Guest Post: Place Branding Strategies for Rural Development

In this guest post, Gerard van Keken reminds us that despite the continuous growth of cities, rural areas still make up a large part of our countries, and thus deserve some attention. The PlaceBrandz project (place branding approach) mentioned in the presentation is now hosted by The Place Brand Observer.

Although the world population is more urban than rural, we should not forget the rural areas. 90% of surface area of the European Union is rural. But how can we use place branding and place making strategies to develop these areas?

The presentation below was given at the International Policy Forum on Regional Development in Norwich (UK) for a project on vital rural areas.


Gerard van Keken

Gerard van Keken - Contributor The Place Brand Observeris an independent researcher, project- and event manager (’Remarkable Identity’/‘Merkwaardige Identiteit’). Gerard is devoted to building bridges between theory and practice. After travelling Europe, the Middle & Far East, Australia and North America extensively for some years in his younger days, Gerard has been involved in many research and consultancy projects for organizations, entrepreneurs and governing authorities.

His research interests are coastal and rural tourism, culinary tourism, tourism event management, creative industries, (brand) identity and image and photography.

Gerard is the founder of ‘the Taste of Zeêland’, ‘Oer-Zêêuws’, culinary and cultural events on regional products, the encounters of hosts and guests, design contests on fashion and jewellery to bridge folklorist culture and fashion with the contemporary world.

He has also been a lecturer for several years in some educational institutes in the Netherlands and in Nanjing, China.


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