Interview with Gordon Innes on City Branding, Placemaking and Economic Development

Gordon Innes of Bloomberg Associates in this interview shares his thoughts on city branding, placemaking and economic development in the USA and the UK. He also tells us how the city of London combined its three destination marketing, economic development and talent attraction agencies in one organisation, London & Partners, and how strategic place branding can help tackle challenges such as overtourism.

Our interview with Gordon Innes is part of a special series of interviews with professionals speaking at the City Nation Place Americas conference in New York City, 15 June 2017.

Learn about:

  • How the city of London went from a three agency approach to destination marketing, economic development and talent attraction to one umbrella organisation;
  • The benefits of integrated place management and public private partnerships (PPP);
  • How effective placemaking contributes to a city's reputation;
  • City trends likely to affect economic development work;
  • How strategic place branding can be used to tackle challenges such as overtourism;
  • Good practice examples to follow, apart from New York City and London;
  • Five tips for city brand managers.

Gordon, you’ll be speaking at the inaugural City Nation Place Americas conference in New York City this June. In your view, what can US place professionals learn from the UK, and vice versa, regarding place branding?

My current and previous roles were working for cities. Unlike the real estate industry, which understands the importance of place making and branding for successful regeneration and development projects, many city governments do not understand its importance for achieving a city’s goals. Mayors want their cities to have great reputations, but they often don’t prioritize, garner resources or professionalize this objective. This is true on both sides of the pond.

As a result, many cities focus too much on a logo and visual identity, and not nearly enough on a viable, long-term vision for the development of the city – which they can communicate clearly and effectively to their many different constituencies.

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The Editorial Team

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