bill Baker’s Place Branding for Small Cities, Regions, and Downtowns.

Production grades
Cover: C
Design and typography: B+
Illustrations: -
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A-

B. Joseph Pine II, Co-author, The Experience Economy

‘I am a big believer in the power of purpose: that companies and individuals should have a meaningful purpose that guides their thinking, decisions, and actions. But until I read Robert Govers' Imaginative Communities, the thought of applying purpose at the community level never occurred to me. Read this brilliant book and you, too, will see how to bring a sense of belonging and meaningful purpose to your communities, no matter their size.’

Dr Parag Khanna, Author of Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civiliza

‘It has been said that countries should measure their gross national imagination, a critical resource for success in the twenty-first century. This important new book shows why this is crucial in an age of fractured identity – and how so many places have forged initiatives that put themselves on the map but also inspire the rest of the world.’

Nicholas J. Cull, Author of Public Diplomacy: Global Engagement in the Era of So

‘Robert Govers has written a terrific book.  With miraculous clarity he guides the reader on a world tour of the subject of community reputation and its management.  He presents a breathtaking range of places and kinds of actors – cities, regions and nation states – from the Americas to Central Asia and on to the Pacific.  His examples are new, thought provoking and illuminated by his personal experience as a researcher and consultant.  Best of all, his conclusion underlines the need for citizens to focus not on presenting a better image but on building for a better reality.’  

Simon Anholt, Founder of Good Country

‘A really important addition to our understanding of people, places and their purpose. Govers’ book is a refreshing and highly readable departure from “practitioner” texts that simply apply tired marketing principles to the management and promotion of places. Incisive and genuinely thought provoking, this book deserves a place on the desk of every senior policy-maker in national, regional and city governments worldwide.’ 

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 09/2018
  • 9789082826517 B07HKG39CY
  • 158 pages
  • $10
Hardcover Details
  • 09/2018
  • 9789082826500
  • 158 pages
  • $35
Paperback Book Details
  • 09/2018
  • 9789082826524 9082826526
  • 158 pages
  • $20

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